Stats & Info: Jermaine Dye

Yanks, Sabathia try to reverse trend vs Rays

April, 22, 2013

AP Photo/Brian BlancoCC Sabathia has struggled against the Rays since joining the Yankees, going 3-8 in 18 starts.
Tropicana Field has not been a very welcoming host to the New York Yankees and CC Sabathia, but tonight New York has a chance to start reversing that trend when they take on the Tampa Bay Rays (7 ET, ESPN and WatchESPN) in the first game of a three-game set.

New York went 2-7 at Tampa Bay last season and is 9-18 over the last three years at Tropicana Field. From 2007-09, the Yankees won 15 of the 27 games played in Florida against the Rays.

Pitching Matchup
CC Sabathia will take the mound tonight looking to reverse his fortune against the Rays on the road. The Yankees are just 6-12 in Sabathia’s last 18 starts against Tampa Bay, and just 1-7 in his eight starts at Tropicana Field since he joined the team in 2009!

Sabathia has gotten off to a good start this season, going 3-1 with a 2.57 ERA. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Sabathia has never won more than three games in April in his previous 12 career seasons. He won three in April for the Cleveland Indians in 2007 and three of the Yankees in both 2010 and 2012. For all other months combined, he’s won at least four games 20 times.

Opposing Sabathia will be Matt Moore, who is 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA in three starts this season. His fastball has been great this season (he averages 92 MPH on that pitch), but his offspeed pitches have been even better.

However, he’ll have to be careful throwing changeups to Robinson Cano and Vernon Wells, who are hitting .556 (ninth) and .500 (11th) against changeups, respectively, this season.

Offensive Comparison
So far in the early going, these two teams could not be further apart in terms of offensive production. Despite missing Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees offense keeps humming, and hitting home runs. New York ranks in the top five in baseball in slugging percentage (.467, 2nd), batting average (.273, 3rd), and OBP (.339, 5th).

With all the power the Yankees are missing – nine of their top 10 home run hitters from last season are not on the roster – power was expected to be at a premium. However, they have already hit 27 home runs so far this season, good for third-best in the majors.

As for the Rays, they are at the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to offense this season. Part of it is due to an incredibly low batting average on balls in play (.260, last in the majors).

Stat of the Game
Evan Longoria is 14-for-39 (.359) with three doubles and five home runs against Sabathia. That is Longoria’s most home runs against any pitcher and only Alfonso Soriano (six) has hit more home runs against Sabathia than Longoria (Jermaine Dye has also hit five home runs against Sabathia).
Today’s Trivia: Hank Aaron made his major-league debut 57 years ago today. Since then, who are the three players with the most home runs in the American League?

Let’s take a look at some odd trends in league-wide splits. A big question emerges: What’s going on with American League offenses?

• Non-pitchers in the National League are hitting .267, while the American League is hitting .247 (entering Wednesday).

• The big difference is at home. American League teams are hitting almost the same at home (.246) as on the road (.247). National League teams are substantially better at home (.271) than on the road (.251).

• Is it a difficulty adjusting to playing under the lights? American League teams are hitting .237 at night compared to .256 during the day.

• American League left fielders have combined to hit .217 with a .628 OPS. Both of those are the lowest for a position in either league. Six American League teams are hitting .200 or worse in left, with the Angels (.106) worst of all.

• Last season, American League outfielders combined to hit .270 with a .761 OPS. This season? A batting average of .234 with a .669 OPS.

• Oddly, the lowest OPS for a National League position is first base (.723). That would be the fourth best OPS for an American League position. In fact, four American League spots have a sub-.700 OPS.

• There’s an interesting age gap in American League pitching. Those who are season age 30 or younger combine for a 3.73 ERA. Those older than that combine for a 5.06 ERA.

Key Matchup: Kevin Youkilis is hitting just .182 on the season, but the cure isn’t likely to be James Shields. Youkilis is 3-for-31 (.097) with 10 strikeouts against Shields in the regular season. It’s worth noting that he’s 3-for-6 with a home run against Shields in postseason play.

This Date in Baseball History
1954: Henry Aaron made his major league debut

1963: Pete Rose got his first major league hit

1984: Pete Rose got his 4,000th hit, a double off Philadelphia pitcher Jerry Koosman

2009: Chicago's Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko reached 300 career home runs in consecutive at-bats. They became the first teammates to hit century milestone home runs of at least 300 in the same game.

Trivia Answer: Since Aaron’s debut, no one has more home runs in the AL than Alex Rodriguez (616). The next two are Harmon Killebrew (573) and Reggie Jackson (562).

Ryan Howard's power surge continues

July, 16, 2010
Ryan Howard hit another HR on Friday against a fastball, continuing his improved power numbers and plate discipline against heaters over the past two months.

Howard also extended his hit streak at Wrigley Field to 16 games on Friday. According to Baseball Reference, only two visiting players have had longer hit streaks at the Friendly Confines since the turn of the century: Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye.