Stats & Info: Joe Girardi

Today’s Trivia: Can you name the only two players with 50+ home runs for both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees?

Quick Hits: Let’s take a look at some fast facts regarding the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry and what the fresh faces might mean for 2011.

• The Red Sox and Yankees have split the season series 9-9 in each of the past three seasons. That includes 2009 when the Red Sox took the first eight games against New York.

• Joe Girardi took over in 2008, so that makes him an even 27-27 against Boston while with New York. Including the postseason, Terry Francona is 67-69 against the Yankees as Boston manager.

• According to Elias, this will be the 28th time that the Red Sox have had their home opener against the Yankees. Boston has won the last six and in 14-13 overall.

• The last time the Red Sox faced the Yankees while on a six-game losing streak. According to Elias, it was in the midst of a nine-game streak in 2001. The last time the Red Sox snapped a six-game losing streak against the Yankees? May 1998.

• Mark Teixeira hit eight home runs against the Red Sox last season. That’s the most by a Yankees hitter since Mickey Mantle clubbed nine in 1958. Oddly, Teixeira hit just .237 against Boston in 2010.
Adrian Gonzalez

• Adrian Gonzalez has never beaten the Yankees, though he’s only had had three chances. Friday is also the Fenway Park debut for the hitter who has the most opposite field home runs in the majors since 2008.

• By contrast, Carl Crawford has almost a full season of data against New York. With a .301 lifetime average, he has 171 hits in 138 games. Among active players, only Manny Ramirez and Vernon Wells have more hits against New York, who is actually tied with David Ortiz for third. In 2005, Crawford tallied 35 hits against the Yankees, the first person to do that since Dale Mitchell in 1952.

• Since 2009, Dan Wheeler has made 10 appearances against the Yankees, but only lasted 5⅓ innings while allowing six home runs. His ERA in that span? 20.25. The Yankees are hitting .467 with a 1.634 OPS.

• It looks like Dennys Reyes won’t quite get to experience the rivalry, as he was designated for assignment Friday. If this is it for Reyes in a Boston uniform, he will go down as the only pitcher in Red Sox history with more hit batsmen (2) than innings pitched (1⅔).

• Russell Martin has faced the Red Sox in three games, and is just 1-for-11 (.091).
Rafael Soriano

• Rafael Soriano has been excellent against the Red Sox in his career with a 2.61 ERA and .178 opponent batting average. He had five saves against Boston last season, the most for a pitcher since Francisco Rodriguez in 2008.

Trivia Answer: Johnny Damon and Mike Stanley are the only players with 50+ HR with both the Yankees and Red Sox. Babe Ruth? He only had 49 homers with Boston.

Twins-Yankees matchups to watch

April, 6, 2011
Tonight is the third game of a four-game set between the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees (7 ET on ESPN2). Since 2002, the Twins are 17-46 against the Yankees, their worst record against any opponent over that span. Did you know? In the last 20 seasons, the Twins have only won a season series from the Yankees only 3 times — 1991, 1992 and 2001.

Carl Pavano
Pavano’s Matchups to Watch
Nick Swisher is 1-for-6 against Carl Pavano in the regular season with 5 strikeouts. Pavano also struck him out twice in two at-bats in the 2009 ALDS (Swisher did go 1-3 against him last year’s ALDS).

Mark Teixeira’s lone HR against Pavano came in his last regular season AB against him - May 31, 2009.

On Carl Pavano’s Yankees tenure (and why wins don’t tell the whole story for a pitcher)
There are a number of pitchers who have been the subject of Yankees fans derision, among them Ed Whitson, Javier Vazquez, Kenny Rogers, Jeff Weaver, and Pavano. Yet those names all share a common thread. All finished with ERA’s of 5 or higher in their Yankees tenure … and they all finished their Yankees career with winning records!!

Freddy Garcia
Garcia’s Matchups to Watch
Joe Mauer’s .419 BA vs Freddy Garcia includes a 6-for-10 in 2010. He homered in his last AB against Garcia on August 10, 2010.

Jason Kubel was 6-for-8 against Garcia last season with 3 BB. He’s reached base in 4 straight PA vs Garcia. One other note on Kubel: He went 7-for-15 with 3 HR against the Yankees in the regular season last year.

Jim Thome has walked 9 times against Garcia in 28 regular season plate appearance, and twice more in six postseason PA. His last 2 AB vs Garcia are a HR and a 2B.

Twins hitters hit .337 against Garcia last season (he made 4 starts vs MIN)

Jeter Watch
Derek Jeter is hitting .167 through the Yankees first 5 games of the season. The only season in which he hit worse within the Yankees first 5 games of a season was in 1998 when he was hitting .150 (3-for-20). Jeter rebounded to hit .324 and the Yankees ended up winning 114 games.

Mark Teixeira
Teixeira Watch
Mark Teixeira is hitting .373 in the regular season against the Twins. But if you just go back to 2007, it’s even more ridiculous. Since 2007, he’s hitting .453 against them in the regular season (39-for-86) and has a walk-off HR against them in the postseason.

Teixeira is glad to have Freddy Garcia on his team. Teixeira is 0-for-16 in his career against Garcia!

Twins righty struggles
The Twins are hitting .174 against right-handed pitching this season. Mauer’s game-winning hit last night made him 1-for-7 against right-handers this season.

Lastly, from the Elias Sports Bureau
The Twins came back from 4 down to beat the Yankees last night, the first time they've rallied from 4+ down to beat the Yankees since May 5, 1997 (the Yankees catcher that day was Joe Girardi), when they beat the Yankees, 9-8 at Yankee Stadium.

Tantrum Tuesday

July, 21, 2010
There were seven ejections Tuesday, which is the most this season. Here's a recap of players and managers who got to take an early shower:

- The Yankees Joe Girardi was ejected by Paul Emmel in the bottom of the 5th for arguing a safe/out call.

- The Pirates John Russell was ejected by D.J. Reyburn in the bottom of the 6th for arguing.

- The Dodgers Bob Schaefer was ejected by Adrian Johnson in the bottom of the 6th for arguing.

- The Dodgers Clayton Kershaw and Joe Torre were ejected by Adrian Johnson in the Top of the 7th because Kershaw hit the Giants Aaron Rowand after both teams were warned.

- The A’s Coco Crisp was ejected by Bob Davidson in the Bottom of the 10th for arguing.

- The Red Sox’s John Farrell was ejected by Bob Davidson in the bottom of the 10th for arguing a check swing.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time seven or more players and managers were ejected on the same day was May 15 of last year.

The Joe Torre ejection in the Giants-Dodgers game in part led to the Giants beating the Dodgers 7-5. Bench coach Don Mattingly - thrust into the manager's role after Torre was tossed - was charged with two trips to the mound, despite leaving the dugout only once. With the Dodgers leading 5-4 in 9th, the Giants had the bases loaded with one out. Mattingly went to the mound to discuss strategy. Mattingly left the mound and headed back to the dugout, but then stepped back on the mound when James Loney asked him a question. This constituted two trips to the mound, forcing closer Jonathan Broxton out of the game. With no time to warm up, George Sherrill's gave up a double to the left-center gap by Andres Torres, giving the Giants a 6-5 lead.

Girardi's shuffling act

April, 6, 2010
Yankees Manager Joe Girardi has been at the center of questionable batting order changes before. In fact, just last season Girardi made the call to switch Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter in the batting order. Many questioned his sanity. In the end, he looked like a genius.

In 2010 Girardi is back at it again, moving Robinson Cano into the 5th spot of the lineup. Cano has limited experience in the 5th spot, but most of that experience came in 2009. Cano handled the position just fine, however his numbers elsewhere in the lineup were even better. It's fair to question this move, but, to Girardi's credit he has been right in the past. Cano has matured at the plate over his career to a point where he now hits lefties and righties equally well (.300 AVG vs. LHP and .309 AVG vs. RHP). And unless you get ahead in the count, you are walking a fine line. Like most hitters, when Cano is ahead in the count he thrives to the tune of a .321 career average and a .426 OBP. The only two areas Cano consistently struggles in are drawing walks and hitting with RISP. Hitting behind Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, Cano should see plenty of pitches to hit. He should also see plenty of at bats with RISP. The key for Cano will be his ability to discipline himself at the plate.According to Inside Edge, Cano chases pitches early in the count 26 percent of the time, while the league average is 19 percent. With RISP, Cano has quality at-bats just 38 percent of the time (the league average is 46 percent). Yet in close and late-game situations, Cano has quality at-bats 50 percent of the time, ahead of the 43 percent league average.

And in what may be one of the strangest statistics, Cano chases pitches with 2 strikes in the count 46 percent of the time (the league average is 38 percent) but strikes out just 25 percent of the time in these situations (14 percent swinging, 11 percent looking). This is a true testament to his ability to put the bat on the ball in all counts.

All in all, it should be interesting to see how Cano answers his manager's call of duty in 2010.