Of Chad Curtis is a good defensive player, though he can inexplicably screw up a routine play. Chases high pitches. IB-DH- C Jim Leyritz has come up big in the past, but now he's playing mostly on reputation. Will also chase the ball up. The more he plays, the less you like him. 3B Clay Bellinger is used only as a pinch runner, SS Luis Sojo not at all.
Orlando Hernandez, RHP
Very susceptible to lefthanded batters. Eats up righthanders with variety of breaking balls and four-seam fastballs up and away. Fields very well and will display a good pickoff move.
Andy Pettitte, LHP
A big-game pitcher who makes the most of an 88-mph fastball—for instance, will sink it and cut it. Small slider is deceptive to a lefthanded hitter. Has a good changeup. Can beat you in many ways.
Roger Clemens, RHP
Make him throw as many pitches as possible. One thing he's shown this year is inability to throw strikes with all of his pitches. Velocity (can get as high as 96 mph with the heater) is still the same. Rocket has a tendency to get rattled in big games, letting the moment get the best of him.
David Cone. RHP
Another big-game pitcher with mental toughness. Adds and subtracts speeds on his fastball as well as anyone. Great slider. Good splitter. Tends to throw a lot of pitches. Will give all he has, even if it's only for five innings.
RH closer Mariano Rivera has well-above-average fastball; can run it up in zone. Cut fastball takes lefties out. A strike-throwing machine. Unbelievable confidence. RH Jeff Nelson has periods of wildness. Take pitches and make him throw strikes. Has sinking fastball and sweeping slider. LH Mike Stanton is overrated. Doesn't throw a lot of strikes and is vulnerable to righthanded batters. Good breaking ball. Fastball is out of the zone more than it's in. RH Ramiro Mendoza is the perfect guy to settle things down, whether early or late. Throws strikes with sinker. Would be No. 3 starter on many teams. LH Ed Yarnall has a good breaking ball, deceptive delivery. Rookie not likely to be used in key spot. RH Hideki Irabu, spotty starter during the season, is long relief man.
HOW TO BEAT THEM
The Yankees work the count and know how to hit with two strikes. They can play long ball; they can play little ball. Opponents' starters have to set the tone, find some way to shut New York down. How? Change speeds. Mess up the Yankees' timing.