Seattle started off the season on fire, getting off to a 13-2 start after their win on April 11th. However, they’ve only won six games since then, and had lost six straight before their win on Sunday. They got off to that excellent start due to their offense, which is averaging over 5.5 runs per game. They have scored 10 or more runs in seven games already. On the other hand, their pitching has allowed 10 or more runs three times in the last two weeks.
Here’s how the pitching matchups shape up as the Yankees and Mariners open up a series tonight.
Monday: CC Sabathia vs. Felix Hernandez
Two stalwarts of the late 00s and early 10s are still going and will be the starters for Monday’s series opener. Their recent career trajectories have gone in different directions in the past couple years, however.
Fresh off his 3000th career strikeout, Sabathia will go for the Yankees. Sabathia comes in with a sub-three ERA and a 1.003 WHIP. The only problem for him, much as it was last year, has been length. His 5.1 inning outing last time was his longest of the season. With a semi-fresh bullpen following yesterday’s rain-shortened game and Domingo German’s performance, hopefully the bullpen can cover should that be a problem again.
Meanwhile, Hernandez comes into this game with a 98 ERA+, which is his best since 2016. It hasn’t been a great couple years for Hernandez, but he hasn’t been as bad as he was last year so far. It’s been a roller coast season for him, though. Last time out, he was tagged for four runs in six innings, but just six days before that, he gave up just three hits in seven innings.
Tuesday: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Marco Gonzales
After not allowing one in his first two games, Tanaka has run into his old foe, home runs, in recent outings. He has given up six in his last five games. He’s also lasted a combined 9.2 innings in his previous two starts. Hopefully, he can turn that around in Yankee Stadium against a team that is, uh, first in the AL in home runs.
Gonzales is off to the best start of his career, coming in with a 128 ERA+. He’s allowed just 11 runs in his last six starts. That being said, in his lone career appearance against the Yankees, he was hit around for six runs in 6.1 innings last June, giving up three home runs in the Bronx. Unfortunately for the Yankees, two of those home run hitters are on the IL and the one who isn’t just got off it, Miguel Andujar.
Wednesday: TBD vs. Yusei Kikuchi
At time of writing, the Yankees have yet to announce who they will be going with in Wednesday's game.
As for Seattle, it will be the Yankees first look at the rookie Kikuchi. It’s been an up and down start for Kikuchi as he adjusts to the game in the states. However, he posses some impressive stuff.
Yusei Kikuchi, Very Crafty 88mph Wipeout Slider. pic.twitter.com/3HCzWWSuPh— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 4, 2019
In the outing where that pitch came from, he struck out 10, while allowing just one run in seven innings against Cleveland.
Thursday: J.A. Happ vs. Mike Leake
Insert Twilight Zone music here.