W2W4: Yankees at Red Sox (April 21)

Freddy Garcia Matchups to Watch

David Ortiz was 5-for-10 with two doubles and a home run against Garcia last season, though Garcia retired him in each of their last four head-to-head meetings.

Look for Garcia to pitch Ortiz to the outer-third or further away. He got Ortiz out three times with pitches to that area later in the season. In fact, 17 of the last 23 pitches he threw to Ortiz in 2011 were located on, or just off the outside part of the plate.

Garcia got burned for those hits early in the season, when he made the mistake of coming inside a couple of times too many.

Ortiz will be ready for the outside pitch though. He’s 8-for-18 against pitches thrown to that area this season, albeit with no home runs.

Mike Aviles is the Red Sox hitter with the best numbers against Garcia, with eight hits in 14 at-bats. But he’s also whiffed four times in those matchups.

In his last start, Garcia got roughed up a bit by the Twins, though the Twins did get a little fortunate. Four of the nine hits they had against him were on pitches that were not in the strike zone.

Felix Doubront Matchups to Watch

Alex Rodriguez has not gotten a hit against left-handed pitching this season. He’s 0-for-14 against lefties overall, with seven ground balls, three fly balls, three strikeouts, and one line drive out.

For his career, Rodriguez averages a home run every 15 at-bats against lefties, so in that regard he’s due for one of those. However, he only had two home runs in 94 at-bats against left-handed pitching last season.

Doubront averages almost 93 miles-per-hour with his fastball. The last time Rodriguez hit a pitch thrown at least 93 miles-per-hour from a left-handed pitcher over the fence was against a 94-mile-per-hour heater from Jon Lester on May 9, 2010.

Jeter Watch

Derek Jeter already has as many hits in the month of April as he did in 22 games last April. The most hits he’s ever had in an April is 35, in 2006.

Jeter is 11-for-20 against left-handed pitching this season and 10 of those 11 hits have either been hit straight away or to the opposite field.

Putting The Bat on The Ball

The Yankees have been amazing through the first 14 games in making contact. They had more home runs (5) than strikeouts (4) in Friday’s win.

The Yankees have 77 strikeouts through 14 games, a rate of 5.5 per game, which ranks best in the American League.

Last season, Jeter, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira combined for 287 strikeouts. This season, the three of them are combining to average one strikeout per game.

Keeping Opponents Bats Off The Ball

Yankees pitchers have 137 strikeouts through the first 14 games, an average of nearly 10 per game, and 60 more strikeouts than their hitters have had.

Yankees pitchers have struck out at least seven opposing hitters in 12 straight games. In the Live Ball Era (since 1920), they’ve never had a longer streak, having had runs of 12 straight stopped in 1996, 2001, and 2009. The last AL team with a streak longer than a dozen is the 2008 Angels (14 straight).