New York Yankees: Delmon Young

W2W4: ALCS Game 1

October, 13, 2012
10/13/12
5:28
PM ET
Andy Pettitte Stats To Watch
There are two Tigers with a history of success against Pettitte and their names are neither Prince Fielder nor Miguel Cabrera.

Delmon Young is 13-for-24 against Pettitte, including 2-for-5 in postseason play. His .542 batting average is the highest of any of the more than 200 players with at least 20 career at-bats against Pettitte.

Young has a rep for being an aggressive hitter, so look for Pettitte to try to take advantage of that.

Young had the highest swing rate of any hitter in baseball (59 percent) this season and those numbers were basically identical versus lefties and righties.

Jhonny Peralta is 7-for-18 (including 1-for-2 in postseason) with three home runs against Pettitte.

One note on Peralta that might play into Pettitte's favor. Peralta has seen 127 sliders/cutters from lefties this season. On them he has managed just one hit and two walks, with 18 outs and a 35-percent miss rate on his swings.

Pettitte's History
This will be the seventh time in Pettitte's career that he’ll pitch a postseason series opener, the first time he'll do so for the Yankees since the 2001 ALCS, when he held the Mariners to one run and three hits in eight innings in a win.

He'll be the fifth pitcher age 40 or older to start Game 1 of a postseason series, joining Dennis Martinez, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, and David Wells. He'll be the second-oldest Yankee, about a month shy of Wells.

A win would make Petitte the oldest Yankee to start and win a Game 1, passing Clemens, who won to open the 2002 ALDS against the Angels.

Pettitte doesn't have much of a recent history against the Tigers. This start will mark the first time he has faced them since 2008.

Doug Fister Stats To Watch
Fister pitched really well at the end of the season, adding about an extra mile-per-hour to his fastball. That led to one game in which he set an AL record with nine straight strikeouts. In his last eight starts, including Game 2 of the ALDS, he’s 3-2 with a 2.82 ERA and 1.10 WHIP.

Fister is an interesting one to watch with a two-strike count, because he has four options he's comfortable throwing. The most effective one during this eight-start run have been that 90 mph fastball (47 outs, eight baserunners allowed).

The Yankees lefties will be challenged by Fister's two-strike approach. He likes to throw eye-high fastballs and big breaking curveballs that drop below the knees. The Athletics lefties couldn't touch him: They went 0-for-10 with seven strikeouts and a walk in Game 2 against those two-strike pitches.

How do you get Miguel Cabrera out?
Cabrera was held down reasonably well by the Athletics, who limited him to give hits in 20 at-bats, primarily by mixing up pitches that were on the outside corner around the knees, along with those that jammed him inside.

Lefties who have been able to jam Cabrera have given him a little trouble this season. He has seen 306 pitches on the inner-third of the plate or closer to him this season, hit only one home runs and his outs-to-hits rate is about 3-to-1.

For more on how pitchers have had success with Cabrera, check out our article from prior to the ALDS here.
Remember Delmon Young's game-tying three-run double in the Twins extra-inning win over the Yankees on April 5?

ESPN Stats & Information, with the help of Baseball Info Solutions, took a closer look at that play and Brent Lillibridge's game-saving catch on Tuesday night. They were able to show how the slightest difference in hang time and skill can make the difference between winning and losing.

Check out the link on the Stats & Info blog here.
If he could go back, Nick Swisher would’ve done it all different. There wouldn’t have been the half-slide, half-tumble attempt to catch Delmon Young's bloop to right field that ended up tying the game in the eighth inning.

Swisher would’ve taken the cautious route.

“In hindsight, obviously I wish I would’ve kept the ball in front of me, “ Swisher said. “But you live and you learn.”

Swisher’s aggressive route cost the Yankees as Young’s bloop got by the Yankees left fielder and became a bases-clearing double in the Yankees 5-4 loss to the Twins in extra innings Tuesday night.

With the Yankees leading the Twins 4-1 with the bases loaded with two outs in the eighth, Young blooped a pitch from David Robertson into right field. First baseman Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano both ran after the ball, but it was hit too deep for them to catch.

In came Swisher, playing in a no-doubles defense, trying to make a sliding catch. About halfway into his slide, though, he realized that he wasn’t going to make the catch and pulled up abruptly as the ball landed, trying to grab at the bouncing ball with his free hand as he went by it and going into a forward tumble. Cano quickly picked up the ball in the outfield and fired home, but Joe Mauer beat the throw to the game.

With a 3-2 count, Mauer was able to go on the pitch, but Swisher said that didn’t factor into the play.

“I wasn’t worried about him, I was trying to make the catch,” Swisher said. “I wasn’t really paying attention to him at the time and you replay your play in your mind and all you want to do is keep that ball in front of you. For me, I made a mistake and we paid for it.”

Manager Joe Girardi seemed to defer blame from Swisher, saying the count worked against his right fielder and Young earned his bases.

“I thought it was a base hit,” Girardi said. “It was a well-placed ball. I knew it was a base hit when it left the bat. You can’t assume three runs are gonna score but I knew it was a base hit."

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.271 15 67 69
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 21
RBIJ. Ellsbury 67
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .764
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAH. Kuroda 3.81
SOM. Tanaka 135