Thursday, June 28, 2012
The Series in Yankeemetrics (June 25-27)
Getty ImagesBITTERSWEET SWEEP
Robinson Cano celebrates his 6th-inning go-ahead homer in Wednesday's win over the Indians.
The Yankees completed the sweep of the Indians with a 5-4 win Wednesday, but lost Andy Pettitte for at least six weeks after he fractured his fibula. If it holds up, Pettitte’s 3.22 ERA would be his second-best as a Yankee, behind only his 2.88 mark in 1997.
Pettitte struck out seven batters in four innings before leaving. It’s the second time in his career that he’s had at least seven strikeouts in a start of four innings or fewer, becoming the first Yankee with two such starts in the Live Ball Era.
Robinson Cano’s go-ahead homer in the sixth inning was his 10th longball in June. The only other Yankees second baseman to hit 10-or-more homers in any month was Joe Gordon, who hit 13 in July 1940.
BIRTHDAY HIT PARADE
The Yankees celebrated Derek Jeter’s 38th birthday with a 6-4 win Tuesday. The birthday boy went 2-for-5, increasing his batting average on his birthday to .327.
His 16 hits are the second-most birthday hits by a Yankee and his five multi-hit birthday games are surpassed only by Lou Gehrig (6) in the Live Ball Era, according to the Play Index at Baseball-Reference.com.
Phil Hughes threw eight shutout innings to earn the win, becoming the first Yankee with eight scoreless innings against the Indians since Jack McDowell in 1995.
Hughes' curveball repeatedly fooled the Indians; he got a career-best 11 called strikes on the pitch. Hughes also worked the inside part of the plate, throwing a season-high 36 percent of his pitches there, and held the Indians to one hit in eight at-bats ending in a pitch to that location.
As my ESPNNY.com blogging colleague Mark Simon noted in Tuesday’s W2W4, Hughes had struggled going inside recently. Opponents were 9-for-16 with four homers in at-bats ending with a pitch located on the inner-third of the zone over his previous three starts.
The Yankees opened the series Monday with a 7-1 win against the Indians thanks to seven innings of one-run ball by Hiroki Kuroda.
Kuroda went to his splitter to put away the Indians, throwing 19 of them, including 13 with two strikes.
The Indians were hitless in eight at-bats with six strikeouts ending in a splitter. His six strikeouts with the pitch are the most he’s had in any start over the past four seasons.
Kuroda also kept the ball down, throwing a season-high 52 percent of his pitches in the lower third of the zone or below. He got 12 outs, including all seven of his strikeouts, on pitches in that location.
Dewayne Wise was the surprise offensive star, hitting a homer and a triple. The only other time in his career he hit a triple and a home run in the same game was as a Blue Jay at Yankee Stadium last year on Sept. 3.
RIDICULOUS YANKEEMETRIC OF WEEK
Rafael Soriano needed just two pitches to get the final out and the save Tuesday. It was his second two-pitch save of the season.
Only two other Yankees pitchers since 1988 (when pitch data is available) have recorded multiple saves of two pitches or fewer in a season: Steve Farr in 1991 and Mariano Rivera in 1999.