CC Sabathia Stats To Watch
Sabathia has won his last seven starts against the Mariners, the most recent of which was seven innings of one-hit ball, with 14 strikeouts against them last July 26.
New York Yankees
The seven-start streak, while impressive, is only halfway to the record for the longest streak of winning starts against them. That’s held by former Oakland Athletics pitcher Dave Stewart, who won 14 straight from 1986 to 1990.
Sabathia’s seven-game winning streak (all with the Yankees) is one shy of the Yankees record for longest winning streak against the Mariners. Ron Guidry (1982 to 1985) and Mike Mussina (2001 to 2008) each won eight straight decisions.
Sabathia’s money pitch, his slider, has been a little more hittable since his return. It has netted 14 outs and yielded six hits, including home runs to Kurt Suzuki and Adrian Gonzalez in his past three starts.
When Sabathia is going well, that outs-to-hits ratio is usually in the 6-to-1 or better range.
Kevin Millwood Stats To Watch
Millwood is coming off a month in which he allowed three runs or fewer and pitched six innings or more in four of his five starts.
But he’s facing a team in which the matchups are not favorable. Six Yankees have regular-season batting average of .350 or better against him, headed by Andruw Jones’ .421 (8-for-19) and Ichiro Suzuki’s .395 (32-for-81).
If Joe Girardi wanted to play it “by the binder” he could start some combination of Suzuki, Jones, Raul Ibanez (.373 vs Millwood) and Nick Swisher (.357), and sit Curtis Granderson (.200).
By the way, Ichiro’s 32 hits against Millwood are his most in the regular season against any pitcher.
Don’t take them lightly
The Mariners have won seven straight games and actually have a positive run differential for the season, despite a 50-57 mark.
Seattle entered Thursday with the fourth-most runs scored on the road this season, and the second-fewest runs scored at home.
The Mariners have scored seven or more runs on the road 17 times this season, matching the Cardinals for the most such outputs in the majors.
Don’t be surprised if the Mariners start a couple of left-handed hitters against Sabathia.
Center fielder Michael Saunders is hitting .282 with four home runs against lefties this season, including .310 with a .521 slugging percentage against them on the road.
Welcome back (again), Jesus Montero
Montero’s numbers against left-handed pitching on the road are particularly amazing.
Montero is 26-for-50 with three home runs in road games against southpaws this season. He’s hitting .372 with a 1.012 OPS against lefties overall.
Montero’s sweet spot is against pitches on the outer-third of the plate. He’s 13-for-26 against lefties when an at-bat ends with a pitch to that location.
As noted in Katie Sharp's "Yankeemetrics," the Yankees enter this series with a home run in each of their last 20 home games. If the Yankees homer in each of the three games this weekend, they'll match the longest streak in club history, 23 games in 1963.
Katie also reports that Ichiro has exactly one hit in every game he's played in pinstripes. If he gets one hit again Friday, he'll match the longest streak of one-hit games by a Yankee in the Live Ball Era. That record is shared by Joe Gordon (1943), Yogi Berra (1953), Bobby Richardson (1962), Danny Cater (1971) and Steve Sax (1990).