W2W4: Yankees at Athletics (July 20)

Milone Stats To Watch

The Yankees will see a pitcher who is as good in his home ballpark as anyone in baseball. The chart on the right shows the difference in Tommy Milone’s performance this season.

Tom Milone
2012 Season

The primary reason for this is the cavernous nature of the Athletics' home ballpark. Milone has gotten 55 fly-ball outs both at home and on the road, but at home he’s yielded just five fly-ball hits, compared to 24 (14 of them being homers) on the road.

Milone lives in the lower half of the strike zone with both his fastball and his offspeed pitches. The only player to get him for a home run at home, Andruw Jones got a lower-half pitch and hit it 454 feet to left-center field.

Expect the Yankees to see a lot of changeups. They saw 31 in Milone’s first start against them this season, resulting in 10 outs and allowing four hits.

The changeup has been a particularly effective weapon for Milone at home. The rest of baseball has just six hits (and made 56 outs) against his changeup in Oakland.

Nova Stats To Watch

Ivan Nova has a 1.95 ERA in his past five road starts, though he’s also allowed five unearned runs in that stretch.

But one of the reasons Nova is pitching better on the road than he is at home is because he’s been able to coax more ground balls from opposing hitters.

Nova’s ground-ball rate in these five road starts is 57 percent. In his past five home starts, his ground-ball rate is just 37 percent.

Nova got in a bit of trouble when he allowed a ball to be hit in the air against him in his start in Oakland on May 25. The Athletics netted three line-drive hits and two fly balls for homers in that contest.

Robbie Cano … Didja Know?

Robinson Cano brings a 22-game hitting streak into this game. The 22-game streak mirrors almost to the day a 22-game hitting streak by Joe DiMaggio in 1937 that spanned from June 27 to July 21.

Cano would be hard-pressed to do what DiMaggio did that season though. After an 0-for-4 against the St. Louis Browns on July 22, DiMaggio started another hitting streak, this one 21 games in length. Over the 44-game stretch, in which he had two hitting streaks of 20 games or longer, DiMaggio had 75 hits.

Cano was 0-for-2 with a walk against Milone in their previous meeting on May 27. He’s 9-for-50 against Athletics left-handed pitchers over the last four seasons.

Joshing Around

The Yankees couldn’t hold Yoenis Cespedes down on Thursday, but they did hold one of Oakland’s other top hitters, Josh Reddick to an 0-for-3.

Reddick might be due for a good game against the Yankees. He’s 7-for-49 with 12 strikeouts in his career against them, including 6-for-42 against right-handed pitching.

Stat of the Game

The Yankees have scored at least three runs in 43 straight games. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that is tied for the fifth-longest single-season streak in major-league history. The record is 48, by the 1887 Phillies and the 1994 Indians.