After winning their first series after the All-Star break by taking two out of three from the Athletics, the Yankees welcome the Seattle Mariners into town. The Mariners are currently experiencing a 15-game losing streak, which ties their franchise record. This looks to be a great chance for the Yankees to try to sweep and gain some ground on the first-place Red Sox.
The Yankees will have Freddy Garcia, C.C. Sabathia and Phil Hughes pitching in this series. Sabathia almost guarantees a quality start and victory each time he takes the mound, and against a very subpar Mariners lineup, I expect more of the same from him. Garcia and Hughes need to prove they can be counted on, especially after Hughes struggled to get through five innings against the A’s, even with a very comfortable lead.
Seattle will send Jason Vargas (6-8 3.94 ERA), Doug Fister (3-11 3.30 ERA) and Felix Hernandez (8-9 3.47 ERA) to the mound to try to get through the Yankee lineup. Hernandez is a perennial Cy Young candidate despite his win/loss record. (Won last year’s Cy Young with a record under .500). The Yankees scored four runs in six innings on two home runs the last time they faced Hernandez.
Curtis Granderson continues to hit impact home runs for the pinstripes, as does Mark Teixeria. Nick Swisher caught fire over the weekend with two home runs and six RBI. The Yankee bats remain a consistent force that opposing pitchers have to deal with in order to get a win.
Look for Robinson Cano to have a good series as the Yankees win the first two games to push the Mariners losing streak to 17. I see Felix Hernandez having a great start and beating the Yankees in the third game of the set to end the skid and make the Yankees think about their rotation heading forward.