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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 4 pitching match-up

Posted by: Sam Borden - Posted in Misc on Oct 20, 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. Be sure to check out John on the YES pre- and post-game shows today. Here’s his take on the Game 4 starters:

YANKEES: LHP CC Sabathia

WHAT’S HE THROW? “Fastball, slider, change-up.”

STRENGTHS: “I think last start he made a nice adjustment with the cold weather and went more fastball/changeup than fastball/slider. Tonight, though, I expect him to have all three and I expect there to be more swings and misses than there were in Game 1 because of that slider. He also did a great job using the whole plate the last time out: In Game 1 it was fastballs to both sides and a good change-up, so continuing that will be important for him.”

WEAKNESSES: “I know that CC has said he may not have his best fastball velocity, but if it were me I’d be less worried about that and more concerned with location. If you’re a little more tired, you run the risk of not finishing your pitches and then the location can suffer. You get a little quick with your front side and the slider can hang, which the Angels will jump on. If the short rest is a factor, I think that’s where it will show up.”

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ANGELS: LHP Scott Kazmir

WHAT’S HE THROW? “Fastball, slider, change-up.”

STRENGTHS: “If Kazmir’s got that good slider, it’s going to be like CC’s – down and in, and it can be a weapon. That’s his strikeout pitch. If it’s on and you’re looking for it, you’ll still have trouble hitting it and then he can slip in a fastball for a strike and get you that way, too. His fastball isn’t as good as it once was because of his injury problems, but if the slider is working than the two still work well together.”

WEAKNESSES: “The bottom line for him is if he throws strikes then he’ going to be tough. The times when he’s behind and throwing strikes with the fastball when the hitters are looking for it? That’s when he’s in trouble. I look for the Yankees to make him work, get his pitch count up and try to take advantage of counts where he has to come over with a strike. If they can do that, they’ll get him out of the game earlier and get into that Angels bullpen.”

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EDGE: “CC gets the edge. Obviously not as much pressure on Kazmir because of the win last night, but I don’t expect the short rest to be a problem for CC and, with the better weather, I think he’s going to have command of all three pitches tonight against the Angels.”

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