The Mariners begin a three-game series with the Yankees in the Bronx today at 4:05 PT. Here are a few storylines to follow throughout the series.
Tuesday features class of AL starters
Felix Hernandez and CC Sabathia. Both names evoke thoughts of terrifying and elite pitching prowess. Both names will appear in Tuesday night’s lineup card with a “P” next to their names. With Felix, a former Cy Young winner with a 1.53 2013 ERA, and CC, a former Cy Young winner at the head of the Evil Empire’s rotation, runs will likely prove few and far between. Who has the advantage? Sabathia tends to dominate the Mariners, with a 12-4 record and 2.46 ERA in 20 career starts against Seattle. But Felix pitches lights out in Yankee Stadium, with a 4-1 record and 2.13 ERA since its inaguration in 2010. It’s a close matchup, by I give Felix the slight edge because of how well he has pitched so far in 2013.
Andino, Ryan starting together again
The two worst hitters on the 25-man roster will both start for the second consecutive game for the Mariners. Andino will play second and Ryan shortstop, even though the two are hitting .159 and .122, respectively. Why? Well first of all, Dustin Ackley is left-handed and Sabthia could pose a matchup nightmare for him. Ackley is 1-for-7 career against Sabathia with four strikeouts (although that one hit was a two-run homer). Perhaps more to the heart of the matter, Andino and Ryan have the Mariners’ two best career averages against Sabathia. Ryan is 4-for-10 with three walks, while Andino checks in at 10-for-28 with a home run. Add in the fact that both hit the ball hard twice on Sunday, and runs could be produced from the bottom of the Mariners’ order tonight.
Granderson returns for New York
Manager Joe Girardi stuck Curtis Granderson in the cleanup spot and in left field Tuesday for his season debut, after he fractured his forearm during his first at-bat of Spring Training. Granderson, a three-time all star, hit .232 with 43 home runs and 106 RBI last season for the Yankees. In 2011, he led the American League in RBI and runs scored. Against Felix, Granderson is a career .273 hitter in 55 at-bats, with two homers and 20 strikeouts. Granderson is the first of a long list of injured Yankee starts to return to the lineup this season, and could provide New York with a big lift. It’s not like the Yankees exactly need one, though, as they come into tonight at 24-14, one game up on the Orioles in the AL East.
First pitch is at 4:05 PT and will be from Sabathia to Michael Saunders. Here’s the rest Mariners’ lineup:
- Saunders CF
- Bay LF
- Seager 3B
- Morales 1B
- Morse RF
- Shoppach C
- Ibanez DH
- Andino 2B
- Ryan SS
Happy Felix Day!