Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Game 44 - Yankees game 7

From Baseball Musings we are able to see that Randy Johnson is 2 and 0 at Fenway with a 5.23 ERA in 3 starts. Only one of these has been a quality start and that was the Sunday game last October that clinched the playoffs for the Yankees (yes, I did not say the division because before the Wild Card there would have been a playoff). Interestingly, he has given up 7 home runs in just under 21 innings during those games. Overall, with Seattle and the Yankees he has started 12 games at Fenway with a 6 and 2 record and a 4.32 ERA.
From Scouting report: Johnson tries yet again to straighten himself out, having struggled in each of his past five starts and six of his last seven. Johnson was hit hard by the Red Sox on May 9, giving up seven runs in 3 2/3 innings, though only two of the runs were earned. The Big Unit has walked 15 batters in his last five starts, striking out 18.

Clement has started one game against the Yankees at Fenway and lost big. He pitched 2 2/3 innings giving up 6 earned runs on 5 hits and 5 walks. One of the hits was a home run and he had 4 k's in that game. Overall against the Yankees he is 1 and 1 with a 5.54 ERA in 3 starts, all with the Red Sox.
From Scouting report: Clement has been the model of inconsistency, alternating wins and losses for his last five starts. The common theme in his good starts has been late struggles. Twice he has thrown six scoreless innings, but has ended up allowing a total of seven runs in those two games. In his last start, he held the Phillies to one run on three hits through six, but gave up two more runs before departing in the seventh. Clement has not faced the Yankees this season and is 1-1 with a 5.54 ERA in three lifetime starts against New York.

So, now that I have thrown out these facts and figures what do I think will happen? Well, I expect it to be a slugfest. Johnson is struggling and struggling pitchers do not usually do well against patient teams, but if the Sox let him off the hook then there could definitely be problems.

Clement has been up and down this year (see previous posts on his games for my thoughts on Clement) and he could be up but, I think the Yankees are the type of team that causes him to struggle, they are patient, they make you throw strikes and they do not mind taking walks. When people get on base against Clement, he really slows down the game and that puts the defense on their heels. Now, of course since I just said I expect him to meet or exceed his 20.25 era against the Yankees at Fenway watch him go out and pitch a 1 hitter (yeah right).

From the press release - this is the best start for the Sox since 2003. Boston is also 4 - 2 in games decided by 2 runs this year. Opposing lefties are 1 and 2 with a 5.94 ERA in their last 4 outings against Boston, with the Sox going 3 - 1 in those contests....Lefties were 4 - 0 with a 1.45 ERA in the previous 5 starts. For the season lefties are 7 and 5 with a 3.17 ERA in 14 outings. preview here.

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