Mariners 3, Yankees 0
His emphatic answer to participating in last weekend’s dustup: eight scoreless innings against New York.
In his previous start, Washburn hit Josh Phelps in the back with a pitch, after Phelps had bowled over catcher Johjima at home plate. When Yankees reliever Scott Proctor retaliated later in the game, he and manager Joe Torre were ejected and eventually suspended.
“It was appreciated, I know that,” Washburn said of his old-school response. “We’ve got to stick up for our teammates … That’s just one of the pieces to the puzzle.”
Friday night, Washburn (3-3) stymied the Yankees by dominating the inner-half of the strike zone, and retiring his final eight batters. The final one was Hideki Matsui, who flailed at a pitch in the dirt. Washburn pumped both arms and let out a primal scream as he walked off the mound to a standing ovation from a near-sellout crowd of 44,214.
“Washburn had a second gear tonight,” said Johnny Damon, who went 1-for-4.
It was the first time in 10 starts against New York that Washburn has held the Yankees scoreless. Washburn has allowed three runs or fewer six times in seven starts this season.
“He’s pitched well enough to be 6-0,” Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said.
J.J. Putz got three outs for his eighth save in eight chances.
Washburn was toughest each time the Yankees threatened to score. With Damon on second and one out in the first inning, Washburn retired Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez on ground outs. With two on and one out in the second, the fast-working lefty struck out Robinson Cano on a slow curveball and Melky Cabrera on a fastball. Washburn slapped his glove and shouted to punctuate that escape.
“When he needed to make a pitch, he gave it a little more,” Damon said. “And the ball either cut a bit more or ran in to lefties a little more.”
After Jeter walked and Rodriguez reached on a hard shot that glanced off third baseman Adrian Beltre’s glove for a hit with two outs in the third, all Matsui could do against Washburn was foul out.
And after Phelps reached second base after a fielder’s choice in the fourth, Washburn got Cabrera to ground out. Washburn yelled and pumped his fist at that, too.
“I’m an emotional guy when I play, yelling and screaming and having fun,” Washburn said. “I didn’t do that last year. I was more laid-back and reserved,” he said, referring to his 8-14 season, his first in Seattle after 11 years with the Angels’ organization.
Darrell Rasner (1-2) fell behind on Raul Ibanez’s RBI single in the third. After he walked Beltre to begin the fourth, Johjima lined a 90 mph fastball on a 2-1 count into the first row of bleachers beyond left field. His fourth home run put Seattle up 3-0.
“I made a mistake on a pitch—and he did exactly what he is supposed to do with it,” Rasner said.
Rasner, who beat Washburn Sunday by allowing just three hits in 5 2-3 scoreless innings, left after five innings having surrendered three runs and seven hits. He struck out one and walked three.
Proctor, suspended for four games pending an appeal for throwing behind Yuniesky Betancourt on Sunday, relieved. The first man Proctor faced was Betancourt.
This time, no sparks. Proctor’s first pitch was outside, and Betancourt popped out on the second pitch. ^Notes: Yankees DH Jason Giambi was a late scratch, missing his third consecutive start because of a spur near his left heel. Torre said his slugger will start Saturday. “He was better but he just didn’t seem comfortable,” Torre said. … Seattle leads the AL with four shutouts. … OF Ichiro Suzuki had his third and fourth stolen bases of the season, off Rasner and C Jorge Posada. Suzuki has been successful on an AL-record 43 consecutive attempts. The major league record is 50 by Vince Coleman from 1988-89. Rasner had not allowed a stolen base in his first 47 1-3 innings in the major leagues.