Game 63, Yankees at Mariners
Joe Saunders vs. Andy Pettitte, 1:10pm
First it was Blake Beavan who absolutely dominated the Yankees on Thursday. Last night, it was Jeremy Bonderman’s turn, in what would’ve been the most unlikely pitching line of the year had Aaron Harang not thrown a complete game shutout recently. At home, this is…and I hesitate to say it…a decent match-up for the M’s.
As I mentioned when the M’s faced him in the Bronx, this late-career version of Pettitte seems to have larger platoon splits thanks to his outpitch, a slider-like cutter. It’s an effective pitch to both righties and lefties, but he tends to go to it against righties only when he’s ahead (he’ll throw it in any count to lefties). That means he’ll use his fastball (four- and two-seam varieties) to righties early or when he’s behind, and that pitch hasn’t fared as well. They’re slugging well over .500 this year on both fastball types, and he’s not getting them to swing and miss.
Having Morse back in the line-up helps, but it’s countered by the team’s lack of OF depth (sigh, Franklin Gutierrez) and turning Nick Franklin around to his weaker right-side. We’ll see.
1: Bay, RF
2: Seager, 3B
3: Morales, 1B
4: Morse, DH
5: Ibanez, LF
6: Franklin, 2B
7: Saunders, CF
8: Ryan, SS
9: Bantz, C
SP: Joe Saunders
I used to think absolutely nothing would get Brendan Ryan out of the #9 spot in the line-up. If he wouldn’t move up for Robert Andino or Jesus Sucre, then he was basically #9 in perpetuity, right? Today we get the answer to that question: Brandon Bantz can push Ryan up to #8. It’s Bantz’s major league debut, and this ensures he won’t Yepez his way into being on a MLB roster without ever cracking a major league game. Congratulations to him.
Speaking of depth and injury woes, the M’s put Jesus Sucre on the 15 DL with his finger injury and brought back Carlos Triunfel.