W2W4: Yankees at Angels (May 30)

Ivan Nova Stats To Watch

With one more home run allowed, Ivan Nova will match his total of 13 from last season.

Nova has gotten hurt more this year by the pitches he’s left over the middle of the plate. In his past three starts, he’s allowed eight hits and two home runs on pitches that our pitch system classified as middle-middle.

The typical major league pitcher allows a .330 batting average on such pitches, but Nova’s opponents are an astounding 20-for-37 (.541) against him in 2012.

What is the best means for Nova to get out red-hot Angels left fielder Mike Trout?

One of Trout’s few susceptibilities is an inside fastball. If you can jam him in, you can get him out.

Trout is 2-for-15 this season in at-bats that ended with a fastball inside and off the plate. But if you leave the ball over the plate, you could get in trouble. He’s 5-for-15 against pitches that are over the inner-third.

Ervin Santana Stats To Watch

Ervin Santana is giving up home runs at a ridiculous rate, which is the primary reason he has a 4.45 ERA this season. In 64-2/3 innings, he’s already yielded 13 homers, more than halfway to last season’s total of 24.

However, much of that came in his first four starts. He had a 2.25 ERA in his next five starts before a blip in his last outing, in which he allowed four runs in five innings in Seattle.

Yankees hitters have the ability to hit the long ball against Santana. They’ve done so many times before. Those currently on the roster have 24 home runs in 331 regular season/playoff at-bats against Santana. Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez each have four.

Loaded for Bare

Yankees with Bases Loaded
Notables This Season

The Yankees are hitless in their last 20 bases-loaded plate appearances, though they do have two walks, a hit by pitch, and a pair of sacrifice flies in that stretch.

They also haven’t had a bases-loaded, two-out hit since an A-Rod infield single on April 29.

The Yankees are hitting .151 for the season with the bases loaded.

Trumbo Trouble

Angels utility man Mark Trumbo is 6-for-14 against the Yankees this season, and a new approach may have something to do with that.

Last season, Trumbo was prone to the pitch in the upper-third of the strike zone and above, but as an article from our friends at Fangraphs showed, he’s laying off that pitch more often now.

Last season, the Yankees worked Trumbo up 34 times, got him to swing 19 times, and got him out six of the nine times his plate appearance ended with a pitch to that area.

This season, the Yankees have thrown him 16 pitches to that area. He’s only swung at six of them. The results? Two hits, two walks, and no outs.

Cano Conundrum

Cano is 1-for-13 in his past three games. Opponents have been attacking him in a weak spot, throwing pitches to the outer-third and further away at a 75 percent clip.

Cano is 1-for-his-last-14 in at-bats that ended with a pitch to that area. Four of his five outs Tuesday came on pitches away.