Top stats to know: Yankees at Orioles

August, 13, 2014
Aug 13
1:31
PM ET

Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY SportsPineda will start for the first time since April 23, when he was ejected for having pine tar on his neck.
The New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles complete their abbreviated series tonight at 7 ET (on ESPN/WatchESPN). The Orioles won the opener on Monday 11-3; Tuesday’s game was rained out.

Pitching Matchup
Michael Pineda makes his return to the Yankees lineup for the first time since April 23, when he was ejected and then suspended 10 games for having pine tar on his neck.

While serving his suspension, Pineda strained a muscle behind his pitching shoulder and missed the next three-plus months.

In 2011, Pineda averaged 94.5 mph on his fastball, good for fourth highest among qualified pitchers that season. This season, he’s averaged just 91.8 mph and touched 95 mph just 12 times in his four starts.

Perhaps seeking to make up for his lower velocity, Pineda has thrown his changeup twice as much as he did in 2011.

Batters failed to record a hit on that pitch in seven plate appearances, with three strikeouts this season.

Chris Tillman will take the mound for the Orioles. He has allowed three or fewer runs in 12 straight starts, four starts longer than his previous career-high streak.

Tillman has thrown his fastball a career-high 63.9 percent of the time this season.

He’s allowed a career-best .235 batting average with that pitch to go along with a career-high 37.5 percent ground ball rate.

In addition, he’s limiting home runs and extra base hits with his heater as well.

Miscellaneous
• The Yankees are 38-26 in games decided by two or fewer runs this season, the best win percentage (.594) in baseball. The Orioles are right behind them, ranking third best with a .587 win percentage (37-26).

• Brett Gardner has a 4.2 WAR this season, most on the team. If you prorate that out over 162 team games, he would finish with a 5.8 WAR.

The last Yankees outfielder other than Gardner (he posted a 7.3 WAR in 2010) to post a season like that was Paul O’Neill (5.8 WAR in 1998).

• Chris Davis excelled on pitches on the outer half of the plate last season, hitting over .300 while slugging 36 home runs. However, this season he has struggled, hitting only .190 with 16 home runs.

• J.J. Hardy has hit at least 22 home runs in each of the last three seasons. To reach that mark this season, he’s going to have to go on a tear, as he’s hit only six so far.

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