The Yankees look to avoid a rare home sweep and couldn’t ask for a better matchup in which to do it.
As the temperatures have warmed, so too has C.C. Sabathia. In June, Sabathia won all five starts while posting an ERA of 2.19. The Yankees hope July starts off in a similar vein.
For three days, I have been suggesting that the weak Mariners’ offense should prove to be fodder for the Yankees’ starters, but that notion has been proven wrong over the last two games. Perhaps the pressure of facing top-notch aces like Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez contributed to the Yankees yielding seven runs per game to a team averaging half as much? If so, Sabathia will not have that excuse today against Ryan Rowland Smith, who enters the game with a 1-7 record and 6.18 ERA. However, the Mariners’ starting lineup has had success against Sabathia. In particular, Ichiro and Chone Figgins have posted an OPS 1.128 and 1.046, respectively, against the big lefty. One key for Sabathia will be keeping both speedsters off the bases, especially with Jorge Posada (who has caught only 19% of attempted base stealers) behind the plate.
Brett Gardner returns to the lineup to help ensure the Yankees take advantage of this afternoon’s favorable matchup. Also inserted into the lineup for the first time in the series is Ramiro Pena, who will play 3B and allow Arod to shift to DH. The Yankees are coming out of a month that saw their offensive production decline precipitously, so Rowland-Smith may be just the thing to get the bats back on track in July. Should the lineup fall silent again, however, it could serve as a negative harbinger as the season transitions to the dog days of summer.
|vs. Ryan Rowland-Smith||PA||BA||OBP||SLG||HR||RBI|
|Derek Jeter SS||6||0.200||0.333||0.200||0||1|
|Nick Swisher RF||5||0.000||0.200||0.000||0||0|
|Mark Teixeira 1B||12||0.182||0.250||0.455||1||2|
|Alex Rodriguez DH||3||0.000||0.333||0.000||0||0|
|Robinson Cano 2B||9||0.222||0.222||0.333||0||2|
|Jorge Posada C||3||0.333||0.333||0.667||0||0|
|Curtis Granderson CF||5||0.333||0.600||0.333||0||0|
|Brett Gardner LF||0||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Ramiro Pena 3B||0||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|vs. C.C. Sabathia||PA||BA||OBP||SLG||HR||RBI|
|Ichiro Suzuki RF||50||0.396||0.420||0.708||3||6|
|Chone Figgins 2B||20||0.313||0.421||0.625||1||1|
|Russell Branyan 1B||7||0.000||0.143||0.000||0||0|
|Milton Bradley DH||12||0.364||0.417||0.455||0||1|
|Jose Lopez 3B||17||0.125||0.176||0.125||0||2|
|Jack Wilson SS||18||0.133||0.278||0.133||0||0|
|Ryan Langerhans LF||4||0.667||0.750||1.000||0||0|
|Josh Bard C||1||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Michael Saunders CF||3||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Yankees vs. Mariners|
|Season: 2010||Season: 2009||Season: 2008||All-Time|
|SEA: 2-0||NYY: 6-4||NYY:7-2||NYY:197-159|
- Franklin Gutierrez was originally in the starting lineup, but was scratched with flu-like symptoms.
- With a base hit, Derek Jeter will pass Charlie Gehringer for sole possession of 43rd place on the all-time hit list.
- Chone Figgins has stolen a base in seven consecutive games, and has nine over that span. Figgins streak is the longest since Carl Crawford stole a base in nine consecutive games at the start of last season. Since 1920, the longest consecutive SB streak belongs to Bert Campaneris, who swiped a base in 12 straight games in June 1969.
- Only Mike Sweeney (21) and Torii Hunter (20) have had more hits off Sabathia than Ichiro (19).
- Derek Jeter has not had an RBI in 14 consecutive games, the longest such drought of his career.
- Courtesy of Elias by way of the LoHud Yankees Blog, the Yankees have not had a losing July since 1992, a 17 year span that marks the longest consecutive string of being over .500 in the month.