Joe Girardi has some interesting decisions to make regarding his lineup for Tuesday night when his team faces Justin Verlander.
Let's take a stat-based look at five of them. What would you do in these cases? Share your thoughts in the comments sectrion.
Would Joe Girardi bench Rodriguez in order to load up the lineup with lefties against Verlander?
Two reasons why A-Rod probably gets the nod:
1. He had good swings in his last two at-bats. Inside Edge, which tracks “hard-hit balls” credited Rodriguez with two hard-hit balls in Game 2, the first game in which he had two hard-hit balls since September 22 against the Athletics.
2. Though Chavez has an edge in terms of history against Justin Verlander (he’s 9-for-25 compared to A-Rod’s 8-for-30), Rodriguez has good recent history against the Tigers ace. He’s 4-for-6 with two home runs against Verlander this season.
Decision No. 2: Eric Chavez or Raul Ibanez at DH?
You would think it wouldn’t even be a consideration as to whether Raul Ibanez was in the Yankees lineup or not. But let’s compare his history against Verlander to Chavez’s.
Ibanez vs Verlander: 3-for-29, five strikeouts, one extra-base hit; hitless in last 18 at-bats vs Verlander His .103 batting average against Verlander is his worst against any pitcher (minimum 20 AB)
Chavez vs Verlander: 9-for-25, five strikeouts, three extra-base hits; 6-for-10 vs Verlander this season
Nix would seem to be the likely choice, but two things to keep in mind with picking him.
1. He’s 1-for-18 against right-handed pitching since September 5.
2. He’s 1-for-11 with five strikeouts against Justin Verlander.
Nunez is 1-for-3 career against Verlander with a double.
Decision No. 4: Granderson/Swisher or Gardner?
Curtis Granderson is 3-for-26 with 14 strikeouts this postseason and 0-for-7 with five strikeouts in this series against the Tigers. He’s 4-for-20 with eight strikeouts against Verlander, 2-for-10 with five strikeouts this season.
Swisher is 4-for-26 with eight strikeouts in this postseason, though he’s 2-for-8 in this series. He’s 11-for-61 (.180) with 23 strikeouts (and three homers) vs Verlander, but 3-for-9 with two doubles against him this season.
Gardner has totaled three at-bats since April 18 with one hit. But he’s 5-for-11 in his career against Verlander.
Decision No. 5: Where to hit Teixeira and Cano?
Mark Teixeira has hit well this postseason- a .320 batting average with seven walks in 25 at-bats, though with no home runs. His history against Verlander may be a concern. He’s 3-for-35 career against Verlander, including 0-for-his-last 15. His .086 batting average versus Verlander is his worst against any pitcher (minimum 20 at-bats)
Cano enters this game hitless in his last 26 at-bats, a record hitless streak for a single postseason. He’s 7-for-38 (.184) career against Verlander with no home runs, which includes 0-for-7 in previous postseason appearances.
But he’s 3-for-10 with a triple against Verlander this season. Inside Edge has credited him with six "hard-hit balls" of the nine he's hit against Verlander this season.