W2W4: Yankees vs. Red Sox (Oct. 1)

Clay Buchholz Stats to Watch

Buchholz is 0-3 in his last six starts, but has decent numbers -- a 3.38 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP and a .224 opponents’ batting average.

Alex Rodriguez (.409 BA, 2 HR in 22 AB) and Robinson Cano (.435 BA) both have very good numbers versus Buchholz.

The binder-based decision for Joe Girardi will be where to hit Curtis Granderson, who is 1-for-14 in his career against Buchholz, albeit with five walks (and seven strikeouts). The lone hit came in their meeting earlier this season.

CC Sabathia Stats To Watch

Sabathia has historically handled Dustin Pedroia well. Pedroia is 9-for-37 against him with no home runs and 13 strikeouts. Pedroia whiffs with a much greater frequency against Sabathia than he does against other pitchers (about once every 10.6 at-bats).

Sabathia has consecutive games with double –digits in strikeouts. He’s only had a longer streak in the regular season once in his career- for the Indians in 2008.

The last Yankees pitcher with a streak of three double-digit strikeout games in a row was David Cone in September, 1998.

The key pitch for him these last two games has been the slider, which has netted 19 hits and yielded only two baserunners. He’ll want to be careful with that pitch to Cody Ross, who has golfed three home runs against sliders from lefties this season.

The return of Mark Teixeira

Teixeira has had an RBI in six of the nine games against the Red Sox this season, with 18 in all (including six in the 15-9 comeback win on April 21).

Over the last four seasons, Teixeira’s slashline splits against Red Sox lefties (.250/.348/.517) and righties (.249/.351/.529) are almost identical.

Teixeira’s return should also boost the Yankees defensively. He enters the day with 16 Defensive Runs Saved, tied for the most among AL first basemen.

The Yankees went 14-6 in Teixeira’s absence, averaging 5.5 runs per game.

Cano rolling

Cano enters with a six-game multi-hit streak, with 15 hits in his last 24 at-bats.

Cano is mashing the pitches you would expect him to mash, something he had trouble with in the first three weeks of September. He finished the month with 10 hits in the last 13 at-bats that ended with a pitch in the strike zone. He’d started the month 9-for-his-first-49 against those pitches.

When Cano was going bad, the biggest issue was that he couldn’t cover the inner half of the plate (or the area off the inside corner).

On the first 118 inner-half pitches he saw in September, he made 27 outs and reached base seven times (once on a hit, three times on a walk, three times on an error).

Of the 36 inner-half pitches he’s seen in the last six games, he’s reached base five times (with four hits) and made five outs.

Jeter streaking

The Yankees game notes are loaded with statistical goodies on Jeter, who has reached base in 31 straight games, the third-longest streak of his career. The two longer streaks were 53 games in 1999 and 41 in 2000. Jeter needs two runs scored for his 14th 100-run season, which would be second-most all-time behind Hank Aaron.

A-Rod still searching for an RBI

Alex Rodriguez does not have an RBI in his last 11 games. That’s his longest RBI-free streak as a Yankee and tied for the second-longest of his career, only topped by a 13-game streak with the Rangers in 2003.

Rodriguez will tie Stan Musial for fifth place on the all-time RBI list with his next one, which would give him 1,950.