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Seattle Mariners Redux

The Mariners have the worst record in the American League and the second-worst record in all of baseball. When they last visited the Bronx at the beginning of the month, the fell victim to the Yankees’ only three-game series sweep of the season (and the Bombers’ last series win prior to their just-completed defeat of the Orioles). Since then, the M’s have gone 5-11, with two of those wins coming against the Padres, the only team in baseball with a worse record than Seattle’s. The Mariners’ offense has been every bit as impotent as the Yankees’ this season, and their pitching has posted the second-worst ERA+ in the AL.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, in this weekend’s series they won’t see any of the three pitchers most responsible for Seattle’s pitching woes. Starters Miguel Bautista (6.47 ERA) and Jarrod Washburn (6.99) pitched the last two days, and long-reliever Cha Seung Baek (5.40 in 30 IP) was just designated for assignment in favor of knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Instead, the Yanks draw the M’s two aces, Erik Bedard and Felix Hernandez, tonight and tomorrow. At least they’ll have Carlos Silva to kick around on Sunday. And, hey, they beat Bedard and King Felix in early May.

Andy Pettitte takes the hill against Bedard tonight. It took a strong Chien-Ming Wang outing, a lock-down bullpen, and four Mariner errors to beat Bedard last time he faced the Yanks. Pettitte is coming off a bounce-back quality start in which he struck out a season-high seven men in six innings. Tomorrow, Mike Mussina comes off his 41-pitch disaster outing against the O’s to start on short rest with Joba Chamberlain’s second transitional outing backing him up. Sunday, Wang takes the ball after being pushed back a day by a mild right calf strain.

Tonight, Joe Girardi will serve a one-game suspension for his ninth-inning tirade last night, leaving bench coach Robby Thompson in charge. Thompson lost the two games he managed during Girardi’s early-April suspension for the team’s spring training shenanigans. The lineup penned by Girardi has Derek Jeter leading off with Johnny Damon getting a day off, Shelley Duncan playing first, and Jason Giambi and Hideki Matsui rotating to DH and left field, respectively. Chad Moeller is behind the plate for the third time in six games.

Seattle Mariners

2008 Record: 18-30 (.375)
2008 Pythagorean Record: 19.5-28.5 (.406)

Manager: John McLaren
General Manager: Bill Bavasi

Home Ballpark (multi-year Park Factors): Safeco Park (96/96)

Who’s Replacing Whom:

Jeremy Reed (minors) replaced Jeff Clement (minors)
R.A. Dickey (minors) replaced Cha Seung Baek

25-man Roster:

1B – Richie Sexson (R)
2B – Jose Lopez (R)
SS – Yuniesky Betancourt (R)
3B – Adrian Beltre (R)
C – Kenji Johjima (R)
RF – Wladimir Balentien (R)
CF – Ichiro Suzuki (L)
LF – Raul Ibañez (L)
DH – Jose Vidro (S)


R – Willie Bloomquist (UT)
R – Miguel Cairo (IF)
L – Jeremy Reed (OF)
R – Jamie Burke (C)


L – Erik Bedard
R – Felix Hernandez
R – Carlos Silva
L – Jarrod Washburn
R – Miguel Batista


R – J.J. Putz
L – Ryan Rowland-Smith
R – Mark Lowe
R – Sean Green
L – Arthur Rhodes
R – Brandon Morrow
R – R.A. Dickey

15-day DL: R – Mike Morse (UT), R – Anderson Garcia

Typical Lineup:

L – Ichiro Suzuki (CF)
R – Adrian Beltre (3B)
R – Jose Lopez (2B)
L – Raul Ibañez (LF)
S – Jose Vidro (DH)
R – Richie Sexson (1B)
R – Kenji Johjima (C)
R – Wladimir Balentien (RF)
R – Yuniesky Betancourt (SS)

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver