W2W4: Twins at Yankees (April 17)

April, 17, 2012
4/17/12
11:40
AM ET
CC Sabathia Matchups to Watch For
Since 2007, CC Sabathia is 7-1 with a 1.37 ERA in nine regular-season starts against the Twins (and 1-0 against them in the postseason).

The combination of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are just 13-for-77 against Sabathia, combining the regular season and playoffs. Morneau is 0-for-his-last-11 against Sabathia. Mauer is 1-for-his-last-9.

Mauer’s 13 strikeouts in 34 at-bats are unusual. He doesn’t have more than nine strikeouts against any other pitcher. For his career, he only strikes out about once every nine at-bats.

This will be Sabathia’s first home start of 2012. He’s 26-7 with a 3.08 ERA for his career at the new Yankee Stadium.

The biggest issue for Sabathia this season has been right-handed hitters, who are 15-for-44 against him. This is a carryover from the end of the 2011 regular season, when righties hit .355 against him over his last seven games and crushed his fastball for a .457 batting average.

The heater hasn’t been working the magic with two strikes that it used to. Righties are 3-for-6 with two walks in at-bats ending with it over his first two starts. The one to watch in this game will be Alexi Casilla, who is 9-for-15 against Sabathia.

Francisco Liriano Matchups To Watch
Liriano was very good in spring training, but has a 10.00 ERA in two starts so far this season.

Liriano could run up a good strikeout total today. He’s fanned Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson 37 times in 90 at-bats. Rodriguez is 1-for-13 career against him, albeit with six walks.

Jeter Watch
Let’s zoom in on three things Derek Jeter has been doing so well in the Yankees first 10 games of the season. He’s hitting .378 with 17 hits, three home runs, and seven RBI.

1- He’s going opposite-field: Jeter has 10 hits to right and right-center field in the first 10 games of the season. No other right-handed hitter has more than seven. Jeter is hitting .500 when hitting the ball to that area. Last season, his opposite-field batting average was .278

2- He’s hitting with two strikes: Jeter has seven two-strike hits, including three doubles and a home run. He’s hitting .389 with two strikes, 209 points better than he did last season.

3- He’s hitting with muscle: Jeter has hit 10 fly balls this season and hit them at an average of an estimated 299 feet. Jeter averaged 274 feet on his fly balls last season.

The seven balls that Jeter has hit that haven’t left the ballpark have averaged 282 feet. He averaged 270 on those fly balls in 2011.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.51 135 129
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .288
HRM. Teixeira 20
RBIJ. Ellsbury 64
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .787
ERAH. Kuroda 3.88
SOM. Tanaka 135