In 2007, on the whole, batters had 975 Plate Appearances (PA) against (the Indians’) C.C. Sabathia and had the following BA/OBA/SLG results: .259/.292/.392.
However, in the 123 PA where batter puts first pitch in play (meaning on a 0-0 count) the numbers against Sabathia are: .407/.402/.695.
Reading this, I have to wonder if the Yankees will try and jump on the first pitch when they face Sabathia in Game One of the 2007 ALDS?
Further, in the 86 PA where batter hit the pitch on a 0-1 count against Sabathia, they went: .305/.298/.488. Seeing this, it seems that, even if the Yankees swing at the first pitch, and miss it, or foul it off, it makes sense for them to hack on the second pitch from Sabathia as well.
Further, looking at the stats some more tells you that you’re dead once Sabathia gets two strikes on you. The batting average allowed in those counts is less than .200.
The Yankees should be aggressive with the bats against Sabathia on Thursday. If their plan is to try and tire him out, by working deep counts, they might find themselves in a game where it’s the sixth or seventh inning and they’ve yet to put any runs up on the board.