A-OK match-up: CC vs. R.A.
The Yankees and Mets finish off this year’s Subway Series with one of the best marquee match-ups in the history of this New York-New York rivalry with CC Sabathia opposing R.A. Dickey on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball at Citi Field.
Dickey with his 11-1 record, 2.00 ERA and consecutive one-hitters with double-digit strikeouts has been the talk of baseball lately. It is a feel-good story about a 37-year-old veteran who has risen to the heights on the command of the pitch most difficult to control.
Switch hitters like Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher batted right-handed against right-handed knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield, especially at Fenway Park because of the Green Monster. Bernie Williams also used to bat right-handed against Wakefield. Tex and Swish say they will not do that against Dickey and will hit from the usual left side against a righty pitcher.
Neither switch hitter has had a great deal of success against Dickey. Swisher is only 1-for-10 (.100) and Teixeira is 2-for-11 (.182), although one of the hits was a home run. Of the Yanks in Sunday night’s lineup, Alex Rodriguez and Raul Ibanez have had the most career success against Dickey. A-Rod is 6-for-13 (.462) with two doubles and Ibanez is 8-for-25 (.320) with three home runs. Eric Chavez, who is not in the starting lineup, has 4-for-12 (.333) with a homer off Dickey.
Mets hitters who have given Sabathia the most trouble over the years are Andres Torres at 5-for-11 (.455) with two doubles and a triple, Ike Davis at 3-for-6 (.500) and Scott Hairston at 3-for-10 (.300). Jason Bay is 3-for-12 (.250) with two home runs off CC but is on the disabled list due to a concussion.
Sabathia and Dickey both pitched complete-game victories with 10 or more strikeouts in their past starts June 18. Sabathia struck out 10 batters in a 6-2 victory over the Braves at Yankee Stadium. Dickey tossed a one-hitter with 13 strikeouts in a 5-0 victory over the Orioles at Citi Field.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time the Yankees and the Mets each had complete-game victories with double-digit strikeout totals on the same date. It was also the first time since 1900 that pitchers from two different New York teams (including the Giants and the Dodgers before they went to California in 1958) accomplished the feat on the same day.