As in the first two rounds of the postseason, they're again having trouble hitting left-handers, with the occasional big blow disguising their inconsistency. In Game One, they were 5-for-28 against CC Sabathia, Damaso Marte, and Phil Coke, while last night they were 5-for-25 against Pettitte and Marte. Six of those 10 hits have been for extra bases, but only one — a ninth-inning double off Phil Coke in Game One — has come with runners on base, and their overall line against lefties in the series (.189/.268/.453) is similarly shaped to that of the first two rounds (.194/.322/.444). Take away Jayson Werth's production and for the entire postseason, the rest of the lineup is hitting a fairly tame .174/.304/.383 against southpaws. With Sabathia and Pettitte lined up to pitch as many as three of the remaining four games (if the series stretches that far), this remains a huge problem for the Phillies.
Not that it's the only one. The lineup's first four hitters — Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, [Chase] Utley, and [Ryan] Howard — are a combined 8-for-45 thus far against the Yankees. Howard, who whiffed six times in a row in Games Two and Three, already has nine strikeouts, three shy of tying Willie Wilson's 1980 World Series record. He hasn't walked in the World Series yet, either. Rollins, whose pre-series prediction (Phillies in five) has already been rendered impossible, is hitting an anemic .235/.316/.294 for the entire postseason. Further down the lineup, [Raul] Ibañez has struggled this fall as well (.233/.313/.395), to say nothing of Pedro Feliz (.143/.182/.310).
[Blanton]'s a thoroughly capable number four starter who put up a career-best strikeout rate this year (7.5 per nine), but it came at the expense of a career-high homer rate (1.4 per nine) and a career-low groundball rate (42 percent). Some of that is simply the shift in leagues and ballparks, from Oakland's pitcher-friendly Coliseum to the hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park, but it's nonetheless an unsettling trend. Also unsettling is the fact that the righty yielded a .270/.321/.469 line against righties, compared to .252/.320/.401 against lefties. The Yankees themselves have shown more muscle against righties than lefties this fall (.252/.342/.450, compared to .255/.346/.418). They're poised to create another souvenir or two tonight.The Yankees have also announced that A.J. Burnett will start Game Five on three days' rest. Barring what Joe Girardi termed any "unforeseen things," they'll stick with the three-man rotation from here onwards.
The bottom line is that the Yankees come back with their ace tonight against the Phils' fourth-best starter, one who's got matchup problems against the Bronx Bomber lineup. While the series is by no means over, the two games to one margin and the way the rotations line up going forward makes this their series to lose.
Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]
June 2001 July 2001 August 2001 September 2001 October 2001 November 2001 December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]