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W2W4: ALDS Game 3 (Yankees at Tigers)

10/3/2011

CC Sabathia What2Watch4

Sabathia has made three starts in Comerica Park for the Yankees and he’s lost all three games. Despite a 17-to-3 strikeout-to-walk rate, he allowed 14 runs in 21 innings in those three games.

Sabathia was great at Comerica Park early in his career winning his first six decisions there. But since then, he’s just 1-5 with a 5.54 ERA

With Gerry Davis as Home Plate Umpire

Justin Verlander What2Watch4

The primary advantage that comes in Comerica Park for Verlander is in how the ballpark minimizes his home runs allowed.

Verlander faced 462 batters at home in 2011 and allowed nine home runs, a rate of one for every 51 batters he faced.

On the road, Verlander faced 507 hitters and allowed 15 home runs, yielding one for every 33.8 batters faced.

In 32 2/3 career innings against the Yankees at home, Verlander has allowed just two home runs. The Yankees have countered that with the patient approach you saw in the first two innings of Game 1. In his last two starts against the Yankees at home, Verlander has walked eight in 12 2/3 innings.

Verlander tends to perform better against right-handed hitters in his home ballpark. This season, they are hitting .199 against him with a .222 on-base percentage, the latter 59 points lower than on the road.

Three for All

Comerica Park is one of the friendliest places in baseball for triples hitting. There were 44 triples hit in 81 games there, the third-most for any ballpark in the majors behind Coors Field (49) and Kauffman Stadium (49).

Austin Jackson had the most of any Tigers player there with eight. Catcher Alex Avila ranked second with four. Jackson has done a great job at taking advantages of the ballpark configuration, among other things. His batting average on balls in play at home is .362, compared to .319 on the road.

Curtis Granderson led the Yankees with 10 triples this season, followed by Brett Gardner (8) and Robinson Cano (7). Granderson hit 10 at Comerica Park for the Tigers in 2007.

The Yankees may need triples. In their last eight games at Comerica Park, they’ve managed only two home runs.

Jeter Watch

Derek Jeter is a .250 career hitter at Comerica Park, though he went 4-for-13 there this season. That’s the lowest batting average for Jeter at any of the current AL ballparks.

Weather2Watch4

Game-time temperature is supposed to be between 55 and 60 degrees, according to a check of Weather.com.

The Yankees did not fare well in those conditions this season, going 14-13, which we know thanks to neat recent additions made at Baseball-Reference.com. In fact, all three of their games in Detroit earlier this season were played in such temperatures. The Yankees lost all three. The Tigers were 19-16 in such conditions, 10-6 in their home ballpark.