The King has arrived in New York. No, not that King! Sorry Knicks fans.
Despite being a last place team, the Mariners feature two of the best pitchers in baseball and the Yankees have drawn the short straw by having to face them both. When facing the Yankees, there has been no in between for Hernandez, who has alternated good and bad starts against the Bombers. His last outing against the Yankees was a complete game victory (thanks to an Ichiro walk off against Mariano), so perhaps he is due for a lemon?
The Yankees will be without Brett Gardner once again, a significant loss against the righty Hernandez. Not only do the Yankees lose Gardner’s production against an ace pitcher, but as the league leader in pitches seen per at bat, they also lose a weapon in their attempt to wear Hernandez down. Taking Gardner’s place in left field will be Colin Curtis, who has managed to knock in four runs in only seven plate appearances. The start will be the first of Curtis’ career.
The job of matching up against Hernandez falls on the shoulders of Javier Vazquez, who will seek to rebound from a shaky start in his last outing against Arizona. The hiccup in the desert broke a string of four straight quality starts in which Vazquez went 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA. If Vazquez can command his pitches, he should be equal to the task of standing toe-to-toe with the King. In order to do that, Vazquez will have to keep Ichiro and Figgins off the bases and contain the power of Branyan, who has homered in three of his six plate appearances against the Yankees’ righty.
In order to keep winning series, the Yankees will need to beat a top flight pitcher. To do that, they will need to lay off Hernandez’ arsenal of off speed pitches and build up his pitch count in the process. As mentioned, that task is made more difficult by the absence of Gardner, but there is still enough lefty power in the lineup to pose a threat. In particular, Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira have had success off Hernandez in the past, so they’ll likely be key figures in any potential Yankee rallies.
|vs. Felix Hernandez||PA||BA||OBP||SLG||HR||RBI|
|Derek Jeter SS||18||0.333||0.412||0.400||0||1|
|Nick Swisher RF||28||0.261||0.393||0.696||3||4|
|Mark Teixeira 1B||40||0.306||0.350||0.639||3||6|
|Alex Rodriguez 3B||10||0.250||0.300||0.250||0||2|
|Robinson Cano 2B||15||0.385||0.467||0.615||1||3|
|Jorge Posada DH||6||0.600||0.667||0.600||0||1|
|Curtis Granderson CF||25||0.360||0.360||0.520||1||1|
|Colin Curtis LF||0||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Francisco Cervelli C||0||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|vs. Javier Vazquez||PA||BA||OBP||SLG||HR||RBI|
|Ichiro Suzuki RF||22||0.286||0.318||0.429||0||1|
|Chone Figgins 2B||7||0.286||0.286||0.429||0||0|
|Russell Branyan 1B||6||0.500||0.500||2.000||3||4|
|Milton Bradley DH||19||0.167||0.211||0.167||0||0|
|Jose Lopez 3B||15||0.143||0.133||0.143||0||1|
|Franklin Gutierrez CF||15||0.333||0.467||0.750||1||2|
|Jack Wilson SS||31||0.267||0.290||0.300||0||1|
|Rob Johnson C||0||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Michael Saunders LF||0||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Yankees vs. Mariners|
|Season: 2010||Season: 2009||Season: 2008||All-Time|
|SEA: 1-0||NYY: 6-4||NYY:7-2||NYY:197-157|