Oct 3, 2007

Yanks at Cleveland, Game 1 preview

Sabathia vs. active Yankees

Last start against: Sept. 1, 2004 in the Bronx - 6 ip, 3 er, 5 h, 4 bb, 3 k
The righties killed him while the lefties couldn't touch him. Matsui didn't get one hit in 10 plate appearances - why the hell is he starting over Shelley Duncan who has killed southpaws this year (although he fared better against righties in Triple-A Scranton)? And it's not like Matsui hit some screamers for outs against CC - he had one lineout in those 10 pa, but in his defense he only struck out once too (his first pa).

My lineup would be:
1. Damon LF
2. Jeter SS
3. Arod 3b (you're best overall hitter should be third)
4. Posada C (three RHB in a row to make it tough for Sabathia)
5. Abreu RF
6. Duncan DH (has killed LHP this year, unlike Matsui)
7. Cano 2b
8. DMint 1b (because he's been hot and Wang is a put-the-ball-in-play pitcher)
9. Melky CF (despite being ice cold, is a switch-hitter, good bunter and great outfielder)

And my rotation would be:
Game 1, Pettitte -
the most tested playoff pitcher the Yanks have, who's done slightly better on the road and dominated Cleveland in one start on August 12.
Game 2, Hughes -
a much better road pitcher that shut down Cleveland on August 10: 6 ip, 1 er, 4 h, 1 bb, 6 k.
Game 3, Wang -
his big home/road split puts him here.
Game 4, Clemens -
again, considering big home/road splits (and his recent injury), this makes the most sense.

Wang vs. active Indians

Last start against: July 3, 2006 in Cleveland - 5.1 ip, 5 er, 11 h, 2 bb, 2 k
The good news: he's owned Hafner and Martinez, holding them both under a .612 OPS. In fact, he's held the Cleveland hitters to an abysmal line - .228/.323/.368.
The bad: Grady Sizemore has killed him to a .333/.333/.778 tune in nine pa. And Wang has struggled on the road throughout his career - 3.04 era at home vs. 4.62 on the road (and even more so this year - 2.75 home era vs. 4.91 road era).

Ironically, neither of the starting pitchers have faced their opponent this season. Going by these numbers the Yanks have the advantage, but the wildcard is how will the Yanks do against Sabathia after not seeing him in three years? He's gone from being a good but raw pitcher to the Cy Young favorite...

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