Alex Rodriguez – the teammate

That transformation was never more evident than last night’s game between the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers. The Yankees had done something few teams have been able to do. They nicked up Justin Verlander for four runs in six innings. But Ivan Nova, through a series of unfortunate events. coughed up the lead and allowed the Tigers to go back up by two runs. The Yankees would trim the lead to one thanks to an error. This is where Alex Rodriguez begins to really shine.

After hitting a homer off of Verlander and driving in another run earlier, Rodriguez came up in the eighth and faced the really tough Joaquin Benoit. In a terrific at bat, Rodriguez took what Benoit would give him and laced an opposite field single. Good base running then took him to third on Robinson Cano‘s single through the first base hole. And this is where Alex Rodriguez, the teammate took over.

Mark Teixeira hit a deep fly to center.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees get to Verlander, come back for 7-6 victory

At this point, a game of see-saw would break out over the lead. The Yankees clawed back a run in the bottom of the fourth inning on a leadoff home run from Alex Rodriguez, then added two runs in the fifth to take a 4-3 thanks to a two run homer off the bat of Russell Martin. That state of affairs wouldn’t persist for long, however, as the Tigers struck for three runs in the sixth. Nova allowed a leadoff double by Jhonny Peralta and then a single from Ryan Raburn to put runners on the corners with no outs. Raburn would would take second base on a wild pitch, and old friend Autin Jackson would bring both home with a double, putting Detroit up 5-4. Nova would get Brennan Boesch out on a liner to Nick Swisher in rightfield, but after issuing an intentional walk to Miguel Cabrera, Nova’s night was finished, as Joe Girardi called on Boone Logan with the left-handed bat of Prince Fielder waiting at the plate.… Click here to read the rest

Game 19: Beat Verlander

(AP)

The last time the Tigers met up with the Yankees was last year’s American League Division Series, and things didn’t end up so well. Now the Yankees are stuck in a 2 game losing streak where they’ve only scored 3 runs, and they have the grandiose task of taking on one of the best pitchers in the game, Justin Verlander. In his career, he’s held the team to a 3.97 ERA in 10 starts. Pitching against the Tigers is perhaps the Yankees most reliable starting pitcher, Ivan Nova. The right handed pitcher has been successful against the Tigers in the past, with his only scuffle being an injured start in game 5 of the ALDS. Here are tonight’s starting lineups for tonight, and there is a noticeable absence on the Tiger’s side.

RHP Ivan Nova v. RHP Justin Verlander
Yankees Tigers
Derek Jeter SS Austin Jackson CF
Curtis Granderson CF Brennan Boesch RF
Alex Rodriguez DH Miguel Cabrera 3B
Robinson Cano 2B Prince Fielder 1B
Mark Teixeira 1B Don Kelly LF
Nick Swisher RF Brad Eldred DH
Raul Ibanez LF Alex Avila C
Eric Chavez 3B Jhonny Peralta SS
Russell Martin C Ryan Raburn 2B

Check out Matt’s special preview of the Tiger’s series with blogger Alexandra Simon.… Click here to read the rest

Hughes Too Predictable With Two Strikes

In his four starts of the 2012 season, Phil Hughes‘ best offspeed pitch has been his changeup, yet with 89 two strike counts in his favor, he’s thrown only 3 changeups. It feels like it’s happening more and more, and it’s something we’ve uttered his entire career, but the pitcher gives up too many hits two strikes. Looking at selection and location, there’s no reason to wonder, he’s predictable. Take a look for yourself.

Four-seam Cutter Curveball Changeup
0-2 62% (13) 19% (4) 14% (3) 5% (1)
1-2 70% (23) 15% (5) 12% (4) 3% (1)
2-2 69% (24) 20% (3) 9% (7) 3% (1)
Total 67% (60) 13% (12) 16% (14) 3% (3)

Early in the game Wednesday, I found myself impressed with Hughes’ curveball, and after he was hit hard by the Rangers in the third inning, I heard Michael Kay say the pitch looked flat. This had me reaching out to PITCHf/x of course, and sure enough the pitch had a well above average 10 inches of additional downward break and 6 inch movement away from right handed hitters.… Click here to read the rest