|Seattle Mariners Look To Pull Into Wild Card Tie with Yankees|
|Tuesday, 04 September 2007 07:30|
In a crucial series against the team they're chasing in the wild-card race, the Seattle Mariners picked a good time to finally break out of their longest losing streak of the season.
The Mariners look to pull even with the New York Yankees in the wild-card standings when their three-game series at Yankee Stadium continues on Tuesday night.
Seattle (74-62) had a three-game wild-card lead on Aug. 24, but that quickly disappeared as it went on to lose a season-high nine straight games.
The Mariners finally snapped out of the skid with a 7-1 victory over the Yankees in Monday's series opener to move within one game of the wild-card leaders.
Seattle has had three previous lengthy losing skids this season, but has gone on a big run after ending each of them. The Mariners lost seven straight from July 21-26, but then won eight of 11, they dropped six straight June 13-19, but won 10 of 11 and they also lost six in a row April 17-22, but won seven of eight.
Seattle would gladly welcome a turnaround like that now.
"Hopefully, we'll start that streak we've been talking about the other way," Mariners manager John McLaren told the team's official Web site.
Oddsmakers from Bodog.com have made New York -255 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 10.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 72% of bets for this game have been placed on New York -255 (View MLB Bet Percentages).
New York (76-62) has lost three of four after sweeping a three-game series over Boston. The Yankees finished with just six hits Monday, and have scored only four runs in their last three losses.
Ichiro Suzuki homered in the third inning to reach 200 hits for the seventh consecutive season, tying the AL mark held by Wade Boggs (1983-89).
Suzuki is batting .414 (24-for-58) with eight runs scored in his last 13 games, but is just 3-for-17 (.176) lifetime against Tuesday's starter Chien-Ming Wang (16-6, 3.79 ERA), who has been instrumental to New York's playoff push.
Wang is 9-2 with a 3.70 ERA in his last 12 starts. He was working on a no-hitter in his last start, and he came close to a perfect game in his only outing of the season against the Mariners.
On Thursday, Wang pitched six innings of no-hit ball against Boston before allowing a hit. In all, the right-hander gave up one hit and four walks in seven innings of a 5-0 victory to win his third straight start. The right-hander has a 1.71 ERA during his winning streak.
"The last two times, I have a lot of change of speeds," Wang told the team's official Web site. "More sliders, more changeups. (Catcher Jorge) Posada calls good pitches."
In his only start against the Mariners this season on May 5, Wang retired the first 22 batters before allowing a home run to Ben Broussard in the eighth inning. He completed eight innings, allowing the one run and two hits in an 8-1 victory.
Wang has won each of his five career starts over Seattle, posting a 2.78 ERA in those games. He has yielded six runs in 22 1-3 innings in winning his three home starts over the Mariners.
He is also 7-1 with a 2.17 ERA in his last nine starts at Yankee Stadium.
Derek Jeter singled and scored New York's only run on Monday, and is batting .400 (12-for-30) in eight games against the Mariners this season.
Seattle has won five of eight over the Yankees this year, and has won five of its last seven in New York.
Horacio Ramirez (8-4, 6.55) will oppose Wang when he takes the ball for the Mariners. Ramirez allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-5 loss to Cleveland on Thursday, but was not a factor in the decision.
In his only start against the Yankees this season, he allowed one run and five hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 2-1 win on May 13. The left-hander also won his lone start at Yankee Stadium, yielding an unearned run and seven hits in eight innings of a 5-2 win for Atlanta on June 27 of last season.
Ramirez has not had much success on the road this year, though, going 2-3 with a 9.20 ERA in nine starts away from Safeco Field.
by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us
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