BY SPNW Staff 07:08AM 05/11/2012

#34: Mariners Launch Trip With Felix Facing NYY

The Mariners open a three-game series at Yankee Stadium Friday, Felix Hernandez going for Seattle. / Wiki Commons

GAME: Mariners (15-18, 3rd AL West, – 6.5 GB) at Yankees (17-14, 4th AL East, – 2.5 GB). GAME #: 34. SERIES: 1st of 3 games. MEETING (2012): 1st. WHEN: Friday, 4:05 p.m., Yankee Stadium, Bronx. PROBABLE PITCHERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (Seattle, 3-1, 1.89) vs. RHP Hiroki Kuroda (New York, 2-4, 3.75). STREAKS: Mariners W 1; Yankees L 1. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.

The Mariners have not had much success in New York in recent seasons, failing to win a series there since 2002. But Felix Hernandez (3-1, 1.89), who goes for Seattle Friday in the first game of a three-game series, is 3-0, 0.38 in the new Yankee Stadium.

Hernandez, coming off a 7-0 win over the Minnesota Twins, will oppose Hiroki Kuroda, whom the Mariners haven’t seen since 2009, when he pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Hernandez vs. Kuroda matchup marks the first game of a 10-day, 10-game road trip that will take the Mariners through New York, Boston, Cleveland and Colorado. A closer look at Friday’s probables:

MARINERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (3-1, 1.89 ERA, 0.94 WHIP)

Felix Hernandez

The 25-year-old Hernandez, in his eighth major league season, all with the Mariners, will be making his seventh start and first against the Yankees.

A native of Valencia, VZ., the 6-3, 230-pound Hernandez was signed as a non-drafted free agent July 4, 2002 by Seattle scout Bob Engle.

He made his major league debut Aug. 4, 2005, absorbing a 3-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers, in a game in which Hernandez allowed one earned run and fanned four. Hernandez is a two-time American League All-Star (2009, 2011) and won the AL Cy Young award in 2010, when he went 13-12 with a 2.27 ERA.

Hernandez has a career mark of 87-68, 3.21 ERA, and a career batting average against of .238.

  • LAST START: May 5 at Safeco Field, a 7-0 win over the Minnesota Twins; allowed just one hit over 8.0 innings, struck out nine and walked two; threw 107 pitches, 71 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. YANKEES: Sept. 12,  allowed six earned runs on nine hits over 6.0 innings and suffered 9-3 loss, falling to 14-12; struck out four and gave up two home runs (Chris Dickerson, Mark Teixeira).
  • CAREER VS. YANKEES: 6-4, 3.29 in 11 starts, covering 79.1 innings; fans 8.3 batters per nine IP; 80 strikeouts to 24 walks; eight home runs.
  • AT YANKEE STADIUM II: 3-0, 0.38 ERA in three games, all starts, covering 17.0 innings; averaged 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings; no home runs.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Eric Chavez (3-for-25, .120 BA, 7 K’s), Alex Rodriguez (3-for-18, .167, 5 K’s), Nick Swisher (10-for-42, .238 BA).
  • HATES TO FACE: Jayson Nix (5-for-10, .500 BA), Robinson Cano (11-for-31, .355 BA), Derek Jeter (9-for-32, .281 BA).
  • CURRENT YANKEES VS. HERNANDEZ: 80-for-311, .257 BA, 12 HRs, 80 K’s.

Felix in 2012

  • March 28 (ND, 0-0): Pitched well enough to win season debut, but the Mariners and A’s battled through a 1-1 tie until the 11th when Seattle pushed across two runs to win 3-1, a Tokyo Dome contest that featured a home run and two RBIs by Dustin Ackley and a 4-for-5 performance by Ichiro.
  • April 7: (W, 1-0): Didn’t have best stuff — allowed six earned runs on eight hits over 6.1 IP — but 13 hits, 3 by Chone Figgins, staked him to a 6-0 lead.
  • April 13 (L, 1-1): Allowed two earned runs on seven hits over 7 IP, but lost to Bartolo Colon and the A’s 4-0; fanned six and walked two in a 107-pitch effort that included 69 strikes; had an equal number of ground ball and fly ball outs, 10.
  • April 19 (ND, 1-1): Gave up five hits and no runs in 8.0 innings vs. Cleveland at Safeco Field; had 12 strikeouts and one walk; Brandon League relieved and sustained a blown save and the 2-1 loss.
  • April 25 (W, 2-1): Defeated Detroit 9-1 at Comerica Park; allowed one earned run on four hits over 7.0 innings; uncharacteristic three walks in the first inning.
  • April 30 (ND, 2-1) Took a no-decision in Seattle’s 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay when Brandon League blew the save and game; allowed one earned run on five hits over 8.0 innings; fanned nine and walked four; threw 106 pitches, 71 for strikes.
  • May 5  (W, 3-1): Beat Twins 7-0; allowed one hit over 8.0 innings, struck out nine and walked two; threw 107 pitches, 71 for strikes.

YANKEES: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (2-4, 3.75 ERA, 1.39 WHIP)

Hiroki Kuroda

The 37-year-old Kuroda, in his fifth major league season and first with the Yankees, will be making his seventh start and first against the Mariners.

A native of Osaka, Japan, the 6-1, 205-pound Kuroda signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2007.

Prior to joining the Dodgers, Kuroda pitched for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp from 1997-07. He pitched for Japan in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens and in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.

He made his major league debut April 4, 2008, collecting his first victory in a 7-1 win over the San Diego Padres. Kuroda allowed one run on three hits over seven innings.
Kuroda pitched for the Dodgers from 2008-11, going 41-46 with a 3.45 ERA. He won nine games in 2008, eight in 2009, 11 in 2010 and 13 last year, when he also lost 16 games.

The most impressive outing of his MLB career was July 7, 2008, when he pitched seven perfect innings against the Atlanta Braves before Mark Teixeira doubled to lead off the eighth inning. Kuroda finished with a complete-game one-hitter.

The Dodgers granted Kuroda free agency Oct. 30, 2011, and he signed as a free agent with the Yankees Jan. 26, 2012.

  • 2012: Kuroda has won two of his six starts and has failed to get into the sixth inning in three of them. His best outing was April 3, when he did not allow a run on five hits over 8.0 innings in a 5-0 Yankees win over the Los Angeles Angels. He had two poor outings, allowing six earned runs April 7 at Tampa Bay and six more April 18 vs. Minnesota.
  • LAST START: Lost to Kansas City 5-1 after working just 4.1 innings; allowed two earned runs on six hits, throwing 91 pitches, 54 for strikes; struck out two and walked three.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: June 28, 2009, lost 4-2 at Dodger Stadium in a game won by Garrett Olson and saved by David Aardsma; allowed four runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings, striking out five without a walk.
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: 0-1, 5.68 ERA in one start (see above).
  • AT YANKEE STADIUM: 2-1, 3.26 in three starts, covering 19.1 innings; has 13 strikeouts vs. three walks and has allowed two home runs.
  • LOVES/HATES TO FACE: Kuroda has pitched to four hitters currently in the Mariners’ organization; two, Franklin Gutierrez and Miguel Olivo, are on the disabled list. Ichiro is 1-for-3 (.333) against Kuroda and Brendan Ryan 0-for-3.
  • CURRENT MARINERS VS. KURODA: 7-for-21, .333 BA, 0 HRs.

AL WEST STANDINGS

Team W L Pct. GB Home Road Last 10 Streak
Rangers 21 11 .656 8-5 13-6 5-5 Won 1
Athletics 16 16 .500 5.0 7-9 9-7 5-5 Lost 2
Mariners 15 18 .455 6.5 7-8 8-10 4-6 Won 1
Angels 14 18 .438 7.0 9-8 5-10 7-3 Won 1

MARINERS / STATS NOTES

  • CURRENT ROAD TRIP: Three vs. New York (Friday-Sunday), two in Boston (Tuesday-Wednesday), two in Cleveland (May 16-17), three in Colorado (May 18-20).
  • MARINERS VS. YANKEES: Mariners are 165-208 all-time vs. the Yankees, including 5-7 at new Yankee Stadium. Yankees won the 2011 series 5-4. Mariners have not won a season series from New York since 2002 (5-4). Mariners have not swept a three-game series in New York since May 3-5, 2002. New York’s last sweep of the Mariners in Yankee Stadium occurred May 23-25, 2008.
  • LATEST: Dustin Ackley, given the day off Wednesday, will take a six-game hitting streak into New York . . . Over his past 14 games, Kyle Seager is hitting .347 (17-for-49) . . . Jesus Montero is batting .386 when he catches (17×44) and .191 (13×68) when he DHs . . . Since being dropped to the No. 6-7 slots in the batting order, Justin Smoak has gone 3-for-27 and is hitting .173 . . . John Jaso, who drove in the winning run vs. Detroit Wednesday, has three game-winning RBIs . . . When Jaso batted leadoff Wednesday, it marked the first time since 1978 that a catcher led off a game for the Mariners (Bob Stinson) . . . When the Mariners beat the Tigers 2-1 Wednesday, it marked the club’s first victory of the season when scoring two or fewer runs. Mariners had been 0-10 scoring two or fewer
  • SERIES/STREAKS: Series Record: Won 5, split 0, lost 5; Sweeps: 1; Swept: 1. Longest Win Streak: 4 (April 24-27). Longest Losing Streak: 7 (April 28-May 4). Vs. AL East: 1-6; Vs. AL Central: 8-7; Vs. AL West: 6-5.
  • BATTING: Mariners rank ninth (AL) in runs (125), eighth in hits (260), third in doubles (58), eighth in triples (5) and ninth in home runs (27) . . . Rank 13th in batting average (.234), 14th in on-base percentage (.289), 12th in slugging (.368) and 13th in OPS (.658) . . . batting 65-for-270 (.241) with runners in scoring position after going 2-for-4 Wednesday . . . out-homered 35-27 . . . left 202 men on base, opponents 202. . .scored 125 runs, opponents 129 . . . scored 71 of 125 runs in the first four innings . . . Mariners 12-5 when scoring 4+ runs . . . Mariners have homered in 10 of last 16 games . . . batted around three times: April 7 at Oakland (4th inning), April 9 at Texas (1st), and April 17 vs. Cleveland (4th) . . .shut out four times (April 10 at Texas, April 13 vs Oakland, April 21 vs. Chicago, April 27 at Toronto).
  • BATTING EXTRA: Jesus Montero and Miguel Olivo share Seattle’s longest hitting streak: 8 games, Montero March 29-April 14, Olivo April 22 until he went on DL list May 1 . . . Mariners have recorded four bases-loaded walks (Kawasaki, Ryan, Montero, Smoak) . . . Kyle Seager’s single in the fourth inning April 17 marked the 50,000th hit in Mariners’ history, and Brendan Ryan’s walk in the same frame scored Justin Smoak with the 25,000th run in franchise history . . . Montero’s 13 RBIs in April were the most by a Mariners’ rookie since 1986 . . . Three Mariners, Ichiro (March 28 vs. Oakland), Justin Smoak (April 17 vs. Cleveland) and Jesus Montero (May 1 at Tampa) have four-hit games . . . Walk-Off Wins: May 7, their first since Sept. 14, 2011 vs. New York, and their first via a sacrifice fly since Sept. 14, 2007 vs. Tampa Bay (Jose Guillen).
  • PITCHING: Mariners rank sixth in ERA (3.77), sixth in hits allowed (256), ninth in runs allowed (129), ninth in home runs allowed (35), seventh in walks (92), sixth in strikeouts (231) . . . In his past four outings, Felix Hernandez has allowed 15 hits and two earned runs, dropping his ERA to 1.89. Against the Twins Saturday, Hernandez set them down 1-2-3 in seven of eight innings . . . Hernandez has 17 career no-decisions while throwing 7.0 or more innings and allowing one or fewer runs . . . Closer Brandon League has two blown saves after not blowing his first save of 2011 until May 10.
  • ICHIRO (1-for-3 Wednesday) has 763 multi-hit games, which ranks fourth among active players, and No. 1 since his debut in 2001. Ichiro’s 47 games with four or more hits leads all active players . . . Three-hit game April 30 marked the 226th of his major league career . . . Ranks No. 100 on career hits list (2,467) and needs one hit to tie Frank Thomas . . . Since 2001, has recorded 99 outfield assists. Only Jeff Francouer, with 100, has more . . . With 96 career home runs, needs four to become the 12th Mariner with 100. Breakdown: 94 as a leadoff hitter, one batting second, one batting third.
  • ODDS/ENDS: The Mariners will play 20 games in the next 20 days. Their next day off is June 7 . . . Mariners have three more bobblehead nights: May 25 (Dustin Ackley), June 15 (Felix Hernandez), July 28 (Dan Wilson and Randy Johnson).
  • DEBUTS: Munenori Kawasaki (April 7), Lucas Luetge (April 7), Erasmo Ramirez (April 9), Hisashi Iwakuma (April 20).
  • DISABLED LIST: Miguel Olivo (15-day, May 1, strained right groin), George Sherrill (15-day, April 13, strained flexor bundle), Franklin Gutierrez (15-day, March 28, torn pectoral muscle; plantar fascitis), Adam Moore (15-day, March 28, fractured wrist).

2012 RECORDS / MILESTONES

  • April 24: Catcher Miguel Olivo matched the franchise record  when he was charged with three passed balls in a 7-4 win at Detroit. Jerry Narron let three balls get by him Oct. 4, 1980, and Jeff Clement did likewise Aug. 10, 2008 (Clement was catching knuckleballer R.A. Dickey).
  • April 27: Michael Saunders joined Donnie Scott (April 29, 1985) and Jimmy Presley (April 8, 1986) as the only Mariners to hit two home runs in a game in the ninth inning or later (solo homer in the 9th, grand slam in the 10th).
  • April 30: When both Miguel Olivo and Jesus Montero homered, it marked the first time in franchise history that two players had homered in the same game as a catcher.
  • May 2: Ichiro set a club record for most putouts by a right fielder in a nine-inning game, registering 10 in a 5-4 loss at Tampa.
  • May 3: The Mariners featured a lineup at Tampa Bay that included seven left- handed hitters and two switch-hitters. It marked only the third time in club history that the Mariners used an all left-sided lineup. Others: Aug. 13, 1983 at California and Aug. 9, 1983 at Oakland.
  • May 5: Combined one-hitter by Felix Hernandez and Steve Delabar vs. Minnesota was the 13th in Mariners history. Ten have been thrown by one pitcher, three combined. Most recent combined: Michael Pineda, Jeff Gray and Brandon League vs. Tampa, July 30, 2011. Most recent by one pitcher: Jarrod Washburn, July 6, 2009.
  • May 9: When John Jaso batted leadoff against Detroit, it marked the first time since 1978 that a catcher had hit first for the Marines (Bob Stinson).

MARINERS WON-LOSS BREAKDOWN

Rec. Home Road Day Night vs. RHP vs. LHP Hit HR No HR
15-18 7-8 8-10 2-6 12-13 11-16 4-3 11-7 4-11

MARINERS BATTING PROFILE

Avg. Home Road R HR OBP SLG OPS RISP
.234 .205 .256 125 27 .289 .368 .658 .241

MARINERS PITCHING PROFILE

Rec. ERA IP R ER HR BA OBP SLG
15-18 3.77 293.1 129 122 35 .234 .298 .382

PROBABLE PITCHERS

Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
5/11 Fri at NYY Felix Hernandez (3-1, 1.89) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (2-4, 3.75)
5/12 Sat at NYY Hector Noesi (2-3, 6.30) vs. Phil Hughes (2-4, 6.67)

MARINERS 2012 SCHEDULE/RESULTS

March

Gm.# Date Opp. W/L Rec. Win / Loss
1 3/28 at Oak W, 3-1 1-0 W: Wilhelmsen (1-0); L: Carignan (0-1)
2 3/29 at Oak L, 4-1 1-1 W: Colon (1-0); L: Kelley (0-1)

April

Gm. # Date Opp. W/L Rec. Win / Loss
3 4/6 at Oak W, 7-3 2-1 W: Vargas (1-0); L: McCarthy (0-1)
4 4/7 at Oak W, 8-7 3-1 W: Hernandez (1-0); L: Colon (1-1)
5 4/9 at Tex L, 11-5 3-2 W: Darvish (1-0); L: Noesi (0-1)
6 4/10 at Tex L, 1-0 3-3 W: Feliz (1-0); L: Beavan (0-1)
7 4/11 at Tex W, 4-3 4-3 W: Luetge (1-0); L: Nathan (0-2)
8 4/12 at Tex L, 5-3 4-4 W: Holland (1-0); L: Vargas (1-1
9 4/13 vs Oak L, 4-0 4-5 W: Colon (2-1); L: Hernandez (1-1)
10 4/14 vs. Oak W, 4-0 5-5 W: Noesi (1-1); L: Milone (1-1)
11 4/15 vs. Oak W, 5-3 6-5 W: Beavan (1-1); L: Godfrey (0-2)
12 4/17 vs. Cle L, 9-8 6-6 W: Perez (0-1); L: Furbush (0-1)
13 4/18 vs. Cle W, 4-1 7-6 W: Vargas (2-1); L: Lowe (2-1)
14 4/19 vs. Cle L, 2-1 7-7 W: Tomlin (1-1); L: League (0-1)
15 4/20 vs. CWS L, 7-3 7-8 W: Sale (2-1); L: Noesi (1-2)
16 4/21 vs. CWS L, 4-0 7-9 W: Humber (1-0); Beavan (1-2)
17 4/22 vs. CWS L, 7-4 7-10 W: Danks (2-2); L: Millwood (0-1)
18 4/24 at Det W, 7-4 8-10 W: Vargas (3-1); L: Scherzer (1-2)
19 4/25 at Det W, 9-1 9-10 W: Fernandez (2-1); L: Wilk (0-3)
20 4/26 at Det W, 5-4 10-10 W: Furbush (1-1); L: Porcello (1-2)
21 4/27 at Tor W, 9-5 11-10 W: Furbush (2-1); L: Perez (2-1)
22 4/28 at Tor L, 7-0 11-11 W: Morrow (2-1); L: Millwood (0-2)
23 4/29 at Tor L, 7-2 11-12 W: Alvarez (1-2); L: Vargas (3-2)
24 4/30 at TB L, 3-2 11-13 W: Howell (1-0); L: League (0-2)

May

Gm. # Date Opp. W/L Rec. Win / Loss
25 5/1 at TB L, 3-1 11-14 W: Moore (1-1); L: Noesi (1-3)
26 5/2 at TB L, 5-4 11-15 W: Shields (5-0); L: Beavan (1-3)
27 5/3 at TB L, 4-3 11-16 W: Niemann (2-3); L: Millwood (0-3)
28 5/4 vs. Min L, 3-2 11-17 W: Pavano (2-2); L: Wilhelmsen (1-1)
29 5/5 vs. Min W, 7-0 12-17 W: Hernandez (3-1); L: Marquis (2-1)
30 5/6 vs. Min W, 5-2 13-17 W: Noesi (2-3): L: Blackburn (0-4)
31 5/7 vs. Det W, 3-2 14-17 W: Delabar (1-0); L: Dotel (1-1)
32 5/8 vs. Det L, 6-4 14-18 W: Verlander (3-1); L: Millwood (0-4)
33 5/9 vs. Det W, 2-1 16-18 W: Vargas (4-2); L: Putkoen (0-1)
34 5/11 at NYY
35 5/12 at NYY
36 5/13 at NYY
37 5/14 at Bos
38 5/15 at Bos
39 5/16 at Cle
40 5/17 at Cle
41 5/18 at Col
42 5/19 at Col
43 5/20 at Col
44 5/21 vs. Tex
45 5/22 vs. Tex
46 5/23 vs. Tex
47 5/24 vs. LAL
48 5/25 vs. LAL
49 5/26 vs. LAL
50 5/27 vs. LAL
51 5/28 at Tex
52 5/29 at Tex
53 5/30 at Tex

YourThoughts

  • Nev Rama57

    Mariners have won a series against the Yankees in 2010 when both Felix and Lee pitched complete games