|Photo by Seth Wang, AP|
The 2010 Mariners, after showing their worst side far too many times so far this season, finally have showed their best the past two nights. Sure, this team is bad a little too often, but when it is not, it is spectacular. This isn't a normal bad team.
How do the Yankees feel right now? They are in the argument for best team in baseball, and play exceptionally well at home. They also play in the most competitive division in baseball, where winning at a high rate is a must to stay in the hunt. Given their position, the lowly Mariners should have been one of their best chances to breathe easy.
Instead, Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez put their spikes in New York's throat, and never let up. Quite literally really, as both went the distance in memorable performances. Lee's outing was subpar (by his epic standards), but Felix was in awe-inspiring control. The Yankees not only have lost the first two games in this series; they never had a chance.
Arguably, the M's offense got a little lucky facing a version of Phil Hughes on too much rest, and a disappointing Javier Vazquez. However, they scored seven runs in back-to-back games, and still the headlines are about the pitching. That says all you need to know about how good these performances were.
For the season, the Yankees are the better team. However, for the past two nights, they have been owned by the Mariners. Some of that is just the nature of baseball, but much of the credit should go to the Mariners. It is probably too little, too late to save the season, but at least we finally saw this team at its absolute best.
Teams will have bad and good stretches. We had seen the bad. Finally, we see the good, and it came out in New York against the defending World Series champions. This is the kind of prize teams in the midst of lost seasons rarely get to savor, partly because most bad teams do not have an upper end this high. Consolation prizes are always bittersweet, but this one is awfully sweet.