Originally posted on Bronx Pinstripes  |  Last updated 7/23/12

A four game series in Oakland usually results in three or four wins for Yankee teams the past few season. However, this past weekend’s visit to the Bay City turned ugly as the Yanks were swept by the young and enthusiastic Athletics. For the Yankees they can put themselves back together with a three game set with the Mariners in Seattle.

Facing a Mariners team with a record of 42-55, the Yankees will look to end their longest losing streak of the season. Sending Hiroki Kuroda (9-7, 3.46 ERA) to the mound tonight who is looking to win his fourth consecutive start. Following Kuroda to the hill will be Freddy Garcia and then Ivan Nova. New York will need solid starts from their pitchers in the vast Safeco Field in order to get off their slide.

They will be facing a Mariners line up that has hit a bit of a hot streak over their recent seven game road trip as then won five of seven. The team hit .325 and scored 31 runs during the first part of the road stretch, as the pitching staff allowed only two runs in the last two games against the Rays in Tampa.

Taking the mound tonight for the Mariners will be seasoned veteran, Kevin Millwood (3-7, 4.15 ERA) who is trying to move on from his last outing, when he allowed seven runs in five innings against the Royals.  The ace of the staff, Felix Hernandez (8-5, 2.82 ERA) will take the ball on Tuesday and Hisashi Iwakuma (1-2, 4.86 ERA) will throw in the finale. Hernandez as been very good in his career against the Yankees, and I expect him to be superb when he takes the mound. Iwakuma is looking to improve on his last start as he recently joined the starting staff right before the break.

The Yankees line up will be without Nick Swisher as he will miss the series in Seattle to rest and rehab a possible hip flexor injury. This will call Dwayne Wise into more action with Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez getting more playing time. As these roll players step in, the stars of the team need to step up and be more consistent as they were before the stop in Oakland. Robinson Cano is still in MVP form and the Granderson-Teixeira duo is a top power combo in any line up.

Looking to get back on the winning track, the Bombers will face a team they could take all three games from. However, I think the Pinstrips will take two of three in Safeco as they get good performances from Kuroda and Nova.

The performances of the pitchers in this series will be heavily monitored by the front office as the trade deadline approaches. Watch closely as this series could determine the direction of some of our players and what moves are made in the upcoming days. Enjoy, and as always..Go Yankees!

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