ALDS Orioles-Yankees Game 4 preview: Joe Saunders vs. Phil Hughes
The Yankees came back from the dead in Game 3, and now the upstart Orioles are on the brink of elimination. Can Joe Saunders, who came up big in the wild-card game, force fifth and decisive contest?
|Game 4 will feature Joe Saunders against Phil Hughes (Getty Images)|
Game 4 in Bronx (first pitch, 7:30 pm ET) pits O's lefty Joe Saunders (9-13, 4.07) against Yanks right-hander Phil Hughes (16-13, 4.23) ...
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Saunders vs. Yankees
The lefty is coming off a strong wild-card outing against the Rangers, and now he'll attempt to tame another hard-hitting lineup on the road in an elimination game.
For his career, Saunders has a fairly grisly 5.82 ERA in six career starts against the Yankees, although those numbers include one solid start against the Yanks this season (5.1 IP, 2 R, 5 H on Sept. 8). Current Yankee hitters have combined to hit .314/.377/.532 against Saunders.
Also worth noting is that the Yankees this season have been somewhat less effective against lefties than they have against right-handers.
Hughes vs. Orioles
Hughes is no stranger to the 2012 Orioles, as he's made four starts against them, including two in the month of September. For the season, he's got a 4.76 ERA in 22 2/3 innings pitched. While he's struck out 19 against just four walks over that span, he's also given up five bombs.
Orioles hitters for their careers have a batting line of .237/.277/.446 in 148 plate appearances. From Hughes' standpoint, it's been a mixed bag, to say the least.