W2W4: Yankees at Red Sox
September, 11, 2012
By Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information
Hiroki Kuroda Stats To Watch
Kuroda needs one win to set a career high for wins in a season. His 13 wins include a gem against Boston on Aug. 19, in which he allowed one run and four hits in eight innings.
Kuroda did have a tough time in his lone start at Fenway Park this season, allowing seven runs in 5 2/3 innings on July 6.
The difference between the two starts was what the Red Sox did against Kuroda's fastball. In the game at Fenway, Kuroda got seven outs and gave up four hits with his heater. In that dominant start on the 19th, he got 14 outs with a fastball that Red Sox hitters were more willing to chase.
He got eight strikes on the 26 fastballs he threw outside the Pitch F/X strike zone, compared to one strike on 17 out-of-zone fastballs in that other start.
Jon Lester Stats To Watch
Lester is in the midst of a good run, having won four of his last five starts, including one against the Yankees on Aug. 18.
However, he's 3-8 with a 6.60 ERA and 13 home runs allowed in 88 2/3 innings at home this season.
Lester allowed 23 extra-base hits at home last season. He has given up 45 in 2012.
Playing the Binder: Swisher/Granderson vs Lester
Lester might be just the right pitcher for Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson to break out against.
Swisher is 9-for-16 against Lester over the last two seasons, after beginning his career 4-for-25 against him. The contact has been good, with six of the 13 balls hit being line drives.
Likewise, Granderson was 1-for-his-first-8 vs Lester, but is 7-for-20 against him since then, with two home runs (and 10 strikeouts). Of the 11 balls he has hit against Lester over the past two seasons, four were line drives.
Swisher is hitting .444 with five home runs against Red Sox pitching this season, 8-for-18 from each side of the plate.
Derek Jeter is 14-for-28 with a 28 percent line-drive rate (seven line drives) in his last six games.
At this rate, Jeter, who has 3,279 career hits, should catch Willie Mays on the all-time hit list within a day or two. Mays has 3,283 career hits.
The luster has worn off
Red Sox rookie Pedro Ciriaco, who has a pair of four-hit games against the Yankees this season, is in a slump. He's 6-for-47 in his last 13 games.
You may remember we noted Ciriaco's amazing success against pitches out of the strike zone in the early part of this season, but that his dissipated. He's 1-for-his-last-16 in at-bats ending with a pitch out of the zone, after starting 2012 23-for-55.
Milestones of a different nature
My colleague in Stats & Info, Katie Sharp, checks in with these two notes
Yankees starters have allowed 132 home runs this year, one shy of the team record set in 2004.
Granderson has 168 strikeouts this season, one shy of the franchise record that he set last year.