NEW YORK – It was a special night in the Bronx for two New York Yankees players on Wednesday night, but Phil Hughes was not one of them. In a game where David Adams and Brett Marshall each made their major league debuts, the Seattle Mariners blew out the Yankees by a score of 12-2 in front of 34,081 fans.
For the Yankees, the problems started immediately. Phil Hughes coaxed a fly ball out from Michael Saunders to lead off the game, but then allowed seven straight base runners and six runs – including a grand slam from former Yankee Raul Ibanez – before recording his next out. Hughes would finally be chased after two-thirds of an inning when Saunders extracted revenge, lining an RBI double to right field to give the Mariners a 7-0 lead.
“It’s going to be tough to sleep the next couple of nights, for sure,” Hughes indicated after the start. “But if I can just get through that and try and get back to what I was doing a couple of starts ago.”
Preston Claiborne, who again shined over 2.1 innings of work, would replace Hughes and finish out the first inning. The rookie allowed just one base runner while striking out a pair. Though he has yet to see much time in high-leverage situations, Claiborne is quickly proving to be a reliable piece in the Yankee bullpen.
Following Claiborne was Brett Marshall, a top-ten prospect within the organization who was making his major league debut. Marshall was not great on the mound, but gave the Yankees 5.2 innings in a game that was lost before the first inning was over. Marshall allowed five runs on nine hits – including two home runs – during his Wednesday night debut.
“You always want to imagine your debut better, but I got through it and was able to help the team out and not get into the bullpen,” Marshall said.
Marshall’s teammate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, David Adams, also made his major league debut tonight. The 26-year-old’s promotion had been speculated frequently in the past week, but was finalized earlier in the day. Adams had four trips to the plate on Wednesday, recording his first major league hit with a line drive to center field on his third at-bat. Adams looked sound at third base, and will likely serve as an effective stopgap until Kevin Youkilis returns from a back injury.
Despite a pair of debuts, perhaps the most interesting part of the night came in the ninth evening. With Marshall at 108 pitches and one out still to record, Joe Girardi came out to replace the rookie. He gave Marshall the hook, but instead of bringing in another pitcher, called on shortstop Alberto Gonzalez to record the final out in the ninth inning. With Gonzalez headed to the mound, Jayson Nix shifted from second base to shortstop, and Vernon Wells – who played third base earlier this season for the first time in his career – made his first ever appearance at second base.
The New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners conclude their three-game set on Thursday evening. Veteran left-hander Andy Pettitte (4-2, 3.83) will be on the mound for the Yankees, while Aaron Harang (1-4, 7.30) will be pitching for the Mariners. First pitch from Yankee Stadium will be 7:05 PM
Dan is usedview.com’s beat writer for the New York Yankees and the Trenton Thunder. Follow him on Twitter at @danpfeiffer74 for all the latest New York Yankees news.