W2W4: Yankees at Angels (Friday)

Bartolo Colon Stats2Watch4

Colon needs to be wary of the long ball. He’s given up six home runs in his last four starts and historically, Angel Stadium is a ballpark in which he yields long flies-- he’s yielded them at a rate of 1.4 per nine innings in 59 career starts there.

Colon has fared better this season with Francisco Cervelli behind the plate (2.02 ERA in 53⅓ innings) than Russell Martin (4.61 in 91⅔ innings pitched). Whoever is behind the plate will need to figure out a way for Colon to get left-handed hitters out. They are hitting .330 with a .679 slugging percentage against him since the All-Star Break (they were .254/.451 prior).

Jered Weaver Stats2Watch4

Weaver is 3-0 in regular season games against the Yankees at Angel Stadium, albeit with a 4.74 ERA. His home ERA overall this season is 1.87, which took a spike when he allowed six runs in five innings to the Twins in his last start on September 3.

Best Home ERA
2011 Season

Since that start, Angels pitchers have allowed just seven runs in the last four games, though that’s come against the Mariners and Twins. The Angels won three of those games despite hitting only .198 as a team in them.

Weaver gives up a lot of fly balls and those on the Yankees roster have cashed in. Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson each have a .353 batting average and four home runs in 17 regular season at-bats against Weaver, tied with Hank Blalock and Raul Ibanez for the most home runs against the Angels ace.

Granderson actually had hits in his first three at-bats against Weaver, but has just three hits in 14 at-bats since. He’s 0-for-7 against Weaver since homering against him on April 21, 2009. Granderson’s four home runs against Weaver match Scott Baker for his most against any pitcher.

Rodriguez homered in each of four straight regular season games against Weaver between 2007 and 2009, and Weaver has responded by walking him four times in nine plate appearances since the last long ball.

Rodriguez and Granderson rank 1-2 in slugging percentage both against Weaver and against the Angels as a team. Rodriguez has 68 home runs in 183 games against the Angels. Granderson has 15 in 52, including four in three games at Yankee Stadium earlier this season.

They might want to pass some help on to Derek Jeter, who is 2-for-19 all-time in the regular season against Weaver, his worst batting average for any pitcher he's had at least 20 plate appearances against (cap-tip to my colleague, Jeremy Lundblad, for the late addition).

Nick of Time

Nick Swisher is 3-for-28 since August 31 and is having trouble sneaking a ground ball through the infield. He’s 0-for-10 when hitting a ground ball in that stretch, and is hitless on the last 13 ground balls he’s hit.

Inside The Season Series
Yankees lead Angels, 4-2

Not So Heavenly

The Yankees went 8-20 in Angel Stadium from 2005 to 2010, but took two of three their earlier this season. Key to that was outhomering the Angels, 5-1.

Fish Tale

The Yankees will get their first look at Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year, outfielder Mike Trout, who is hitting .230 with five home runs through his first 87 at-bats. He’s hitting just .209 with one home run in 43 at-bats at Angel Stadium.

Stat of the Day

Since allowing a triple on an 0-2 pitch to Johnny Damon on July 9, David Robertson has thrown 68 curveballs and not allowed a hit with one. Hitters have shown an inability to resist in the pitch, with which Robertson has gotten 16 outs in that stretch, despite throwing the hook in the strike zone around one-fourth of the time.