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Game Thread #32: A's at New York Yankees

"I turn my nose up at your trifling OPS. It bores me."
"I turn my nose up at your trifling OPS. It bores me."
Al Bello

Happy Cinco de Mayo, peeps! In the rubber game of this 3-game series, it's Andy Pettitte against Dan Straily. My advice to Straily, based on what I've seen so far this season, is simple: Keep the ball down, down, and down. When Straily's fastball is above the belt, it appears to flatten out and sit on a tee waiting for the batter to launch it. And LHs at Yankee Stadium don't need to launch balls very much in order to play pepper with the RF seats.

I think Straily's fastball is fine down at the knees, where it can co-mingle with the sliders and changeups Straily wants to throw in the lower half of the strike zone as well. If Straily can keep the ball below the belt, I think he can come up big, but if he's up at all with his pitches you might see a redux of batting practice.

As far as Pettitte is concerned, his career stats may surprise you. Pettitte has a great winning percentage of .633 (248-144), but that's largely because along with being durable and getting deep into games throughout his career, Pettitte has almost always played on teams that scored a lot of runs.You might also have an inflated sense of Pettitte's acumen because he has handled the A's well throughout his career, sporting a record of 11-6 and a 3.35 ERA.

However, Pettitte's career ERA is 3.86 and he has allowed more than a hit per inning (3,286 hits in 3,163.1 career IP). He's good, but he's not great, and pitching for a Yankees lineup that is not Yankee-like he might not enjoy the usual run support he has depended on to put 248 wins on the board. So why stop at allowing 3,286 hits, Andy -- shall we add a few more to the ledger on this fine Sunday?

The starting lineups, in which Josh Reddick gets the day off and you wonder where Michael Rouse is: