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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Flash Points: John Flaherty breaks down the Game 3 pitching match-up

Posted by: Sam Borden - Posted in Misc on Oct 11, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Former Yankee and current YES Network analyst John Flaherty has agreed to break down the pitching match-up for every Yankees postseason game exclusively on the LoHud Yankees blog. Here’s his take on the Game 3 starters:

YANKEES: LHP Andy Pettitte (14-8, 4.16 ERA regular season)

WHAT’S HE THROW?: “Cut-fastball, sinking fastball, change-up, curveball”

STRENGTHS: “He’s done a great job of pitching to both sides of the plate this year and he’s throwing more change-ups and curveballs to keep hitters honest. I think he’s a more complete pitcher than he was a few years ago. It used to be that if you were a hitter, you could look for that pitch down-and-in and know it was coming eventually; now, look for how Pettitte works both sides of plate. You can’t say he’s re-invented himself, but he’s really tweaked some of his approach and it’s working for him.”

WEAKNESSES: “I think he’s got to be better with his location now than he did early in his career. Years ago, he could say, ‘here it is, see what you can do with it.’ Now, if he makes a mistake in the middle, it’s going to get hit and get hit hard. In terms of tonight, specifically, the only thing that would be a concern to me would be a week in between starts. That means there could be some rust and he’ll probably be taking some extra pitches in the bullpen to try and take care of it.”


TWINS: RHP Carl Pavano (14-12, 5.10 ERA regular season)

WHAT’S HE THROW?: “Two seam fastball, backdoor slider and sort of a split/change-up”

STRENGTHS: “He’s got a nice two-seam fastball that he works down and away to hitters and he’s a big man so he creates a nice downhill angle when he’s got himself right. That can make it hard for hitters to pick up the ball, and he also hides it well with his front which makes it more difficult.”

WEAKNESSES: “When you face him and you look at him, you think ‘this guy is going to be bringing it’ in terms of velocity but it doesn’t come out of his hand like that. He doesn’t blow you away at all. … I also think all the extra baggage that’s going to go into it, he’s going to take that out to the mound with him. I think this is going to be a little bit too much for him, a must-win, all the Yankee stuff – it’s going to be overwhelming.”


EDGE: “I think the Yankees have to leave the emotions aside in this game – whatever they think about Pavano, it’s got to be only about getting the job done today. In terms of the actual match-up, I give a big edge to Pettitte. I’ll take Andy Pettitte in a playoff game any day.”




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