On this episode of the Yanks Go Yard Series Preview Show, I started the show by giving a quick look back at the New York Yankees losing two out of three to the Kansas City Royals. Even with Monday’s rainout, the offense still had their struggles over the weekend, particularly with runners in scoring position. There were some bright spots to the series, as Brian McCann picked up a three-RBI double on Friday to help Chase Whitley pick up his first major league win of his career.
That being said, New York missed some chances to gain ground on the Toronto Blue Jays, as they now stand in third place in the AL East, 6.5 games back of the Blue Jays. It didn’t help the Bronx Bombers that they missed out on another offensive bat via free agency when Kendrys Morales decided to sign with the Minnesota Twins. Now, the Yankees (31-31) will get set to take on the Seattle Mariners, a team that has beaten them in all three meetings this season and is playing some of their best baseball right now.
The Seattle Mariners (34-29) are playing like one of the hottest teams in baseball. They are coming off of a series in Tampa Bay where they won three out of four games including a 15 strikeout performance from Felix Hernandez and their pitchers shutting out the Rays over the final 19 innings of the series. They have won eight of their last nine games, and are only 4.5 games back of the Oakland A’s in the AL West. While Robinson Cano‘s power has been lacking in the home run department with just two this season, he has been one of the best hitters this season considering his .330 batting average is the sixth highest in all of baseball. While Kyle Seager has had a solid season with nine home runs and 39 RBI, the strength of this team is in their pitching staff.
Seattle’s 3.45 ERA is the eighth-highest in all of baseball. The rotation has been strengthened ever since Hisashi Iwakuma returned to the rotation as the number two starter back on May 3rd. Iwakuma, who is pitching in Tuesday’s series opener, has a 2.66 ERA in seven starts this year. Despite injuries to Taijuan Walker and James Paxton at the start of the season, this rotation has still been able to get the job done. The pitching success extends to the back end, with Fernando Rodney being a consistent shutdown closer in the ninth inning with his 18 saves.
For this episode, I was joined by the co-editor of Sodo Mojo, Charlie Spencer-Davis. Charlie and I discussed Seattle’s red-hot play over their last nine games as well as his impressions on the Mariners’ chances in the division going forward: You can find the other topics we discussed on the show below:
- Iwakuma’s ability to induce ground-ball outs
- Yankees looking for a bounce back start from Vidal Nuno on Tuesday
- Chris Young‘s success at Safeco Field this season (Wednesday’s starter)
- Masahiro Tanaka looking for his tenth win of the season on Wednesday
- Why the rain out Monday night could be of great benefit to Tanaka
- Roenis Elias showing great flashes in the M’s rotation (Thursday’s starter)
- Has Elias been a surprise to the Mariners this year?
- Chase Whitley looking to build on his first win Thursday night
- Mariners’ Players To Watch (Charlie: James Jones, Ricky: Kyle Seager and Michael Saunders)
- Yankees’ Players To Watch (Jacoby Ellsbury and Yangervis Solarte)
- How has Rodney been so effective this season as opposed to last year?
- What do the M’s need to do to compete with the A’s and Angels in the division?