W2W4: Yankees at Blue Jays (Friday)

It’s hard to be statistically positive when a team gives up 16 runs the night before. So forgive the negative nature as we look at What2Watch4 in tonight’s matchup.

Freddy Garcia Stat to Watch

The Stats & Information daily research notes tipped us off to the struggles of Garcia in Rogers Centre, an issue that dates back to 2001. In four starts there over the previous 10 seasons, Garcia has pitched 19 innings and yielded 22 runs.

Most recently, Garcia yielded seven runs in three innings there in a start last season.

His history against Toronto this season is so-so – two starts at home in which he allowed three runs in each, but went no more than six innings in either.

Garcia should benefit from likely not seeing Jose Bautista, who is 4-for-8 with two home runs, three walks, and a hit by pitch against him.

Brandon Morrow Stat To Watch

Morrow is a pitcher against whom the Yankees have recently recorded both a lot of strikeouts and a lot of base hits. Last season, Morrow whiffed 40 Yankees in 27 1/3 innings over five starts. But in three of those starts, he was knocked around for at least five runs.

When the Yankees put the ball in play against Morrow last season, they have an unusually high batting average- .415. The poster-Yankee for that is Brett Gardner, 3-for-11 against Morrow with seven strikeouts in his career.

The Yankees have twice seen Morrow at his best. He no-hit them for 7 2/3 innings in Seattle on September 5, 2008. Then, last August 23rd, he struck out 12 and allowed two runs over six innings in an eventual 3-2 Blue Jays win.

Jeter Watch

If Morrow’s fastball is on, Jeter could be in for a rough day.

Yankees vs 93+ MPH Pitches
From RHP This Season

Morrow’s fastball averages 93.5 miles-per-hour according to our pitch performance data. Jeter, is hitless in his last 14 at-bats against right-handers that ended with a fastball of 93-miles-per-hour or faster.

He’s 8-for-50 against such pitches from righties this season. That .160 batting average is 81 points below what a right-handed hitter has averaged against such a pitch this season.

In more simple terms, any righty hitter could have trouble today. Opposing right-handed hitters are hitting just .209 against Morrow this season.

Cano too

Cano is surprisingly low in that chart on the right too, which is unusual.

But a quick look at the data shows that he's missing twice as frequently against 93+ MPH pitches from righties this season compared to last season. And his contact is yielding little in the way of results -- a .182 batting average on balls in play this season, compared to .351 and .339 the two previous years.

A-Rod will be missed

The Yankees felt some of the effects of the absence of Alex Rodriguez with the error by third baseman Eduardo Nunez yesterday.

In 76 innings at third base this season, Nunez rates even in the advanced defensive stat of plus-minus (which rates how well a player turns batted balls into outs when he is on the field).

But that’s a downgrade from what Rodriguez has done this season. He entered the All-Star Break a +6 (plays) and +9 (bases) in terms of what he’d done above an average third baseman, ranking him tied for best in the majors.

Stat of the Day

How amazing was it that the last time the Yankees allowed 20 hits in a nine-inning game, without allowing a home run was 77 years ago to the day? The last such occurrence was July 14, 1934 against the Tigers.

But good news for the Yankees today. They’ve have never had consecutive games in which they allowed 16 runs or more. The last team to do that? The 2007 Rays … against the Yankees.