Yankees-Tigers Starting Pitching Performances: Verlander Vs. Sabathia

Bleacher ReportContributor IIIMarch 31, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 31:  CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium on March 31, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

CC Sabathia Final Line: 6 IP 6H 3R 2ER 2BB 7K .5 GB/FB ratio 

New York Yankees' CC Sabathia didn’t have his best stuff against the Tigers, but he was able to hang in and have a quality start.

His four-seamer averaged 92.7 mph, and topped out at 94.7 mph. He allowed a single and a double on two poorly located fastballs.  

Sabathia did not have command of his changeup. He only threw it 12 times and he allowed two hits on pitches up in the zone. He did have two swings and misses.

He was better with his slider, throwing 26 total with 73 percent of them in the strikezone. He only recorded two swinging strikes, but both of them were for strikeouts.

His sinker was his best pitch of the day, recording a swing and a miss 25 percent of the time (2 for strikeouts). He threw 24 sinkers getting them over the plate 75 percent of the time.

Sabathia had good command, with a ball-to-strike ratio of 2:3.

Overall, Sabathia pitched well, considering his below-average velocity and lack of a changeup. He had a 13 percent swing-and-miss rate, above last year’s average of 9.2 percent. 


Justin Verlander Final Line: 6 IP 3H 3R 3ER 4BB 8K  .667 GB/FB ratio

Detroit's ace Justin Verlander got off to a rocky start in the first couple of innings, but like Sabathia, he was able to hang in and record a quality start.

Verlander averaged 94.5 mph on his four-seam fastball and recorded five swinging strikes out of 49. He surrendered all three hits on the pitch, including the three-run home run to Mark Teixeira in the third. He did record three strikeouts with the four-seamer.

Verlander's changeup was his best pitch of the day, and he went to it 23 times (second most thrown pitch) with three swinging strikes; the curveball and two-seamer were also successful.

Verlander recorded a strikeout on each pitch.

Verlander didn’t have terrible command, but he struggled finishing off hitters. He ended up throwing 114 pitches in six innings, 57 percent for strikes.

Overall, I thought Verlander was impressive, showing good velocity and strong offspeed stuff (10.3 percent swinging strikes).

I would have liked to have seen him get his curveball over for strikes more often, but I was impressed by a few changeups behind in the count.