WIN NO. 11 NOT EASY
At 10 wins, Andy Pettitte has the most wins he has earned at this point in a season since 1998 and is an All-Star for the third time. He has struggled against the Mariners in his career, however, going 10-11 with a 4.51 ERA.
Most of the damage was done during Seattle’s stellar years in the mid-90s and in 2000 and 2001. Pettitte has fared better against recent Mariners teams, going 2-3 in his last six starts versus Seattle, with a 2.76 ERA during that span.
The New York left-hander looks for a third consecutive victory while trying to help the Yankees match a season high with their sixth straight win Thursday night against the Mariners at Safeco Field.
To win the four-game series the Yankees will have to go through dual aces Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez, who beat the Bombers the last go around.
Though the AL East-leading Yankees (53-31) dropped two of three at home to Seattle last week, they have won four straight on the road and 10 of 13 away from the Bronx.
The Mariners (34-50) look to avoid a fourth straight loss after being swept at home by Kansas City.
VARGAS IS MY HOMEBOY
Seattle hopes Jason Vargas (6-4, 3.22) can avoid a third straight loss when he opens the series against Pettitte.
The left-hander allowed six runs and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings of a 6-1 loss at Detroit on Saturday. Vargas has given up nine runs and 15 hits over 9 1-3 innings in his last two outings.
Returning home could help Vargas, who is 5-1 with a 2.30 ERA in nine starts at Safeco.
In his only start against New York, Vargas allowed four runs in four innings and didn’t receive a decision in an 8-4 win at Yankee Stadium on July 2, 2009.
Containing the top of the Mariners lineup is a key for Yankee pitchers in this series.
Ichiro Suzuki went 3 for 14 against the Royals, but is a lifetime .389 hitter against Pettitte.
Following Ichiro is notorious Yankee killer Chone Figgings. Slicing and dicing the Yankees during his Angel days, Figgins is a .318 career hitter against the Yankees, tallying 25 RBIs in 58 games.