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