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Sunday, July 17, 2011
W2W4: Yankees at Blue Jays (Sunday)


Phil Hughes stat to watch
Hughes got battered a bit by the Blue Jays in his four starts against them last season, allowing at least five runs in three of them. He was touched for three home runs in his most recent start against them last September, though only one of the three homer-hitters, Aaron Hill, is still with the team.

Hughes does have an edge on one Blue Jays hitter- he’s struck out Adam Lind 10 times in their 20 head-to-head battles (though Lind has touched him for four hits, including a homer).

Carlos Villanueva stat to watch
Villanueva has made five straight quality starts (six or more innings, three or fewer earned runs)for the Blue Jays, posting a 2.84 ERA in that stretch. The biggest key to that is that in those five starts, spanning 30 1/3 innings, he’s yielded only one home run.

The Yankee with the most familiarity against Villanueva is Russell Martin, who faced Villanueva while with the Dodgers and had four straight hits against him over a three-game span. Martin is 4-for-7 for his career against Villanueva.

Derek Jeter-watch
Jeter tied Al Kaline for 26th on the all-time hit list on Saturday, the pair each with 3,007 career hits. Jeter needs three hits to catch the next hitter on the all-time list, ex-teammate Wade Boggs. Jeter could do that Sunday.

As our Yankeemetrics columnist Katie Sharp pointed out earlier this week, he has 255 career games of three or more hits, most by a Yankee in the Live Ball Era. His next would give him 256, matching Hall of Famer Charlie Gehringer for 14th-most since 1920 (via Baseball-Reference.com). He’s also not far behind New York baseball legend Willie Mays, who had 257 such games (cap-tip: Baseball-Reference.com).

Where does Gardner belong? Brett Gardner had a nice all-around game on Saturday with three hits and a stolen base out of the No. 7 slot against lefty Ricky Romero. As we mentioned yesterday, Gardner tends to sizzle in the sun. He’s hitting .347 in day games this season, .240 at night. But he’s only hitting .215 with a .298 on-base percentage out of the leadoff spot in the batting order this season. He could be back in that spot Sunday with a righty on the mound.

Teixeira is due

Andrew Marchand quoted Teixeira Saturday as saying his season has been both satisfying and frustrating. Currently, Teixeira is feeling a bit of the latter. He’s homerless in his last 12 games. Teixeira might be in line for some better days though. He’s hit 16 fly balls this month, all of which have been turned into outs. He hit .298 (31-for-104) when he hit what our pitch performance system classifies as a fly ball from April to June. His last fly ball in June was a home run against Brewers starter Randy Wolf.

More fuel for Joe Girardi
The Blue Jays have bashed Yankees pitching quite a bit at Rogers Centre, Saturday’s game notwithstanding. In the Yankees last three wins against the Blue Jays in Toronto, they’ve yielded just four runs. But in their last six losses, they’ve allowed a whopping 50 runs.