Like I always do, I've been listening to MLB on XM all day today. There's a lot of talk about the Phillies returning to the World Series. The general consensus seems to be that the Yankees will dispatch the Angels and face the Phillies in the Fall Classic so most of the talk, from both the hosts and callers, has to do with them facing the Yankees and how they matchup. There's a lot of people that are subscribing to the school of thought that the Yankees will struggle against the Phillies if the Phillies overload their rotation with lefties (Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, J.A. Happ). A lot of people seem to think that the Yankee lineup is susceptible to left-handed pitching. They seem to feel that the Phillies will benefit greatly from being able to have their lefties start 5-6 games if need be. You know what I say to all of that? Bring it!
Let's take a look at the Yankees lineup and see how they performed against lefties this year. Here are their averages, on-base percentages, and slugging percentages against southpaws.
- Derek Jeter - .395/.468/.542
- Johnny Damon - .269/.332/.444
- Mark Teixeira - .305/.400/.511
- Alex Rodriguez - .277/.401/.538
- Hideki Matsui - .282/.358/.618
- Jorge Posada - .290/.360/.476
- Robinson Cano - .309/.335/.541
- Nick Swisher - .244/.393/.475
- Melky Cabrera - .268/.343/.420
Yeah. That looks like a lineup that's susceptible to lefties. Puhlease. As a team, the Yankees went 36-18 (.667) in games started by lefties and they collectively hit .286/.365/.480. Against righties, they went 67-41 (.620) and hit .282/.360/.476. I know Haap, Hamels, and Lee are tough pitchers but the Yankee hitters aren't slouches. Well, except for maybe Swisher. So go ahead Phillies. If you end up facing the Yankees by all means stack that rotation with lefties. Go right ahead.
If anything, the Phillies should be worried about the Yankees stacking their rotation with lefties, which they easily could do with CC and Pettitte. The Phillies didn't do too bad against lefties this year, winning 29 of 45 (.644) . But they only hit .248/.335/.452. Two of their big cogs don't didn't do so hot against lefties. Jimmy Rollins hit .230/.266/.425 and Ryan Howard hit .207/.298/.356. That could be a huge impact to the Phillies offense. Two of their best players could be rendered ineffective. That will certainly affect the rest of the Phillies lineup. And not in a good way.
Let's go Yankees! 1 more win and they're back in the Fall Classic!
Peace, love and Pinstripes,