Yankees-Phillies Preview: World Series Rematch vs. Struggling Philly

June 15, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

Coming off a sweep of the Astros that propelled the Yankees into a tie with the Rays for the best record in baseball, New York faces a stiffer challenge this week as they play a three-game set with the defending National League champion Phillies.

However, Philly doesn’t appear to be the same team the Bombers beat in last year’s Fall Classic, as they have lost 14 of their past 20 games. The Phils have averaged just 2.4 runs per contest over that stretch and most of these struggles have come since they were accused of stealing signs by using binoculars in the bullpen.

Charlie Manuel’s bunch has been shut out an astounding six times since May 22 while they currently rank 20th in the Majors with a .258 batting average.

Pitching, meanwhile, continues to be a strength, as Philadelphia’s 3.94 ERA puts them 10th in baseball. The upcoming series opens with a tremendous matchup on the mound.


Tuesday, June 15—CC Sabathia (6-3, 4.01) vs. Roy Halladay (8-4, 1.96)

If Sabathia only had to face the Orioles, he’d have no problem winning a second American League Cy Young Award. This season, the big lefty is 4-0 with a 2.73 ERA against the Birds, including a seven-inning, two-run effort in his last outing on Wednesday. But versus everyone else, Sabathia is a more pedestrian 2-3 with a 4.69 ERA.

The former Brewer is 1-1 with a 4.35 ERA in three regular-season starts against the Phillies, but allowed just five runs in 13 and 2/3 innings (3.29) over two starts during the ’09 World Series.

Placido Polanco has had success against Sabathia, going 14-for-43 (.326) with seven extra-base hits, but Jayson Werth, Chase Utley, and Wilson Valdez are a combined 0-for-12 off him in the regular season. Of course, Utley did smack three homers off the southpaw last fall.

Halladay’s transition to the NL has been expectedly easy, with the right-hander leading the league in complete games (5) and innings pitched (101), while ranking second in wins, and fourth in ERA and WHIP (1.02). His perfect game at Florida on May 29 was the icing on the cake.

The Yankees were happy to see the former Blue Jay head to the NL because he is 18-6 with a 2.84 in 37 games (35 starts) against them. He was 7-4 with a 2.97 ERA at the old stadium and went 1-0 with a 4.85 ERA in two starts at the new ballpark last year.

Halladay has handled Derek Jeter (22-for-91, .242, 24 K’s) and Robinson Cano (10-for-48, .208), as well as Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner, who are each 4-for-17 (.235) off him.

But Alex Rodriguez is 23-for-77 (.299) with eight extra-base hits and 14 RBIs. In addition, Curtis Granderson is 5-for-12 (.417).


Wednesday, June 16—A.J. Burnett (6-4, 3.86) vs. Jamie Moyer (6-6, 5.03)

Burnett has allowed 10 runs in 12 and 2/3 innings over his last two starts (both losses). His problem has been the long ball as he’s surrendered four of them over that span.

The key to Burnett’s success this season has been keeping the ball on the ground. He is 4-0 with a 1.34 ERA when he induces more ground balls than fly balls, but he is 2-4 with a 6.18 when the opposite occurs.

The right-hander is 5-8 with a 4.75 mark in 17 games (16 starts) versus the Phils and had one excellent start and one terrible start against them in the World Series.

Brian Schneider is 9-for-24 (.375) with three doubles off Burnett, but Ryan Howard (2-for-12, .167, 6 K’s), Werth (1-for-7, .143), Ross Gload (1-for-6, .167) and Shane Victorino (1-for-6) have all struggled.

Moyer’s ERA jumped more than a run after giving up nine in just one inning of work at Fenway Park on Friday. He is now 3-4 with a 6.69 ERA on the road this season and has only had moderate success in the Bronx, going 6-5 with a 4.84 mark in 19 games (18 starts).

Overall, the 47-year-old is 10-9 with a 4.78 ERA in 36 career games (34 starts) against the Yankees.

Facing Moyer, Jeter is 22-for-68 (.324), A-Rod is 21-for-54 (.389) with six homers and 12 RBIs, Jorge Posada is 15-for-45 (.333) and Teixeira is 11-for-36 (.306). Only Granderson (1-for-7, .143) seems to have a tough time versus the left-hander.


Thursday, June 17—Andy Pettitte (8-1, 2.46) vs. Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 4.80)

Pettitte continued his dazzling season during his last outing against the Astros when he yielded just two earned runs in 7 and 1/3 innings to take home the victory.

The veteran currently ranks in the top four among AL pitchers in wins, ERA, WHIP (1.10) and winning percentage.

The left-hander is 2-2 with a 3.67 ERA in seven regular-season starts against the Phillies and beat them twice in the ’09 Fall Classic.

Werth is just 1-for-13 (.077) with five strikeouts when facing Pettitte, while Howard (1-for-9, .111) and Utley (1-for-6, .167) struggle as well. Polanco, on the other hand, is 3-for-7 (.429) with a homer.

Kendrick pitched two scoreless innings of relief on Friday, but his other 12 appearances this season have been as a starter. He has never faced the Yankees and did not appear in last year’s postseason for the Phillies. However, he did dominate Mark Teixeira, during the first baseman’s two stints with Atlanta, to the tune of 1-for-12 (.083).


Follow me on Twitter at JordanHarrison .

Jordan Schwartz is one of Bleacher Report’s New York Yankees and College Basketball Featured Columnists. His book Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and authorhouse.com.

Jordan can be reached at jordanschwartz2003@yahoo.com

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