“To me, he’s the perfect pitcher,” Mark Teixeira said. “You have a guy who throws hard, ball moves, who can hit the corners with three different pitches. And his breaking stuff is so good that you just hope he makes a mistake. He’s one of those guys where you have to hit a mistake because if he hits his pitch, you’re not going to get many hits off him.”
Individually, some of the Yankees have had success against Hernandez. Teixeira and Curtis Granderson have legitimately hit pretty well against him. Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada have hit him for average with little power, Nick Swisher has hit for power but a low average. Russell Martin has two hits and two RBI in two at-bats.
On the whole, though, Hernandez has a 2.73 career ERA against the Yankees. Last season he faced them three times, and one each game. He pitched 26 innings, struck out 31 and allowed just one earned run.
“It seemed like whenever we matched up against him last year, he was dominant,” Girardi said. “Hopefully that’s not the case this year… He can throw any pitch at any time, and he’s got more than one swing-and-miss. He can locate his fastball, (and) we’ve seen it as hard as 97-98. He’s got a good curveball, he’s got a good slider and he’s got a great changeup. It’s not like you can say, ‘Okay, when he gets ahead of me, this might be what he’s going to do.’ He can get you out a different way every at-bat.”
Said Teixeira: “When he’s on, he’s the best. I’ve always said, consistently, Halladay’s the best. But now that he’s in the National League I don’t get to face him as much. But yeah, I’ll put those guys at the top of the list.”
Associated Press photo