Usually, West Cost trips are favorable to the Yankees, but not this weekend against the upstart Seattle Mariners.
After exploding for seven runs Saturday night against right-hander Miguel Batista, New York looked to win back-to-back series for the first time this year by roughing up lefty Horacio Ramirez who entered the game with a 7.62 ERA.
Unfortunately, Ramirez continued his success at Safeco Field by pitching lights out against the powerful Yankees lineup. The 27-year old surrendered five hits and one run over 6.1 innings to secure his third victory of the season.
Fellow south paw Andy Pettitte came up the hard luck loser as he pitched 7.1 innings and only permitted two runners to score. In the two loses for New York over the weekend they combined to score one run and provide their pitchers with zero run support.
Friday night the Yankees had trouble with left-hander Jarrod Washburn who pitched eight scoreless innings to lower his ERA to an impressive 2.64 ERA.
One glaring weakness for the Bronx Bombers in their series against the M's was their lack of success against left-handers. While the best teams in the AL, the Red Sox, Tigers, Indians and Angels have predominantly right-handed starting rotations, New York's weakness was exposed this weekend against two quality lefties.
Bobby Abreu and Robinson Cano, two integral parts of the offense, continue to struggle at the plate. Abreu, who is a career .301 hitter, is currently batting a dismal. 236, while Cano has his average at .237. If the Yankees are to win the division this season they will need both players to break out of their slumps quickly. Especially with the Yankees traveling to face the White Sox and cross town rival Mets in the next week.
As for Seattle, they continue to over achieve as they are now 1-game over .500 at 17-16. Predicted by many to finish dead last in the AL West manager Mike Hargrove has his guys playing exceptionally well through the first six weeks of the season. The longer the Mariners can continue playing well, the less likely it is for Hargrove to be fired. Still, if the M's start out struggling after the All-Star break, it wouldn't be surprising to see a change in the dugout.