In fact, the Mariners are the only team in baseball against which Pettitte's career mark is below .500. Over the past 13 years, Pettitte has lost 10 of 16 starts against Seattle, and his record here, whether at the Metrodome or Safeco Field, is a regrettable 3-7.
More bad omens: The last time Pettitte started against the Mariners was on May 16 at Yankee Stadium, a game he not only lost, but also left early, suffering from the trapezius strain that sent him to the disabled list.
So there is a lot of history working against Pettitte when he takes the mound today for Game 3 of this four-game series, and one significant milestone looming: if he wins, it will be his 250th career victory.
Pettitte, who will turn 41 a week form today, has had a strange season so far. Despite having a normal off-season and a full spring training, he been somewhat erratic, starting off extremely well -- he was 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA on April 19, but 1-3 with a 5.68 ERA, and one DL stint, since.
"I thought his first month was excellent," Joe Girardi said. "I really did. And then I thought his last start was pretty good. For him, I think it’s just getting him back on track. I think sometimes it's hard to compare one season to the next, but when you're 40 years old, you're going to do that, and I understand that. At least this year, he's not in a cast."
-- Girardi's lineup against Seattle left-hander Joe Saunders includes David Adams at third base, Kevin Youkilis at first and Mark Teixeira at DH, and is minus Travis Hafner, who is 0-for-7 lifetime against Saunders. Despite having just one hit in his last 25 at-bats and seeing his average plummet to .236, Vernon Wells is batting fifth and playing left today.
"I think his timing’s a little off," Girardi said. "He’s struggling right now, but we believe he’s going to come out of it. It seems when he does hit a ball hard, they catch it."
Wells lined out hard to third to end Friday night's 4-1 loss, and Girardi said there is no thought to reducing Wells playing time by platooning him in the outfield with Lyle Overbay. "I still consider Vernon an everyday player," Girardi said.
-- Vidal Nuno left his start for AAA Scranton in the second inning Friday night with what Girardi said was a groin injury. He seemed to think Nuno, who pitched well in three emergency starts for the Yankees this season, was headed for the DL.