W2W4: ALCS Game 1

Andy Pettitte Stats To Watch

There are two Tigers with a history of success against Pettitte and their names are neither Prince Fielder nor Miguel Cabrera.

Most HR vs LHP
Tigers in 2012

Delmon Young is 13-for-24 against Pettitte, including 2-for-5 in postseason play. His .542 batting average is the highest of any of the more than 200 players with at least 20 career at-bats against Pettitte.

Young has a rep for being an aggressive hitter, so look for Pettitte to try to take advantage of that.

Young had the highest swing rate of any hitter in baseball (59 percent) this season and those numbers were basically identical versus lefties and righties.

Jhonny Peralta is 7-for-18 (including 1-for-2 in postseason) with three home runs against Pettitte.

One note on Peralta that might play into Pettitte's favor. Peralta has seen 127 sliders/cutters from lefties this season. On them he has managed just one hit and two walks, with 18 outs and a 35-percent miss rate on his swings.

Pettitte's History

This will be the seventh time in Pettitte's career that he’ll pitch a postseason series opener, the first time he'll do so for the Yankees since the 2001 ALCS, when he held the Mariners to one run and three hits in eight innings in a win.

Most Career LCS Wins

He'll be the fifth pitcher age 40 or older to start Game 1 of a postseason series, joining Dennis Martinez, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, and David Wells. He'll be the second-oldest Yankee, about a month shy of Wells.

A win would make Petitte the oldest Yankee to start and win a Game 1, passing Clemens, who won to open the 2002 ALDS against the Angels.

Pettitte doesn't have much of a recent history against the Tigers. This start will mark the first time he has faced them since 2008.

Doug Fister Stats To Watch

Fister pitched really well at the end of the season, adding about an extra mile-per-hour to his fastball. That led to one game in which he set an AL record with nine straight strikeouts. In his last eight starts, including Game 2 of the ALDS, he’s 3-2 with a 2.82 ERA and 1.10 WHIP.

Best ERA Since All-Star Break
AL Pitchers (Includes Postseason)

Fister is an interesting one to watch with a two-strike count, because he has four options he's comfortable throwing. The most effective one during this eight-start run have been that 90 mph fastball (47 outs, eight baserunners allowed).

The Yankees lefties will be challenged by Fister's two-strike approach. He likes to throw eye-high fastballs and big breaking curveballs that drop below the knees. The Athletics lefties couldn't touch him: They went 0-for-10 with seven strikeouts and a walk in Game 2 against those two-strike pitches.

How do you get Miguel Cabrera out?

Cabrera was held down reasonably well by the Athletics, who limited him to give hits in 20 at-bats, primarily by mixing up pitches that were on the outside corner around the knees, along with those that jammed him inside.

Lefties who have been able to jam Cabrera have given him a little trouble this season. He has seen 306 pitches on the inner-third of the plate or closer to him this season, hit only one home runs and his outs-to-hits rate is about 3-to-1.

For more on how pitchers have had success with Cabrera, check out our article from prior to the ALDS here.