Tonight's game: Orioles vs. Yankees

September 18, 1996|By Buster Olney

At Yankee Stadium, 7: 35 p.m.

Scott Erickson (12-11, 5.18) vs. Andy Pettitte (21-8, 4.13)

What Erickson throws: One of the best sinking fastballs in baseball and a slider.

Erickson of late: He has won his past four starts, all caught by Mark Parent, continuing his career trend of dominating games in September (lifetime mark of 20-7).

Yankees he loves to face:

................. Avg. ... Hits ... AB

Derek Jeter ..... .167 ... 1 ...... 6

Luis Sojo ....... .188 ... 3 ...... 16

Cecil Fielder ... .233 ... 10 ..... 43

Yankees he hates to face:

................... Avg. ... Hits ... AB

Paul O'Neill ...... .400 ... 8 ...... 20

Wade Boggs ........ .350 ... 14 ..... 40

Tino Martinez ..... .321 ... 9 ...... 28

Something to look for: When Erickson gets into trouble, he has had a tendency to blow up; rather than keeping rallies to one run, he'll overthrow his fastball and give up three or four runs. But Parent has helped him in this regard.

What Pettitte throws: A fastball, curveball and changeup, with exceptional difference in the speeds of all three pitches.

Pettitte of late: He is the front-runner to win the AL Cy Young Award, consistently winning all year. Two months ago, he had some problems with elbow stiffness, but he seems over that.

Orioles he loves to face:

.................. Avg. ... Hits ... AB

Mike Devereaux ... .100 ... 1 ...... 10

Chris Hoiles ..... .200 ... 2 ...... 10

Cal Ripken ....... .231 ... 3 ...... 13

Orioles he hates to face:

.................. Avg. ... Hits ... AB

B. J. Surhoff .... .667 ... 8 ...... 12

Bobby Bonilla .... .462 ... 6 ...... 13

Eddie Murray ..... .462 ... 6 ...... 13

Something to look for: Opposing teams usually know immediately how Pettitte is throwing. If he's tough in the early innings, he's going to be tough all night. If he struggles early, he might not last long.

Pub Date: 9/18/96

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