CC Sabathia Stats to Watch
Sabathia had one of his best outings of the season last time out against the Mariners, when he struck out 10 batters in a complete game three-hitter. It was his 13th 10-strikeout game in pinstripes, passing Lefty Gomez for the fourth-most by a Yankees lefty in the Live Ball Era.
Sabathia is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA against the Tigers this season. He has dominated Detroit's righties, holding them to a .154 average. Nearly one of every four pitches he threw to them was a slider; he got 14 outs and allowed just two hits with the pitch against the Tigers' righties.
However, he has struggled against the Tigers’ lefties, who have six hits in 16 at-bats (.375). He's challenged them with pitches on the inner half of the plate, but had little success. The Tigers' lefties are 3-for-6 in at-bats ending in a pitch in that location; the three hits were a double, triple and homer.
Miguel Cabrera has owned Sabathia during his career, with a .400 batting average in 25 at-bats -- the second-highest mark by any active hitter that Sabathia has faced at least 30 times. But he is just 1-for-7 against him this year, with four infield outs and a strikeout.
Jhonny Peralta, on the other hand, has not enjoyed his at-bats versus Sabathia. He is hitting .100 (2-for-20) against Sabathia, the second-lowest batting average allowed by Sabathia to any active player he has faced at least 25 times. The lowest average is .083 in 24 at-bats by Jose Lopez.
Anibal Sanchez Stats To Watch
Sanchez was able to win comfortably in his most recent start, a 10-2 win over the Indians. But of note, he did allow seven line drives, including four in the first four innings, when the game was still close.
Since All-Star Break
Only one Yankee has significant matchup experience with Sanchez. Raul Ibanez was 0-for-his-first-7 against Sanchez, but is 6-for-18 since against him.
The Sanchez changeup has been an all-or-nothing proposition for Ibanez. He’s swung at 10 in the last three seasons and gotten three hits, but he’s also missed on five of those swings.
How do you get the Tigers' big guys out?
Sabathia’s best bet in trying to get Fielder out will probably be if he can get him to chase a slider in the dirt. Over the last three seasons, Fielder has missed on 48 percent of his swings at breaking balls from lefties. That ranks among the half-dozen worst rates on such pitches from lefties among major league hitters.
But if Sabathia doesn’t get the ball low enough, Fielder will reach out and poke it for a hit -- even if it’s out of the strike zone, as he did for an RBI against Sabathia on June 1.
Cabrera’s weakness, if he has one, is that he’s vulnerable when Sabathia jams him inside. Over the past four seasons, he’s 1-for-11 when an at-bat ends with a Sabathia pitch on the inner-third of the plate or closer to him.
But if Sabathia misses his spot, be forewarned: Cabrera is 6-for-9 against him elsewhere.