Phillies' pitcher JA Happ has been decent in relief this season, but after Chan Ho Park continued to pitch like Chan Ho Park, Happ has been moved into the rotation. And his first start will be in the bandbox in the Bronx.
If the Yanks win, the media narrative figures to be "nervous on the national stage at Yankee Stadium," but the reality is that Happ walks too many (9 in 21.2IP this season, 25 in 57.1 career), and against the patient Yankee lineup that should be trouble.
Pettitte has not looked good to me this season. His hits per 9 is exactly where it was last season (10.28), and his BB/9 is up by only the slightest of margins (2.79). Pettitte's K/9 was nearly 7 last season, but his season it has fallen to 4.88.
Batters are putting the bat on the ball more consistently than they have at any point in Pettitte's career, but the improved Yankee defense has managed to turn most of those balls into outs. Pettitte's BABIP the last three seasons: .331, .323, .339, but this season down slightly to .310 even though his LD% is the same as last year, 19.8%. Pettitte has been allowing significantly more fly balls than any season in his career, and sooner or later that's going to mean more homers.
The Yankee bats are going to have to work overtime to rebound to take the series this weekend.