W2W4: Reds at Yankees (May 18)

May, 18, 2012
5/18/12
11:06
AM ET
Andy Pettitte Matchup to Watch: Right-Handed Hitters

Pettitte will likely have to deal with a lineup in which seven of the nine hitters are right-handed batters, and the respites are going to be two of the Reds' best hitters: lefties Joey Votto and Jay Bruce.

The good news for Pettitte is that Reds righties are hitting only .229 this season. That batting average and a .626 OPS rank fourth-worst among National League teams.

Pettitte gave up five hits and three walks to the 14 Mariners righties he faced last Sunday, with the last four of them getting hits.

He was in situations in which he had a chance to finish some righties off, but got just one strikeout out of the 21 two-strike pitches he threw. He gave up a pair of two-strike hits to righties in that game, including a home run to Casper Wells.

In 2009 and 2010, Pettitte got strikeouts against righties at a rate of about one of every six two-strike pitches.

The most dangerous right-handed bat in the Reds' lineup right now is second baseman Brandon Phillips, who is hitting .350 with 14 hits in his last 10 games.

Bronson Arroyo Matchups to Watch: Left-Handed Hitters

Arroyo, who pitched for Boston from 2003-05, is quite familiar with the Yankees' veterans, though most haven't faced him in several years. The intrigue in this one will be when he faces Alex Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is 7-for-20 with two home runs in his career against Arroyo, combining regular season and postseason. The most notable at-bat was the out in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS, when Rodriguez was called out for slapping the ball out of Arroyo's glove while running to first base.

Arroyo's biggest issue this time is going to be navigating through the Yankees left-handed hitters.

Lefties are hitting .361 against him this season. In his last start against the Nationals, they tagged Arroyo for nine hits. Over the last four seasons, that's the most hits he has allowed in a game to left-handed batters.

In what is a weird quirk, Arroyo has made six regular-season starts against the Yankees without recording a decision. That matches the longest such streak of no-decisions by a starter against the Yankees in the Live Ball Era (since 1920), a mark shared with Jamie Moyer and Dave Stieb.

Double the Pleasure for Cano

One of the results of Robinson Cano's recent tear is that he leads the American League with 15 doubles this season.

Cano has a double in each of his last four games, one game shy of his longest doubles streak -- five straight in 2005.

Thanks to Baseball-Reference.com, we know that in the Live Ball Era, only one Yankee has had multiple streaks of five straight games with a double: Dave Winfield in 1982 and 1986.

Russell Lacking Muscle

Since a three-hit game against the Royals on May 5, Russell Martin is in a 2-for-28 slump, though he does have six walks and a hit by pitch in that stretch.

The slump is not for a lack of good pitches to hit. Martin has seen 50 pitches in this stretch that were in the middle-third of the strike zone, height wise. They've resulted in 15 outs and no hits. Of the 12 balls he has hit against those pitches, only one has been a line drive.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.283 6 42 44
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 17
RBIM. Teixeira 48
RB. Gardner 55
OPSM. Teixeira .803
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAM. Tanaka 2.51
SOM. Tanaka 135