Only one American League pitcher had a better called strikeout percentage than Doug Fister.The New York Yankees host the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the ALCS, which can be heard Saturday starting at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN Radio.
The Yankees and Tigers will meet in the postseason for the third time, and second time in as many years. However, this is the first time they will meet in the ALCS.
New York's ace delivered the Yankees to the ALCS on Friday, and now they will turn to an old stand-by in the series opener on Saturday.
Forty-year-old Andy Pettitte will make his 44th career postseason start, and Game 1 will be his 15th in the League Championship Series. With the Yankees, Pettitte is 7-2 with a 3.63 ERA in 12 LCS starts.
If Pettitte earns one more win in the LCS, he will tie Dave Stewart (8-0) for the most wins in LCS history.
Two Tigers have had Pettitte’s number in the past, and we’re not talking about Miguel Cabrera or Prince Fielder. Including the postseason, Delmon Young is 13-for-24 (.542 BA) against Pettitte, the highest batting average among players who have faced him at least 20 times. Jhonny Peralta is 7-for-18 (.389 BA) against Pettitte, with six extra-base hits, including three home runs.
As for Cabrera, he’s a lifetime .383 hitter at New Yankee Stadium, with seven home runs in 56 plate appearances.
Highest Pct. of Strikeouts Looking
American League Starters in 2012
Opposing Pettitte will be Doug Fister. His called strike percentage during the regular season was 37.7 percent, the sixth-best among starting pitchers. In the second half of the season, Fister had an American League-best 39 called strikeouts. Overall, 61 of his 137 strikeouts were called (44.5 percent), the second-highest percentage among American League starters (see chart).
With Fister's ability to get called third strikes, will that impact whether Alex Rodriguez is in the starting lineup? He is 1-for-9 against Fister with three strikeouts, including an 0-for-4 in last season’s ALDS. What's more, Rodriguez led the Yankees with 37 called strikeouts during the regular season.