Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Raul Ibanez LF
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C
RHP Hiroki Kuroda (2-4, 3.75)
Kuroda vs. Mariners
Dustin Ackley 2B
Brendan Ryan SS
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Jesus Montero C
Kyle Seager 3B
John Jaso DH
Justin Smoak 1B
Mike Carp LF
Michael Saunders CF
RHP Felix Hernandez (3-1, 1.89)
Hernandez vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., YES Network
WEATHER: It’s still 68 and sunny, but a little breezy. Temps shouldn’t fall below 60 tonight.
UMPIRES: HP Gary Darling (crew chief), 1B Chris Conroy, 2B Scott Barry, 3B Jerry Meals
NOT SO BAD TO BE THE KING: Run support was a problem for Felix Hernandez in 2011, but the Mariners provided better support through seven starts in 2012. Last year, Hernandez had the fourth-worst run support in baseball (4.62 runs/game). Only teammate Doug Fister — who was traded to the Tigers at the deadline — had worse support among AL pitchers.
NEW CHALLENGE FOR HIROKI: As you can see in the link above, Hiroki Kuroda has almost zero history against Seattle. In fact, only Ichiro and Brendan Ryan have faced Kuroda previously. Ichiro is 1 for 3 and Ryan is 0 for 3.
CA-NO LONGER SLUMPING?: As Chad wrote earlier, Robinson Cano appears to be heating up. He’s 8 for 16 with seven RBI and at least one extra-base hit in his last four games. He has also hit safely in his last eight, posting a .375 average over that stretch.
Update, 7:27 p.m.: Obviously, the Yankees plan to test Montero behind the plate. Even before Granderson stole the base, he had attempted to run before A-Rod fouled one back.
Cano, by the way, is now 9 for 17 with 8 RBI in his last four-plus games. His turnaround continues.
Update, 8:34 p.m.: Make that 10 for 18 for Cano.
Also, what’s the consensus on Thompson sending A-Rod in the fourth? From my vantage point, that ball was too shallow and Rodriguez had little chance. You understand the urge to play aggressively against Hernandez, but not with nobody out. Plus, the Yanks already had six hits.
Note: Jeter just drew his 1,006th walk and passed Willie Randolph on the club’s all-time list. He’s now a solo fifth.
Update, 8:43 p.m.: Jesus Montero just gave everyone something to talk about. That was his fifth, and it’s 2-1 Seattle.
Montero said before the game he missed Yankee Stadium. Now you know why.
Update, 9:36 p.m.: Ibanez will receive a lot of love after his three-run homer off Hernandez, but Cano continues to astound. The 4-for-4 game makes him 12 for his last 20 with eight RBI and has an extra-base hit in each of his last five games. He has batted .444 (16 for 36) during his current nine-game hitting streak.
Just like that, he’s batting .308.