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Sunday, July 24, 2011
W2W4: Athletics at Yankees (Sunday)


Gio Gonzalez Stat To Watch
After allowing one run in 6 2/3 innings in his first start against the Yankees in 2009, Gonzalez has struggled in his last three outings against them, allowing 14 runs in 14 2/3 innings against them.

Yankees right-handed hitters have feasted in Gonzalez in those last three games, to a .473 on-base percentage. The primary culprit is Nick Swisher, who was 4-for-6 with two walks against Gonzalez in that stretch, including a home run when they last met on June 1.

But in his last five starts overall, Gonzalez has been sharp against right-handers, their on-base percentage against him is just .248, with 32 strikeouts and 10 walks in that span.

Bartolo Colon Stat To Watch
When Bartolo Colon shut out the Athletics on May 30, he was totally locked in. Colon got ahead 0-1 on 22 of the 28 hitters who didn’t put the first pitch in play (he gave up one first-pitch hit). He got to two strikes on 12 hitters in that game, retiring each of them.

The latter is something to keep an eye on. Colon has allowed 12 baserunners with two strikes in his last three starts.

Curtis Granderson skidding
Curtis Granderson is 1-for-14 with nine strikeouts in his last five games, including five in six at-bats against left-handed pitching.

One unexpected quirk about Granderson with a lefty on the mound today. You’d think that his home run success against lefties would be a Yankee Stadium thing. It actually isn’t. Granderson has four home runs in 58 at-bats against lefties at Yankee Stadium this season, six in 57 at-bats against lefties on the road.

Granderson may be due. He’s homerless in his last 30 at-bats against lefties at Yankee Stadium.

Hideki Matsui’s weak spot
Speaking of stat quirks, there’s another one with Matsui. He’s gotten no results this season when hitting a fly ball against a right-handed pitcher. He’s 9-for-20 when hitting fly balls against lefties, 4-for-57 against righties.

Some of that has to do with Oakland’s cavernous outfield, but not completely. Matsui is hitless the last 19 times he’s hit a fly ball against a right-handed pitcher on the road.

Hall of Fame Player Notes of the Day
Bert Blyleven, scheduled to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame today, was 13-19 against the Yankees in his career, his worst record against any AL team. His best win against the Yankees was a three-hit, eight-strikeout shutout in 1986, and the next year, he beat the Yankees twice for the eventual World Series champion Twins.

Faring better was fellow Hall inductee Roberto Alomar, who hit .314 with 14 home runs in 129 regular season games against the Yankees (he hit .217 in a five-game loss to the Yankees in the 1996 ALCS).

One of Alomar’s seven career grand slams came against the Yankees on July 23, 1999, but his heroics were lost in the story later that day when Derek Jeter beat Alomar’s Indians with a two-run walk-off single in the 10th.