Boy, are the Yankees going to be mad when they have to forfeit all those wins after Alex Rodriguez begins serving his suspension.
I’ve been crunching so many numbers lately, I’m surprised that I haven’t chipped a tooth. Every lineup, every at-bat, every pitching change has me checking the splits on various Orioles.
It happened again last night.
Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano steps to the plate leading off the top of the ninth inning in a tie game, and I’m looking up reliever Tommy Hunter’s splits. Left-handers were batting .304 against him, compared to .121 by right-handers.
Cano homers, Alfonso Soriano grounds out, Curtis Granderson triples, Mark Reynolds strikes out.
In this instance, the numbers didn’t lie.
Lefty Brian Matusz stayed in the bullpen despite holding left-handers to a .175 average this season. Right-handers are batting .299 against him.
Again, we’re dealing in extremes here, though Matusz did induce a pop up from Soriano Tuesday night after walking Cano. He struck out Granderson to end the ninth.
Darren O’Day still isn’t available to pitch, and he’s been a nice weapon against right-handers, holding them to a .154 average. But left-handers are batting .316 against him.
Does this bullpen need an extreme makeover?
Interestingly, left-hander Troy Patton has been more vulnerable against left-handed hitters. They were batting .283 against him before Lyle Overbay reached on an infield hit last night to drive in the Yankees’ fifth run. Right-handers were batting .257 before Patton struck out Brendan Ryan to end the inning.
The patterns held for Patton.
Right-handers are actually batting .318 against Francisco Rodriguez this season, but only .195 in his career. Left-handers are hitting .143 this season. So, can he be trusted against right-handers?
Take a look at the hitters, in particular Danny Valencia, who tied his career high with four hits last night. Three of them came against Andy Pettitte, raising Valencia’s average to .385 (30-for-78) against lefties. He’s 6-for-31 against right-handers, including his single last night off David Robertson.
Valencia is batting .564 (22-for-39) since Aug. 4, the highest average in the majors among hitters with at least 35 at-bats.
Wilson Betemit is glued to the bench, but he’s another player whose splits jump off the page. Last year, he hit .302 against right-handers and .140 vs. southpaws. He’s a career .280 hitter vs. right-handers and .228 vs. left-handers.
Nate McLouth was 1-for-2 with a walk last night against Pettitte. He was batting .202 vs. left-handers this season, .282 vs. right-handers.
Matt Wieters was batting .210 from the left side of the plate and .278 from the right side. He went 0-for-3 against Pettitte and grounded out against Robertson.
Chris Davis is having a historic year, but even with his two-run double off Pettitte, he’s batting .235 against left-handers and .331 against right-handers.
Maybe the Orioles should rename Camden Yards “Splitsville.” They could serve banana splits during those hot summer nights.
Now, I’ve got a splitting headache.