BY SPNW Staff 06:40AM 06/08/2013

#63: Saunders Out To Extend Safeco Dominance

The Mariners snapped a two-game losing streak Friday with a 4-1 win over New York. Joe Saunders will pitch for Seattle Saturday against lefty Andy Pettitte.

The Mariners will take a look at 41-year-old Andy Pettitte Saturday. / Wiki Commons

GAME: Yankees (35-26, 2nd, AL East, -2.0 GB) at Mariners (27-35, 3rd, AL West, -10.5 GB). GAME #: 63. SERIES: 3rd of 4 games. MEETING: 6th (Mariners lead 3-2). WHEN: Saturday, 1:10 p.m., Safeco Field. STREAKS: Mariners W 1; Yankees L 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network

Yankees left hander Andy Pettitte doesn’t quite have Hall of Fame numbers — 249 wins, 3.86 ERA, 1.35 WHIP in 18 major league seasons, but he has an impressive .632 winning percentage and three All-Star appearances to his credit. Pettitte also won the 2001 ALCS Most Valuable Player award when he, more than anyone, denied the 116-win Mariners their one big chance of reaching the World Series.

Oddly, for all of his accomplishments, the 41-year-old is a career loser against Seattle with an 11-13 record and 4.37 ERA in 25 career starts. To reach career win No. 250 and approach the .500 mark against Seattle, Pettitte needs to beat Joe Saunders Saturday, a tough assignment. Saunders is 4-1, 2.25 ERA in six Safeco Field starts this season and 10-1, 2.18 for his career.

Pettitte, who lost to the Mariners May 16 at Yankee Stadium, faces a Seattle team that had a bit of a confidence boost Friday by beating New York 4-1, snapping a two-game losing streak. All of Seattle’s offense came in one stretch of the fourth inning when six straight batters reached base, capped by clutch hits from Brendan Ryan and Jason Bay.

The Mariners entered the game hitting .221 with runners in scoring position, but capitalized on the few chances they had against Hiroki Kuroda. Jeremy Bonderman did the rest, throwing six sharp innings and winning for the first time in three years.

Speaking of chances, the Yankees have scored in just two of the 18 innings to open this four-game series. New York scored all six of its runs Thursday in the third inning, then was blanked after the first Friday. Saunders could use some of that Saturday. A closer look:


MARINERS: LHP Joe Saunders (4-5, 5.20 ERA, 1.47 WHIP)

The 31-year-old Saunders, a Fairfax, VA., native in his ninth major league season and first with Seattle, makes his 13th start and first against the Yankees. Saunders has a win and a loss in his past two starts, but has allowed just two earned runs with 10 strikeouts in those outings. Saunders has pitched into the seventh inning in six of his 12 starts and brings a 10-1, 2.18 career record at Safeco Field into the game.

  • LAST START: June 3 vs. White Sox, won 4-2; 1 earned run on 5 hits in 6.1 innings; 5 strikeouts, 1 walk, 0 home runs, 102 pitches, 61 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. YANKEES: Sept. 8, 2012, pitching for Baltimore, won 5-4; 2 earned runs on 5 hits in 5.1 innings; 2 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 101 pitches, 65 for strikes.
  • CAREER VS. YANKEES: 3-1, 5.82 ERA in 6 starts covering 34.0 innings; 21 strikeouts, 12 walks, 6 home runs, 1.52 WHIP.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: 10-1, 2.18 ERA in 15 starts covering 95.0 innings; 50 strikeouts, 37 walks, 7 home runs; 1.11 WHIP.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Vernon Wells (3-for-21, .143), Mark Teixeira (4-got-18, .167), Lyle Overbay (3-for-16, .188), Robinson Cano (3-for-14, .214).
  • HATES TO FACE: Ichiro (14-for-41, .341), Jason Nix (3-for-10, .300).
  • CURRENT YANKEES VS. SAUNDERS: 54-for-202, .267 BA, 34 strikeouts, 17 walks, 9 home runs, .326 on-base percentage.

YANKEES: LHP Andy Pettitte (4-3, 4.17 ERA, 1.37 WHIP)

The 41-year-old Pettitte, in his 18th major league season and 15th with the Yankees, will make his 10th start and second against the Mariners. Pettitte, who lost to the Mariners 3-2 May 16 in New York, didn’t pitch again until June 3 after facing Seattle due to a stint on the disabled list (strained muscle in throwing shoulder). Pettitte has worked into the seventh inning four times. He had a 10-strikeout game against Tampa Bay April 24.

  • LAST START: June 3 vs. Cleveland, took a no-decision in New York’s 7-4 win; 4 earned runs on 7 hits in 4.2 innings; 3 strikeouts, 3 walks, 0 home runs, 83 pitches, 50 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: May 16 at New York, lost 3-2; 2 earned runs on 4 hits in 4.2 innings; 5 strikeouts, 3 walks, 0 home runs, 79 pitches, 48 for strikes.
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: 11-13, 4.37 ERA in 25 starts covering 164.2 innings; 126 strikeouts, 57 walks, 17 home runs; 1.40 WHIP.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: 2-5, 3.63 ERA in 8 starts covering 52.0 innings; 45 strikeouts, 21 walks, 2 home runs, 1.42 WHIP.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Kyle Seager (0-for-3, .000), Michael Saunders (2-for-11, .182), Raul Ibanez (6-for-26, .231).
  • HATES TO FACE: Jason Bay (14-for-38, .368), Kendrys Morales (4-for-12, .333), Kelly Shoppach (2-for-7, .286).
  • CURRENT MARINERS VS. PETTITTE: 45-for-138, .326 BA, 37 strikeouts, 14 walks, 5 home runs, .392 on-base percentage.


  • CURRENT HOME STAND: Three vs. the White Sox (Monday-Wednesday), four vs. the Yankees (Thursday-Sunday), three vs. the Astros (Monday-Wednesday). The Mariners are amid 20 games in 20 days with their next day off Thursday.
  • Jeremy Bonderman’s victory Friday was his first since Sept. 8, 2010, when he pitched for Detroit. Bonderman retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced.
  • For the season, the Mariners have hit 45 solo home runs, 19 2-run homers, 4 three-run homers and three grand slams.
  • Kyle Seager extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the seventh inning. He is hitting .356 during the streak.
  • Nick Franklin, who went 2-for-3, is hitting .316 over the home stand.
  • Tom Wilhelmsen’s save Friday was his 15th in 18 chances.
  • The Mariners have recorded 24 three-hit games this season, including seven by Kendrys Morales, but no player has a four-hit game.
  • Kendrys Morales is second in the American League with eight game-winning RBIs. But he had his eight-game hitting streak snapped.
  • The Mariners’ three grand slams this season (Ibanez, Seager, Ackley), give the club as many or more slams as in each of the past five seasons. The last time the Mariners hit more than three slams in a year was 2007 (6).


Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
6/8 Sat vs. NYY LHP Joe Saunders (4-5) vs. LHP Andy Pettitte (4-3)
6/9 Sun vs. NYY RHP Felix Hernandez (7-4) vs. RHP David Phelps (3-3)
6/10 Mon vs. Hou RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (6-1) vs. LHP Dallas Keuchel (2-2)
6/11 Tue vs. Hou RHP Aaron Harang (2-6) vs. RHP Bud Norris (5-4)
6/12 Wed vs. Hou RHP Jeremy Bonderman (1-1) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (3-1)



  • maqman

    Any grief they can inflict on the Yankees will be greatly appreciated. I’ve actively disliked them since the first big league game I went to in 1954 when they beat the Philadelphia A’s
    at Connie Mack Stadium in Philly. Connie was still managing them in a business suit then. Mantle and Moose Skowron both hit dingers.