WS G3: Yankees @ Phillies

Lineups via LoHud:

YANKEES
Derek Jeter SS
Johnny Damon LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jorge Posada C
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Melky Cabrera CF
Andy Pettitte P

Pitching: LHP Andy Pettitte (2-0, 2.37 postseason ERA)

PHILLIES
Jimmy Rollins SS
Shane Victorino CF
Chase Utley 2B
Ryan Howard 1B
Jayson Werth RF
Raul Ibanez...

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Hitting Hamels’ changeup

Cole Hamels’ best pitch this year is, once again, his changeup. The pitch, which generally clocks in around 78-81 mph, on average, was thrown just over 30% of the time in 2009. It serves as Hamels’ main strikeout offering and, according to pitch value data, was 11.7 runs...

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By the Numbers: A.J. and Pettitte on 3 days rest

My gut instinct, upon looking at the schedule, was to dig in my heels against it.  I had heard, as most of you have, the famous 4.65 ERA statistic for pitchers on 3 days rest since the wildcard era began (see here – prior to 2009).  A closer examination of that arguments, however, shows...

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Pitching Profile: Cole Hamels

Combine that with the fact that Hamels’ best pitch is his changeup, and the fact that Yankees were the 3rd best in MLB as a team at producing runs versus changeups (per fangraphs.com), and it looks rough for the Phillies. That said, the Phillies are above average against the cutter, and rank as the best team in the majors against sliders, two pitches Pettitte relies on.

And it should be pointed out that while it’s not an elimination game, it might as well be a must-win for the Phillies– Sunday brings a rather unfair matchup between CC Sabathia and Joe Blanton. If Hamels wants another ESPN commercial in 2010, it’s time to man up.

Recommended related reading: World Series head-to-head: Starters, where we noted the following:

  • One thing to note–the Yankees are very good at hitting changeups (3rd best in the league by pitch values), and Cole Hamels best pitch is his changeup.

What the other side thinks: Crashburn Alley’s preview of Andy Pettitte

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A-Rod, where did you go?

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Alex Rodriguez has 6 strikeouts, thus far, in the World Series. He’s performing like it’s 2006.

Here’s Tom Verducci’s (SI) take on A-Rod’s first two games of the series:

Those were some funky swings Alex Rodriguez took in Games 1 and 2 in the World Series, looking nothing like...

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Matsui to the OF in Game 3?

And remember, even when he was “healthy”, or “healthier” than he is now, Matsui was NEVER a good fielder. To wit, his UZR since joining the Yanks in 2003:

  • 2003: -21.7
  • 2004: -25.4
  • 2005: -10.8
  • 2006: -3.8
  • 2007: -7.6
  • 2008: -2.5

Not exactly sparking, eh? If he plays LF, bumping Damon to RF (which, by the way, is a bad move unto itself), his UZR’s aren’t much better for his career as a LF’er:

  • 2003: -17.7
  • 2004: -24.8
  • 2005: -1.6
  • 2006: -3.8
  • 2007: -7.6
  • 2008: -2.3

Not a positive number in the bunch. Sure, his offense can compensate for his defense, to a degree, but in what might be a tightly played, close game, would you really want to add a sore-kneed player who hasn’t played the field since 2008?

Not me. What do you think?

Suggested related reading: World Series head-to-head: OF/DH, which includes the table below:

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