New York Yankees: Alexi Ogando

If you had to take an educated guess before the season, would you have expected Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson to be without a home run 13 games into the season against left-handed pitchers or right-handed pitchers? Now don’t all yell out left-handed pitchers at once.

Yet, entering Sunday night, the outfielder, known for his struggles against lefties, had switched things up this year, bombarding left-handed pitching and belting three home runs versus lefties, while struggling versus righties with no home runs.

Sunday night, Granderson finally got on the board against the right-handed pitchers as he smacked his fourth home run of the season during the Yankees 6-5 win over the Rangers. Last year, Granderson belted 20 home runs against right-handed pitchers compared to four off lefties.

“It was good just to get a hit,” Granderson said. “I’ve been struggling against right-handed pitching and hopefully I can go ahead and turn the corner a little bit here, but that’s part of the early season, the ups and downs of it, can’t weigh too much on it,

Entering the game, Granderson was a career .285 hitter against righties and a .217 batter against left-handed hurlers. He also had hit 106 of his 129 career home runs (82.2 percent) against right handers.

This year, though, Granderson entered the game killing lefties with a .357 average and three home runs, but just a .179 average against right-handed tossers.

While he had been 0-for-2 on the night against Texas righty Alexi Ogando entering his third at-bat, he finally got the upper hand against the righty, belting a fastball just inside the right field foul pole to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth.

The home run also continues Granderson's power surge to start the season as he’s tied with three others for second on the team in home runs four. Last season, Granderson did not hit his fourth home run until his 34th game of the season, which happened to be the team’s 58th contest on June 8 as he missed some time with an injury.

Granderson didn’t have a reason for why he’s been hitting the ball out of the park so much.

“Nothing at all, everything has been the same concept as what we had at the end of the season, get the hands back and a little less with the stride and put yourself in a position to be able to attack the baseball as frequent as possible,” Granderson said. “That’s it. Reason they’re going out, not too sure.”

Ogando will be tough foe tonight

April, 17, 2011
4/17/11
10:32
AM ET
Sunday marks the 58th anniversary of one of the most famous home runs in Yankees history, Mickey Mantle’s 565-foot blast off Washington Senators pitcher Chuck Stobbs at Griffith Stadium, a home run so long it landed in the backyard of a house located beyond the ballpark.

The Yankees longest home run last season didn't quite reach that length-- a 455-foot shot by Curtis Grandersonn against Josh Beckett on Opening Day.

The Yankees will be challenged to go tape-measure against Rangers starter Alexi Ogando on Sunday Night Baseball at 8 tonight.

Ogando's high fastball has been very effective. Review of Pitch F/X data shows that hitters have swung at 24 of his fastballs in the upper-third of the strike zone and above this season. They’ve missed 11 of them, which gives him a miss rate among the highest of anyone in the majors (45.8 percent) with that pitch. He's also thrown his slider for strikes 72 percent of the time.

For more nuggets to know on tonight's contest, check out the Stats and Info blog.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.282 6 42 44
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 17
RBIM. Teixeira 48
RB. Gardner 56
OPSM. Teixeira .805
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAM. Tanaka 2.51
SOM. Tanaka 135