W2W4: Yankees at Angels (May 29)
May, 29, 2012
By Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information
Andy Pettitte Stats to Watch
Andy Pettitte has faced Albert Pujols 31 times, including the postseason, and Pujols has gone 6-for-28 with no home runs and three walks. They haven’t faced each other in a regular-season game since 2006.
The only pitcher against whom Pujols has more at-bats without homering is Pettitte’s former teammate, Roger Clemens (35).
Pettitte has not been shy about putting his cutter and slider to use. Of the 17 strikeouts he’s gotten in three starts, 15 have come with those pitches. His seven strikeouts with the slider in his previous start matched his most with the pitch in the past four years.
Pettitte has a 4.42 ERA against the Angels (his second-worst number versus any team), but much of that was accumulated during a rough stretch in 2008 and 2009. He was 2-0 with one earned run allowed in 14 innings against them in 2010.
Dan Haren Stats To Watch
Dan Haren, who has struggled this season, looked like his old self in his previous start, striking out 14 in a shutout of the Mariners.
Although Haren has allowed right-handers to hit .300 against him, there is some evidence that he has been the victim of a few unlikely bloop hits.
Our hit-classification system charts Haren as having given up seven fly ball hits to righties of estimated distances of 300 feet or less. In 2010 and 2011, he gave up 13 and 12 such hits, respectively.
Haren shut out the Yankees the last time he faced them, on Sept. 10, 2011. His out pitch that day was a nasty splitter that broke down and away to left-handed hitters, and netted nine outs against them.
That’s his key pitch to lefties. His pitch of choice to righties is the slider/cutter that resulted in eight Mariners whiffing.
Haren has been the victim of a lack of run support this season. The Angels have scored more than three runs only once in the 10 games he’s started. They were shut out in three Haren starts in a row earlier this month. Now, they’ll be trying to get over .500 for the first time since winning on Opening Day.
The Angels' Bullpen
Although Mike Scioscia needed nine innings from his relievers Monday, he was able to preserve his two best -- Scott Downs and Ernesto Frieri -- should they be needed tonight.
In particular, the Yankees should be mindful of the righty, Frieri, who has 23 strikeouts and no hits allowed in 11 innings since coming to the Angels from the Padres. Lefties have missed on 30 of 41 swings taken against Frieri since he joined the Angels. Righties have missed on 17 of 33.
Frieri throws his fastball from 93 to 95 mph, and the pitch breaks sharply away from a left-handed hitter.
Russell Muscle, Redux
Perhaps more good things are in store for Yankees catcher Russell Martin, who broke out with a couple of big hits Monday.
Martin had two hits against righties and is 6-for-his-past-19 against right-handed pitchers, which is pretty good considering he was 10-for-his-first-74 against them.
Martin has still not gotten a hit against what our pitch-tracking system calls a “middle-middle” pitch from a righty. Most hitters hit well more than .300 when an at-bat ends in such a pitch (one thrown right over the heart of the plate). Martin is 0-for-17.