Here’s the number of runs allowed by the Phils and Yankees for 2009 and how that compares with the other teams in the leagues they played in and with all 30 MLB teams combined:
Neither the Phillies or the Yankees were exceptionally good at preventing runs. Five of the 14 AL teams allowed fewer runs than the Yankees and five of the 16 teams in the NL allowed fewer runs than the Phillies.
By OPS, both teams fared better against left-handed hitters than right-handed hitters:
|R OPS against||League||MLB||L OPS against||League||MLB|
By OPS against by opposing batters, the Yankees were better against left-handed batters than every team in the AL and also better than every team in the NL except for the Dodgers and Giants. Left-handed batters didn’t do a lot against lefty CC Sabathia — they hit just 198/250/310 against him for the season. They fared better against his left-handed rotation-mate Andy Pettitte. Lefties hit 282/321/409 against Pettitte. The New York bullpen had a lot of luck against left-handed batters. Righties Mariano Rivera and Alfredo Aceves were both very good against lefties. They hit 182/328/273 against Rivera and 212/255/305 against Aceves. Lefties also didn’t do much against lefty relievers Phil Coke and Damaso Marte. They hit just 195/218/366 against Coke. Marte missed about a hundred games this season and faced just 28 left-handed batters. The 28 he did face, though, went 3-for-25 with two walks (120/214/280).
Coke did give up a bunch of home runs, though, ten for the year in just 60 innings. Lefties can hit under .200 against them all they want, but I refuse to fear Coke and Marte in this series. If you’re new to the Phillies, the middle of the Phillies order goes Utley-Howard-Werth-Ibanez 3-4-5-6, which is three good left-handed hitters split up by Werth, who was among the best hitters in baseball this season against left-handed pitching. Among the 132 players in the leagues combined who got at least 150 plate appearances against lefties, Werth’s 1.080 OPS was third best.
The Phillies pitchers, meanwhile, weren’t good at all against right-handed hitting while A-Rod, Teixeira and Posada all hammered righties.
Pitching in the National League, the starters for the Phillies pitched to a better ERA and ratio than the Yankees starters:
For NL teams for the season, the average ERA was 4.30 and the average ratio was 1.37. So the Phils starters had an ERA that was almost the same as the starting pitchers in their league and a ratio that was a little better.
For AL teams for the season, the average ERA was 4.62 and the average ratio was 1.41. So the ERA for the Yankees starting pitchers was better than the league average while their ratio was about the same.
Neither team has outstanding pitching. Sabathia was clearly the best starter for the Yankees on the season and he went 19-8 with a 3.37 ERA and a 1.15 ratio. Cliff Lee went 14-13 between the Phillies and Indians, throwing to a 3.22 ERA and a 1.24 ratio.
The Yankees’ bullpen was much better than the bullpen for the Phillies:
Yankees’ relievers allowed 7.78 hits per nine innings. Of the 30 teams in MLB, that rate was second-best. They also walked just 3.48 batters per nine, which was third-best of 30. What they did do was give up a whole lot of home runs. They allowed 72 in 515 innings, which is 1.26 homers per nine or 30th of the 30 MLB teams for relief pitchers.
A big part of the problem for the Yankees this year in the bullpen home run department was that Sergio Mitre, Brett Tomko, Jonathan Albaladejo, Edwar Ramirez, Jose Veras, Michael Dunn and Anthony Claggett combined to allow 27 homers in 117 innings. You don’t want to be holding your breath waiting to see those guys in this series. Chances are good you could see Phil Coke, Chad Gaudin and Damaso Marte, though — those guys combined to allow 16 home runs in 84 1/3 innings in relief.
Among the guys who look likely to be pitching out of the pen for the Yankees, Aceves (1.00), Coke (1.50), Gaudin (2.45) and Marte (2.03) all allowed at least one home run per nine innings while pitching in relief this season.
The Philadelphia pen, meanwhile, was worse overall but gave up a lot more hits and walks but fewer homers. 8.36 hits per nine innings was eleventh-best among the 30 teams and 4.08 walks per nine was just 22nd-best. They did a better job of keeping the ball in the yard, though, giving up just 46 homers in 492 relief innings for a rate of 0.84 per nine innings that was ninth-best among teams in either league.
Pedro will start game two for the Phillies with Hamels starting game three. The linked article also mentions the possibility that Lee will pitch game four. Hope that works, but I would have liked to have seen the Phillies go with a four-man rotation that went Lee, Blanton, Martinez, Hamels. This way does allow Blanton to pitch out of the pen and the Phils could sure use some help in the pen. If he doesn’t pitch in relief he could start game four. I would much rather they just put their relievers like Condrey or Walker on the roster and let the starters start, though. Happ makes a lot more sense out of the pen to me than Blanton.
This suggests that Bastardo and Myers could be on the roster for the World Series. Myers makes more sense to me than Bastardo to be the third lefty in the pen.