Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yankees Keep The Winning Streak Alive With 8-5 Victory Over Mariners

Once I saw that the start of tonight's game was going to be delayed by rain, I had no intention of blogging after it ended. But it was a great win so how could I not? The team pulled Brian Bruney's ass out of the fire. He came in and absolutely sucked but the boys picked him up with some late inning heroics. Matusi doubles to right-center. Swisher reaches on an awesome bunt. Then the Melkman delivered (again). Melky has been pretty damn clutch this year. I've got to give it up to Melky. I'm still not 100% on board the Melkwagon, but I'm happy to go along for the ride. And as we've seen 500 times before, Mo closes it out for the save. He throws out the ceremonial first pitch and throws out the last pitch of the game. Very cool. The win runs the streak to 6. Let the good times roll.

Has there been a more undeserving pitcher who got the win? I'm kind of sickened that Brian Bruney can go out there and blow the lead by giving up 3 hits and a walk and walk away with the win. That's ridiculous. If anybody should get it, it should be Phil Hughes. He pitched an impressive 7th inning. 3 up 3 down on 9 pitches (I think). He was blowing balls by the M's hitters, hitting 96 on the gun. I would have liked to have seen Phil pitch the 8th, but I understand the decision to go to Bruney as he's the "8th inning guy." I'm really glad that they didn't send Phil back to Scranton. He makes the Yankees' bullpen exponentially better. He's facing a much higher caliber group of hitters also. That experience will serve him very well.

I think it's safe to say that A-Rod has found his swing again. Alex is now rocking a 6-game hitting streak. He's now homered in 3 of the last 5 games, driving in 11. A-Rod hits in 6 straight. The Yankees win 6 straight. The team goes as A-Rod goes. He's also playing a much better defensive game. He looks like he's having a much easier time getting to balls. Hopefully, Girardi plays it smart and gives him that rest. It looks like it's helping.

Joba was pretty unimpressive. He needs to attack the strike zone more often. The Mariners had a pretty good plan of attack for Joba. They were patient. They ran up his pitch count, worked a few walks, and chased him rather early. Joba has a tendency to try and dance around the plate when he gets ahead in counts. Just go after the hitters would you? He walked 3 and threw only 57% of his pitches for strikes. Joba has made 15 starts this year and only has 6 decisions. The Yankees are 10-5 in games Joba has started, including 5 of the last 6, and 8 of the last 10. I'll give him credit though for keeping the team in the game. He's good at doing that.

The best part of the night though didn't take place in Yankee Stadium. It happened a few hours south down in Baltimore. The Red Sox took a 10-1 lead into the 7th inning and gave up 5-spots in back to back innings, losing the game 11-10. Insert laughter here. That great Sox bullpen wasn't so great tonight. Talk about embarrassing. Best part is that Papelbon got sacked with the blown save. I love it.

The Yanks are now 2.5 back of the Sox. Andy Pettitte tomorrow night. I'll admit it. I'm a little worried.

It's after midnight. Looks like tomorrow will be another unproductive day at work for me.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Yankees Acquire Eric Hinske From Pirates

The Yankees jumped into the trade market today picking up Eric Hinske from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Casey Erickson and Eric Fryer, 2 minor leaguers.

At first, I was like, "huh?" Then I remembered that Xavier Nady was done for the year and then it clicked. I'm a fan of the deal. Hinske isn't exactly highly paid so it's not like the Yanks are adding much payroll. Hinske's salary is $1.5 million and the Yankees did receive some cash from the Buccos as part of the deal. And let's face it, the odds that we would have ever heard the names Casey Erickson and Eric Fryer is very, very slim.

The move also gives the Yankees some added flexibility with the lineup. Hinske can play at the corners, both in the infield and in the outfield. He's also got a little pop in his bat also. Last year with the Rays, he hit 21 doubles and had 20 HRs. He bats from the left so he should be able to take advantage of the short porch in Yankee Stadium. It may end up being a perfect fit.

Maybe he's a good luck charm. He played with the Rays in 2008 (AL Champs) and with the Red Sox in 2007 (World Champs). It's not the best trade in the world. It's also not the worst. Low risk, high reward. I can dig it. Welcome aboard.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, June 29, 2009

Has The Steroid List Been Leaked?

The site rotoinfo.com has a post up today titled, 2003 steroid list leaks out? . It mentions nothing about where it came from or how it came about. It simply says "rumored steroid list" and lists the names. I want to stress that this is purely a rumor at this point. I'm not sure I believe it but usually when there's smoke, there's fire. The thing I find most odd about the list is that it seems to be grouped by team. I would think an official list wouldn't quite go that way, but that's just me. The list is pretty impressive. A lot of heavy hitters on it. Here is the list of Yankees and Red Sox on the list:

1.Nomar Garciaparra
2.Manny Ramirez
3.Johnny Damon
4.Trot Nixon
5.David Ortiz
6.Shea Hillenbrand
7.Derek Lowe
8.Pedro Martinez
13.Jason Giambi
14.Alfonso Soriano
15.Raul Mondesi
16. Aaron Boone
17.Andy Pettitte
18.Jose Contreras
19.Roger Clemens

Here's everyone else:

9.Brian Roberts
10.Jay Gibbons
11.Melvin Mora
12.Jerry Hairston
20.Carlos Delgado
21.Vernon Wells
22.Frank Catalanotto
23.Kenny Rogers
24.Magglio Ordonez
25.Sandy Alomar
26.Bartolo Colon
27.Brent Abernathy
28.Jose Lima
29.Milton Bradley
30.Casey Blake
31.Danys Baez
32.Craig Monroe
33.Dmitri Young
34.Alex Sanchez
35.Eric Chavez
36.Miguel Tejada
37.Eric Byrnes
38.Jose Guillen
39.Keith Foulke
40.Ricardo Rincon
41.Bret Boone
42.Mike Cameron
43.Randy Winn
44.Ryan Franklin
45.Freddy Garcia
46.Rafael Soriano
47.Scott Spiezio
48.Troy Glaus
49.Francisco Rodriguez
50.Ben Weber
51.Alex Rodriguez
52.Juan Gonzalez
53.Rafael Palmeiro
54.Carl Everett
55.Javy Lopez
56.Gary Sheffield
57.Mike Hampton
58.Ivan Rodriguez
59.Derrek Lee
60.Bobby Abreu
61.Terry Adams
62.Fernando Tatis
63.Livan Hernandez
64.Hector Almonte
65.Tony Armas
66.Dan Smith
67.Roberto Alomar
68.Cliff Floyd
69.Roger Cedeno
70.Jeromy Burnitz
71.Moises Alou
72.Sammy Sosa
73.Corey Patterson
74.Carlos Zambrano
75.Mark Prior
76.Kerry Wood
77.Matt Clement
78.Antonio Alfonseca
79.Juan Cruz
80.Aramis Ramirez
81.Craig Wilson
82.Kris Benson
83.Richie Sexson
84.Geoff Jenkins
85.Valerio de los Santos
86.Benito Santiago
87.Rich Aurilia
88.Barry Bonds
89.Andres Galarraga
90.Jason Schmidt
91.Felix Rodriguez
92.Jason Christiansen
93.Matt Herges
94.Paul Lo Duca
95.Shawn Green
96.Jeromy Burnitz
97.Adrian Beltre
98.Eric Gagne
99.Guillermo Mota
100.Luis Gonzalez
101.Todd Helton
102.Ryan Klesko
103.Gary Matthews
104.Oliver Pere

That's quite an impressive list. Part of me wants this list to be the real deal. I would love nothing more than to put this whole steroid thing behind us. Let's just get it over and done with. Having all those high-profile Red Sox on the list certainly wouldn't hurt much either. They need a dose of reality because many of the Sox fans I've come across seem to think their clubhouse for the most part was clean. The Yankee fan in me really wants it to be true. But until it's confirmed by a better source, I can't put much, if any, stock into it. I still can't get by the way the names are grouped. It looks like it's alphabetized by division. I think it's a little odd.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Yanks Back On Track With Sweep Of Mets

I must say that the Yankees are playing some decent baseball right now. They've won 5 straight and the sweep of the Mets gave them a respectable 9-6 record against their National League opponents. Going 6-3 on the recent road trip is nothing to scoff at either. The team heads in to the off day finding themselves 3 games behind the Red Sox and 2 games up on the Rays for the wild card. All in all, not a bad place to be.

Before getting in to last night's game, I again wanted to congratulate Mariano Rivera on picking up career save #500. It's quite the accomplishment. Mo is such a classy guy. How can you not respect him? He goes about his business in such a professional manner. There's no dancing. There's no fist-pumping. There's no pointing to God. He gets the last out and shakes his teammates hands. He is, without question, the greatest closer of all-time.

Chien-Ming Wang picked up his 1st win of 2009 yesterday. It's been such a brutal season for the Wanger. Picking up the W should provide a boost of confidence to him. I don't think he pitched a bad game. It was much better than he's been but still far from a vintage Wang performance. The only thing I saw yesterday that I didn't like was the lack of control. We walked three and only threw 57.6% of his pitches for strikes. Typically, I like to see at least a 60% of the pitches go for strikes. But he got the W and that's something to build on. He dropped the ERA to 10.06. He should be able to get that into single digits after his next start. Knock on wood. He's still a long ways from respectability. By my tally, he needs to throw 46 straight scoreless innings to drop his ERA to 4.50. I don't see him getting there. I'd be happy if he can finish the year with an ERA in the fives. It can be done.

Big up to the bullpen for shutting down the Mets and preserving Wang's 1st win. The bullpen has actually been pretty decent lately. It wasn't long ago that the Yankees' bullpen had the worst ERA in all of baseball. It now sits at 4.27, which ranks 21st in all of MLB. For those wondering, the AL average is 4.14 and the major league average is 4.11. They're still below average, but if they keep pitching like they have been, they'll be below 4.00 before we know it. Over the last 6 games, the pen has collectively thrown 18.2 innings to a tune of an ERA of 1.48. They allowed only 9 hits and 6 walks in that timespan. The pen's biggest issue this year has been giving up extra-base hits. Opponents are hitting .232 against the Yanks pen, which is the 4th lowest in all of baseball. The Yanks OBP against is the 3rd best in the league at .312. Slugging percentage (.430) however is almost near the bottom (25th). They've given up the 11th fewest hits but the 7th most total bases. The pen has given up 43 HRs, most in all of baseball. The 2nd closest team is Cleveland, and they've only given up 35. I'm sure some of that has to do with pitching in the homer haven that is the new Yankee Stadium. As a comparison, Yankee SPs have allowed 52 HRs, but in about 194 more innings of work. The pen needs to do a better job of keeping the ball in the ballpark. A much better job.

I have mixed feelings about the offense. They're scoring runs but they're not being overly efficient. Case in point was last night's game. The Yankees walked 11 times but managed only 4 hits, and 4 runs. They went 1-8 with RISP. Over the 5 game winning streak, they hit .242 (6-for-30 against NYM, 8-for-28 in 2 wins against Braves). They're very streaky when it comes to hitting w/RISP. They need more consistency. They are hitting the ball alright. Over the last 5, they're hitting .283 (52-for-184). Could be better, would be worse. They won all 5 and that's all that matters.

The next 13 games could prove to be a tough stretch for the Bombers. They have 3 at home with the Mariners (39-36), followed by 4 at home with the Blue Jays (41-36). They then head to Minnesota (39-38) for 3 and they close out the first half of the season with 3 games in Anaheim (41-32). 12 games against 4 tough opponents. The one plus is that they have a nice little break after playing out west. The Red Sox have a much easier stretch. 3 games in Baltimore (34-41), followed by 10 games at home. 3 with Seattle (39-36), 3 with Oakland (31-43) and 4 with the Royals (32-42). The schedule at this point definitely favors the Sox. Good thing it'll balance out in the 2nd half.

I'll be happy if the Yanks are within 5 games at the ASB.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Congrats Mariano On Save 500!

Game ran long so there won't be a post tonight. I just wanted to hop online real quick and congratulate the legendary Mariano Rivera on picking up his 500th career save. He and Trevor Hoffman (571) are the only 2 closers in history with 500 or more saves. Congrats Mo! You truly are the greatest of all-time.

Quick message to K-Rod: You should be absolutely embarrassed about walking Mo to force in a run. That's as bad as striking out in slow pitch softball, which is something I've done once by the way. Brian Bruney must have had a big chuckle after that.

Yanks sweep. Wining streak is 5. I'll be back tomorrow sometime with a post. Enjoy the off-day. It's the last day off until the All-star break.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Yanks Run Win Streak To 4 As Burnett DOMINATES The Mets

Let the good times roll. The Yankees continued their winning ways, running the win steak to 4 with a 5-0 shutout of their crosstown rivals. Tonight's win was all about one man: A.J. Burnett. A.J. in a word: awesome. A.J. in another word: dominant. The Mets couldn't touch him. The Mets haven't really been able to touch any Yankee pitcher this series. The Mets have managed 4 hits in these 2 games. I caught about 30 seconds of the post game show. Someone, I think Joel Sherman, asked Joe Girardi if the Yankees pitching has been good or if the Mets hitting has been bad. What a stupid question! Then again, it is Joel Sherman. Yeah, not a fan. Anyone that's watched these last 2 games know it's all been about the Yankee pitching. They are rolling, and A.J. is right there leading the charge.

A.J. kicked some major ass tonight. As I said above, the Mets couldn't touch him. A.J. allowed only 1 hit and 3 walks over 7 innings. He whiffed 10, count 'em 10 Mets. Like I said, untouchable. A.J. has been pretty untouchable as of late. He's allowed only 1 earned run in his last 3 starts. His line over those 3 games is phenomenal: 20.1 IP, 1 ER, 0.44 ERA, 10 hits, 10 BB, and 26 K. Rock and roll.

When A.J. was less than stellar earlier in the season, there was some chatter about him being a bust. I never thought he was. I wrote several times this year that his season was very similar to last year, when he won 18 games. The backlash was kind of understandable. After winning his first 2 games, he failed to win any of his next 7 starts. After 9 starts, he was looking at a 5.28 ERA. I wrote this after his 6 scoreless innings in Texas:

A.J. now has 10 starts under his belt and his record sits at 3-2. I don't think it's the start that we Yankee fans envisioned or hoped for, but there is a silver lining. I don't think any of us would have any beef if A.J. could pitch like he did last year, when he went 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA. Last year thru his first 10 starts, Burnett was 4-4 with a 4.71 ERA. His WHIP was 1.48 (58 hits, 27 walks, 57.1 IP). This year after 10 starts, he's 3-2 with an ERA of 4.78. His WHIP is lower at 1.41 (59 hits, 31 walks, 64 IP). The biggest difference is that he's given up 10 HRs this year and had only given up 4 at this point last year. I'm sure part of that has to do with pitching in the new Yankee Stadium. My point is that A.J. will get better as the season moves on. Hopefully last night's outing is the jumping off point.

I love it when thinks work out like I think they will. That win was a jumping off point. Over his last 6 starts, A.J. is 4-2 with a 1.75 ERA. He started out really slow and is now turning it on, living up to his contract. A.J. now has 15 starts this season. His record stands at 6-4 with a 3.93 ERA and a WHIP of 1.37. Last year after 15 starts, A.J. was 6-6 with a 4.90 ERA and a WHIP of 1.51. He turned it on around start 17 and finished the year with 18 wins, a 4.07 ERA and a WHIP of 1.44. He's ahead of the game. Like I said in my previous post, I don't think any Yankee fan would have beef if A.J. could pitch like he did last year. He's on his way to exceeding expectations. Now he just needs to pitch well against Boston.

I've also got to give it up to Jorge Posada. In addition to hitting a 3-run HR, he worked well with Burnett. I'm still not overly high on Posada when it comes to catching. I prefer him as a DH but that's me. I don't necessarily have a problem with Jorge catching. I just think there are some gains to having a better defensive catcher behind the plate as long as Jorge's bat stays in the lineup.

Interleague play ends tomorrow with the Subway Series finale. Chien-Ming Wang vs. Livan Hernandez. It should be an interesting one. The Yankees usually pound Hernandez. In 6 career starts against the Yanks he has an ERA of 6.94. They battered him for 6 runs back on June 12. Hopefully, Chien-Ming Wang picks up his 1st win of the year. Wang's last 2 starts were pretty decent. He's on the cusp of being the Chien-Ming Wang of old. I was right about Burnett. Hopefully I'm right about Wang.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Friday, June 26, 2009

CC and BG Shine As Yanks Trounce Mets 9-1 In Subway Series Round 2 Opener

Forgive me for not posting about last night's game like I said I was. My lunch break kind of got away from me. But here it is in a nutshell: Andy Pettitte sucked and he's lucky the offense showed up for him. Moving on....

CC Sabathia = the man! He was absolutely dominant today. He threw 7 innings, 6 of them were perfect. He was on all night. His control was excellent, no walks and his strike-to-ball ratio was exceptional (67 strikes-32 balls). I think it's safe to say that any issues he was having with his bicep are of no concern. CC has been awesome lately, worth every penny that the Yankees are paying him. Over his last 10 starts, CC is 6-1, throwing 70 innings, allowing 49 hits, 16 walks, and has an ERA of 2.70. He's gone at least 7 innings in 9 of those starts and the one he didn't was the game he left early with the injury. It's very telling in my opinion that Francisco Cervelli caught him tonight. There's no good reason why Posada didn't catch him tonight. Maybe it has something to with the fact that CC throws so much better to Cervelli. CC's hot streak started 10 games ago. He pitched a 4-0 CG shutout. His catcher? Francisco Cervelli. Over his last 10 starts, Cervelli has his been his battery mate 7 times. CC is 4-1 in those starts. His ERA to Cervelli is 2.33 with a WHIP of 0.89. With Posada, he's 2-0, with an ERA of 3.94 and a WHIP of 1.06. On the year to Posada, CC is 3-1 with an ERA of 4.46 and a WHIP of 1.39. You make the call.

On most nights I'd say give that WWE championship belt to CC, but not tonight. I'd give it to Brett Gardner. Holy cow what a night BG had. Brett went 5-for-6 with 3 singles, a triple, a home run, a stolen base, 3 runs scored and 2 RBI. Oh what a night. Gardner's average on the season is now above .300. His OBP is now around .375. How can the Yankees not start this guy based on how he's playing? He's earned the spot if you ask me. I just looked at his splits and I understand not playing him against LHPs. But he is absolutely tearing it up against RHPs, hitting .314 with an OBP around .380ish. Sorry Melky, but take a seat. Or Nick Swisher. Either one.

Is A-Rod back? The last 2 games would certainly suggest that. You can tell he's hitting the ball well because he's hitting a lot up the middle and a lot to right-center. Alex is 4-for-7 with 2 HR and 6 RBI over these last 2 games. Oh yeah, add 4 walks to that. The Yankees really need Alex to play like Alex. We all saw how Mark Teixeira took off once Alex returned. Tex has cooled off a little bit and it's no surprise his cool streak has coincided with Alex's cold streak. Now that Alex is heating up, Teixeira should see better pitches. I'm looking for Mark to go on a tear soon also.

That makes 28 runs for the offense over the last 3 games. That's impressive. I am still concerned about the hitting with RISP. They might have scored 9 runs tonight but they were 3-for-14 with RISP. That's not good. You don't normally win a lot of games when you hit that poorly with runners in scoring position. They're 11-for-45 (.244) with RISP over the last 3 games. I'd like to see a little more efficiency when it comes to hitting with RISP. Heck, 2 more hits with RISP over the last 3 would have bumped that average to .288. Those 2 hits could make a big difference.

That makes 3 straight for the Yanks. I'd like to say the ship has been righted, but I'm still a win or two away from that. The good news is the Yankees are familiar with the next 2 starters they face, Tim Redding and Livan Hernandez. Redding was once a Yankee, he says while laughing his ass off. He made 1 start, pitched 1 inning, giving up 6 runs. They've faced Livan 6 times and they've pretty much battered him around. I don't want to say the Yanks will sweep this series, but it's not out of the cards. Hopefully, the Yankees can stay healthy. It sounds like there's a flu bug going 'round the clubhouse. It claimed the Captain as a victim tonight. I hope they can get past that without anybody else getting it.

Lastly, Xavier Nady is done for the year and he'll probably miss all of next year also. I've never been a big Nady guy but that sucks. I don't like seeing anybody go down like that. It's too bad, Brian Cashman couldn't deal him before the season started. Oh well. Get well soon X.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


No My9, No Problem

I know a lot of people find their way to this site when the Yankees play on My9. I get a lot of hits from web searched looking for info. So if you're looking for tonight's Yankees/Mets game and you don't get the My9 feed, don't worry. Look for the game (assuming they play it) on SNY, the Mets channel. You'll find it there. Hopefully, you get the channel.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Yanks Beat Braves In A Shootout 11-7

Tonight's Yankees-Braves game didn't seem like it was ever going to end. I'm dead tired so I'm going to save my post-game entry until tomorrow around noon-1 EST. I will say that it was a great win for the Yanks, even with Pettitte's meltdown. 11 runs on 16 hits and 7 walks. 6 for 19 with RISP. A-Rod goes 3-for-5 with 4 RBI. That makes 2 straight games with some solid offense. I'm still not getting ahead of myself but it seems like a corner is being turned. More tomorrow.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Yanks Offense Rears Its Head in 8-4 Win Over Braves

Finally, the Yankees score some runs. Finally, the Yankees win. I didn't think they had much of a chance going into the game tonight. They struggled against the Braves' starter and only got things going once he got knocked out of the game. But hey, I'll take it. A win is a win is a win.

Joba looked pretty damn good. It's the 1st time this year that he didn't walk anyone. I know he didn't walk a guy in the game he left in the 1st when he got hit, but I'm not counting that. Good velocity. Outstanding strike-to-ball ratio (68 strikes, 31 balls). I think we can all agree now that Joba should never go back to the bullpen. He is so much more valuable to the team as a starter. His curveball was nasty today. Absolutely filthy.

Brian Bruney has had better outings. Perhaps he was knocking off some rust.

It took a while but the Yankees offense finally showed up. Francisco Cervelli kicked things off with his 1st ML HR. I really like having Cisco around. The Yankees would be wise to keep him on the roster when Jose Molina comes back. I'd also like to see him get a few more starts, but that's not going to happen. His post game interview with Kim Jones had me laughing. Her reminds me of the goalie from Slap Shot, except without the beard.

Mariano Rivera in a word: legend. The guy hasn't pitched since June 16th and what's he do? Mo comes in and nails down a 4-out save, whiffing all 4 hitters he faced. I was dying when he stepped up to the plate in the 9th. That was hilarious. He put a pretty good swing on the ball. The team seemed to have fun with that. It's something like that that could be a turning point. It kind of breaks the tension. Winning didn't hurt either.

I'm not overly excited by the 8 run output. They only went 2-for-9 with RISP. They could have been a lot more effective at the dish. I wonder how they would have fared had Joba not lined a shot off of Kawakami? They need to pull of a decent string of games offensively before I'll get excited. Tonight was a start in the right direction. Do it again tomorrow and I'll be pleased.

Is it possible that Joe Girardi's ejection sparked the team? Possibly. If so, imagine what effect firing him might have? Right now, about 50.1% of me is a Girardi supporter. They could can him and I wouldn't care. I can see both sides of it. Kevin Long on the other hand? Dump him.

The series finishes tomorrow. Derek Lowe is going for the Braves and I'm kind of relieved. It seems like it's been forever since the Yankees faced someone they're seen before. They've been struggling against the newbies and seeing an old friend might jump start things. I'm hoping it does anyway.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Downward Spiral Continues As Braves Blank Yanks, Time To Fire Kevin Long

Alright, this story is getting old. It's tired. I get it. The Yankees offense is in a huge funk. A really huge funk. They can't hit with runners in scoring position. They suck when facing a pitcher they've never seen before. To quote the Duke, "This is getting to be re-God-damn-diculous."

I didn't get to watch the game tonight because it was on My9. I listened to some of it on the radio and I kept having to walk away from it because it was getting really frustrated listening to the Yankees strand runner after runner. They stranded 3 in the 2nd, 2 in the 3rd, and 3 in the 4th. I pretty much stopped listening at that point. As a team they went 0-8 with RISP and left 11 men on base. As of late, it's been the same story, just a different day and at the hand of another pitcher they've never seen before. Tommy Hanson was, by my count, the 19th starter the Yankees faced this year for the very first time. They're 10-9 in those ballgames, with 5 wins coming off the opposing bullpen. So they have 5 wins off the opposing starter. That's not good. As a team, they're hitting .242 in those 19 games, which is sad because they absolutely rocked 3 guys. If you remove those 3 starts (Porcello, Richmond, West), they're hitting .211 in the other 16 games. Houston, we have a problem. You can't win if you can't hit.

So the problem is that the Yankees offense can't ht. Sounds like maybe they need some coaching? Oh wait, they have a coach for that, don't they? Kevin Long needs to get off his duff and figure out what the eff is going on here and he needs to find a way to fix the problem. A-S-A-mother effing-P. According to Wikipedia, which we all know is 100% accurate (yeah right):

A hitting coach, as the name suggests, works with a team's players to improve their hitting techniques and form. He monitors players' swings during the game and over the course of the season, advising them when necessary between at-bats on adjustments to make. He also oversees their performance during practices, cage sessions, and pre-game batting practice. With the advent of technology, hitting coaches are increasingly utilizing video to analyze their hitters along with scouting the opposing pitchers.

That sounds like a fair description of a hitting coach to me. Had you asked me to define it, I would have said something close to that. I think an important role of a hitting coach, and let me know if you disagree, is to take the advance scouting report and figure out a plan of attack. I would think this would be incredibly important when the pitcher is unfamiliar to the hitters. The stats suggest that the Yankees don't do well when facing unfamiliar faces. It happens way to often, as illustrated above, to be an anomaly. There is a problem. And that problem lies with either the scout, the hitting coach, or the player.

Now, I'm talking out of my ass here, but the Yankees professional scouting department, according to my 2006 media guide, consisted of a director, an assistant director, 2 advance scouts, and 6 professional scouts. I'd find it hard to believe that multiple scouts are bad at their jobs as all of the scouting reports likely don't come from the same person. So I'm ruling out the scouts. If you look at the back of their baseball cards, you'll see that the Yankees offense, by and large, is a pretty good group of hitters. So I'm ruling out the players. By process of elimination, I'm putting the blame on Kevin Long.

As I said at the beginning of my last paragraph, I'm pretty much talking out of my ass. It's my best educated guess on the process. As I've said, it happens way too much to not be an issue. Something needs to be done about the problem and my suggestion is to bounce Kevin Long from his job as Yankees hitting coach. Long may not be the problem. But he's definitely not finding a solution to it. He's had his time to fix it and he hasn't. It's time for him to go.

I'd hate to see anyone lose their job. Having said that, fire Kevin Long!

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, June 22, 2009

Win Tickets To See Yankees/Red Sox

Are you a Yankees fan (or a Red Sox fan) that's feeling lucky and in a giving mood? If so, then this raffle is for you. Celebrities For Charity is raffling off 2 Legends Suite tickets to the August 8th Yankees/Red Sox game. The prize also includes hotel accommodations to the Marriott Marquis Times Square in NYC, a $250 travel voucher, as well as a cash prize to mitigate taxes as a result of winning the raffle. Tickets are only $2 each (minimum purchase = 5 tickets) and all proceeds go to charity. The deadline for the raffle is August 5, 2009 at 11am EDT.

For more information about the raffle, you can click here.

Sounds like a sweet deal. Good luck. You'll need it because I'm going to win.


The Yankees Be Scuffling

My friends and I went to see The Hangover (freaking hysterical!) on Saturday night. We went to the 9:50pm show so I got to see most of the Yankees/Marlins game. It was a quick one as both pitchers were dealing. I listened to the top of the 8th on the radio as I sat and waited for my buddies to show up. Talk about a buzzkill. As we've seen quite a few times this year, the Yanks get runners on base and fail to bring them home. With runners on 1st and 2nd, no outs, Jeter grounds into a DP, and Damon strikes out, leaving Gardner on 3rd. Typical. I would have sent the runners for a flat out double steal but that's me. I can see why they didn't because Jeter was up and he seems to do well in those situations. Then again, why have him bunt? Oh yeah, because he grounds into quite a few DPs. I'd rather see them go for it all with a double steal, then to drop a sac bunt. Go for the jugular and try to make something happen. If it fails, you've still got 2 cracks at bringing the runner home. I recall hearing that they did try a hit-and-run. Props for that but I would have kept the pressure on and sent them again. Oh well. It's over. It's done with. No need harping on it.

During the previews, my wife sent me a text message letting me know that Cano ended the game with a DP. I was bummed. The Hangover made me quickly forget about it. I thought A.J. Burnett pitched pretty well. It sucks when you give up 2 runs and your team doesn't score. For all intents and purposes, that game should have ended 1-0. Damon should have caught that fly ball and the Marlins should have turned that DP. The Yanks should have been shutout. Where or where is the Yankees offense? Where or where can it be?

I saw some of the game on Sunday. Had it been a 1pm start I'd have seen the whole thing. But it was Father's Day and we were having dinner at the in-laws. I saw the key parts though. CC got yanked with some kind of bicep tendinitis. I'd be a little worried about that except CC has said it's happened before. He's on track to make his next start Friday in Atlanta. CC's early exit was definitely a game changer. When your ace gets pulled in the 2nd inning, you're in trouble. Alfredo Aceves pitched very well in relief. Unfortunately, Brett Tomko did not. He's probably the weakest link in the Yankees bullpen. They didn't have much of a choice there in using him. They probably could have gone to Hughes for an inning or two but with Wang starting tomorrow, I can see why they didn't want to use him. They offense was pretty non-existent until the tail end of the game. Too little too late. I read that Girardi protested the game so it's possible, but unlikely, that the game gets replayed from that point. As I understand it, it should get replayed because the move was "illegal." Now I'm not up on all the substitution rules, but from what I know, the Marlins should have had to pull their pitcher. If it's decided that they should have, it could mean they start the game over from that point. That'll be interesting.

The Yanks are struggling right now. They've lost 2 straight series to 2 sub-par teams. They're lucky Luis Castillo dropped that ball or it would be 4 straight series losses. The Yanks are 4-8 over their last 12. They've been shutout twice and have scored 5 or less runs in 10 of those 12 games. The pitching has been holding its own. It's the offense that's failing to deliver. I haven't updated the numbers yet as they pertain to facing pitchers they've never seen before. They ran into 3 straight in Florida and came away with 1 win. Their next 2 games against the Braves are against guys that they'll be seeing for the 1st time. They need to figure out a way to start hitting these guys. It's a problem. They need to fix it.

Hopefully the off day does them some good.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Yanks Bounce Back From Embarassing Loss Beating The Marlins 5-1

It's been a long day my friends. I wanted to blog before bed because I know if I don't, I won't have much time tomorrow because when you have 2 kids under the age of 2, you never know how much free time you'll get. I'm going to make this a quickie, which likely means it'll be really long. Only one way to find out.

Andy Pettitte is far and away the player of the game. I hope that he's the proud owner of the WWE belt they pass around to honor the game's hero/best player. Andy was on tonight. He had a good strike-to-ball ratio, only gave up 3 hits, and didn't walk a batter. If you can do that over 7 innings, you'll win a lot of ballgames. It was good to see him pitch so well as a few of his previous starts have been shaky. And how about that double he ripped down the line? Part of me wanted to see him pull up lame running into home, pretending to I mean. I think that would have been pretty funny.

After the last few games I was worried that the Yankee offense would again go missing. They were facing another starter they'd never seen before. The poor kid didn't stand a chance. The bats were on tonight. They knocked Marlins pitcher Sean West for 10 hits. They kind of mailed in the 2nd half of the game though, managing only 3 hits in the final 5 innings. Maybe a night out on South Beach awaited them. I dunno. I thought they could have been a little more efficient at the plate. I think a team should score more than 5 runs on 13 hits and 6 walks. They did go 5 for 14 (.357) with RISP. At the same time, they grounded into 3 DPs. Every starter had a hit. Overall, a good night for the offense.

In yesterday's post, I pleaded for Joe Girardi to give A-Rod the day off. Ask and ye shall receive. It was a much needed day of rest. Word has it that he'll be sitting tomorrow also. Works for me.

There's a chance that I am going to miss some of tomorrow's game. It's a little boys night out. Going to see The Hangover. It'll be a late show so I may catch most of it. I'm hoping to see A.J. Burnett toss another gem. I'm interested to see if Cervelli is his battery mate. There playing in the NL so there's no DH. I'm guessing Posada catches him. It'll be pretty telling if he doesn't.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Pathetic Yankees Get Shutout By The Slightly Less Pathetic Nationals

According to Thesaurus.com there are 31 synonyms for the word pathetic. Pathetic is the perfect word to describe this series against the Nationals. The Nationals have the worst pitching staff in all of MLB. Look up the stats. You'll find it to be true. In 3 games against the lowly Nats, the Yankees managed to score only 7 runs on only 19 hits. You read that right. Only 7 runs. Only 19 hits. They managed to win 1 game against a team that had a 16-45 record (.262). It was the 3rd series that the Nationals have won all year. I think they need to add a 32nd word to that thesaurus, and that word is Yankees. Can you imagine what would go down if George Steinbrenner was the George Steinbrenner of old? Losing 2 of 3, at home, to the Nationals would not sit well with the Boss. Getting shutout by the Nationals would not sit well with the boss. Heads would definitely roll. Girardi, Long, and Eiland would all be on notice.

The Yankees offense was absolutely pathetic tonight. They yet again struggled against a pitcher they've never faced before, getting shutout against Craig Stammen. My post yesterday was all about the Yankees struggling against starters they've never faced. It was chock full of stats illustrating how they struggle. Here's an updated set of stats for those that don't want to scroll down:

  • By my count they've faced 13 SPs they've never faced (I'm not counting Jon Lannan or Anthony Reyes). Their record in those games are 8-5, with 5 of the wins coming off the bullpen and not the starter.
  • As a team, they're hitting .249 (66-265). They've hit under .200 5 times. They've hit .250 or under in 9 of the 13 games.
  • Opposing SPs have a WHIP of 1.32 and an ERA of 4.77 against the Yanks. The WHIP was under 1.00 5 times, and under 1.20 8 times.
  • If you add in the starts by Lannan and Reyes, the average dips to .239.

For more on that, you can scroll down or click here to read that post. I would really love to know why this happens. Michael Kay and John Flaherty talked about it on tonight's broadcast. John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman talked about it Monday. It happens was too often and the Yanks need to figure out what the deal is. My theory, which is based on nothing really, is that the scouting reports are lacking and perhaps Kevin Long is doing a poor job of breaking down these pitchers for the team. I wish I knew the reason because it makes no sense to me how it keeps happening. Teams would be smart to pull minor leaguers up to face the Yanks. This little swoon is coming at the wrong time. Interleague play typically means they face guys they're not familiar with. They're next 2 opponents, Florida and Atlanta, have a lot of youngsters. This could be a rough road trip.

They're are a lot of guys struggling. A-Rod is leading the charge. He ended May with a .260 average and it's now down to .212. There's talk that the hip is bothering him and his swing is all upper body. He hasn't had a day off since coming off the DL. Give him a rest Joe. Please give him a day off.

Watching Joba Chamberlain makes me queasy at times. In his last outing, he and Jorge Posada seemed to have a little disconnect. Tonight he was paired with Francisco Cervelli and he seemed to have similar issues. I'm starting to think Joba isn't in a position to shake off pitches. How do you walk the #8 hitter, the .256 hitting Wil Nieves, with the bases loaded? How do you walk the .217 7th hitter, Willie Harris? That makes 9 walks for Joba in his last 2 starts. Enough with the free passes. Joba would do much better if he could cut down on the walks. What's really bad is a lot of the time he's ahead in the count and he comes back to walk the guy. He'll have a guy down 1-2 and end up walking him. Dave Eiland better get on that.

The Yankees go at it with yet another fresh-faced SP tomorrow. Sean West is making his 6th career start for the Marlins. West has put up some pretty solid numbers this year so it could be another tough one for the Yankees. This could be a long road trip.

Get well soon Brett Gardner. That was a great catch and the replay of it made me cringe. My fingers are crossed that it's not serious.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jon Lannan Stymies The Yankee Offense, Yanks Lose 3-2

Tonight's 3-2 loss to the Nationals pretty much sucks the big one. You never want to lose to a team that would be 21 games or so behind you if they were in your division, and definitely if they're that far back in June. There's not much to say about the game itself. Chien-Ming Wang's start was average. It wasn't bad. It wasn't good. I agree with the C+ grade that Kay and Flaherty gave him. This was a big game for the Wanger. His spot in the rotation was riding on it. I think he did enough to get another start. I'd expect him to.

The Yankees offense just couldn't get it going. I know that this is the Nationals but John Lannan is the real deal. He's not a slouch and many think of him as a perennial Cy Young contender. He's a great pitcher and is just in a bad position playing for the Nats. This loss would sting a lot more if it were anybody else.

There's been quite a bit of discussion lately about the Yankees and their perceived inability to hit guys they've never seen before. I've written about it several times over the years. After work today, as I was waiting to go to softball, I started looking at how the Yankees have fared against starters they've never faced. I put some data together to see if perception was reality. It was a manual process. I went through every box score, looking at the starter and checking game logs to see if they faced off against the Yanks. All the stats were pulled from the box scores, so it is possible I made an error or overlooked something.

By my count, the Yankees have faced 12 starters this year that they haven't faced before. I didn't count today's start against Lannan or when they faced Anthony Reyes. Both guys have close to 300 innings under their belt and that's enough for a good scouting report. Here are some stats for the 12 guys. If I missed someone, or if you catch an error, let me know and I'll correct it. Check these stats out and decide for yourself:

  1. Koji Uehara: 5-21 (.238) - was 1st ML start, Yanks lost 7-5
  2. Alfredo Simon: 4-19 (.211) - had previously pitched 13 ML innings, Yanks won 11-2
  3. Brett Anderson: 9-25 (.360) - 3rd career ML start, Yanks won 9-7, left with 7-5 lead
  4. Rick Porcello: 6-17 (.353) -4th career ML start, Yanks won 8-6
  5. Anthony Ortega: 8-26 (.308) - 2nd career ML start, Yanks won 7-4, left 4-4 tie
  6. Matt Palmer: 3-22 (.136) - 5th career ML start, Yanks lost 8-4
  7. Jeff Niemann: 3-12 (.250) - 8th career ML start, Yanks lost 8-6, left with 4-2 lead
  8. Scott Richmond: 7-12 (.583) - 12th career ML start, Yanks won 8-2
  9. Brad Bergesen: 3-21 (.143) - 5th career ML start, Yanks won 9-1
  10. J.A. Happ: 4-21 (.190) - 6th career ML start, Yanks won 5-4, left with 4-2 lead
  11. Fernando Nieve: 4-24 (.167) - had previously pitched 109 ML innings, Yanks lost 6-2
  12. Shairon Martis: 4-21 (.190) - 17th career ML start, Yanks won 5-3, left with 3-2 lead
  • The Yanks record in those 12 games is 8-4, with 5 wins coming off bullpen.
  • As a team, the Yanks hit 60-241 (.249)
  • They hit under .200 in 5 of the 12 games, and over .250 in 4 of the 12 games with lowest if those 4 being .308.
  • Opposing pitchers threw 61.2 innings w/ERA of 5.25 and WHIP of 1.36
  • If you remove the worst start by Richmond, they hit .231, WHIP 1.25, ERA 4.65
  • If you also remove the Porcello start, they hit .222, WHIP 1.17, ERA 4.00. They hit .222 in 10 of the 12 starts.
  • If you remove the best start (Palmer) and the worst start (Richmond), they hit .242, WHIP 1.30, 5.03 ERA
  • 8 of the 38 runs they were charged with were given up be RPs.
  • Surprisingly, they only struck out 25 times

If you add in the start by Anthony Reyes, the numbers don't change much. The Yanks hit .250 off him and won the game but it came off the bullpen. Obviously if you add in today's start by Lannan, they get even worse.

I think the numbers show they struggle. Beating only 4 of the 12 SPs with a combined .249 average is struggling in my book. It's .222 in 10 of the 12 games. And again, I quickly put this together so it may not be 100% accurate. I'm 98% positive I caught everyone and got the numbers right. I didn't include RPs because quite frankly, I don't have the time for that.

So what do you think? Fact or fiction: the Yankees struggle against starters they've never faced? If you think it's fact, why do you think they struggle? Lack of preparation? Poor scouting? Whose fault is it? Kevin Long? The players? The scouts? I think it's probably a combo of all three. That's my theory anyway.

The Yanks face a guy named Craig Stammen tomorrow. It'll be his 6th career start. One can only imagine how this will go.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yanks Avoid Embarrasment With Another Late Inning Comeback Against The Nats

As is always the case when the game is on My9, I didn't get to see tonight's Yankee/Nationals game. Frequent readers of the blog have seen me write before about how the Buffalo market has no carrier for those games. The previous network that showed them went all religious and Yankee baseball doesn't quite fit their programming. I think the Time Warner subscribers might now get it, but if you've got Direct TV, Dish Network, or FIOS, you're out of luck. I did listen to the radio call on XM. I like listening to games on the radio but definitely prefer seeing it on TV. Since I didn't see the game, I'll keep this post brief as I find when I listen to I don't take it in the same as I do when I watch it on TV.

CC Sabathia had a pretty solid outing. The only mistake he made was giving up a HR to a guy with only 1 career HR (in 324 ABs). I'm not sure if it was a "Yankee Stadium" HR or not. Sterling's call made it sound like Damon just missed it but if you've ever listened to Sterling you know he's often off a little bit. When Teixeira drove in Damon to tie the game, Sterling's call started out sounding like it was gone. Then he thought it was caught. Then it was off the wall. 3rd time's a charm.

After going 4-for-4 Robbie Cano now leads the team in hitting @ .309. Cano has been doing well of late. He's 7 for his last 8, and 9 for his last 12. 3 of those hits were doubles and 2 were HRs. He's Robbie Cano, don't cha know?

I'm still waiting for A-Rod to get it going. After reading a comment that was left the other day, I'm starting to worry he won't. The comment mentioned that after Friday's "walkoff" he was seen clutching his hip. It sounds like it's not 100% and I remember reading, though I'm not sure where it was, that Alex is having trouble opening up his swing. The commenter said it's all upper body. I'm a little worried about that. I'll take a less than 100% A-Rod over a guy like Ramiro Pena, Cody Ransom, or Angel Berroa. I've seen a lot of people question why Berroa is still around. Perhaps it has to do with Alex's health. He's probably around as an insurance policy, albeit not a good one.

It sounded like the Yankee defense made a few nice plays. I saw the highlight of Melky's shoestring catch. That was pretty. I haven't seen any other highlights but I'd imagine that might be the play of the day. If Melky can continue to flash the leather, I'll overlook his declining offensive numbers. The average is down 20 points over the last 10 games.

Jeter got pulled from the game with some kind of foot/ankle injury. Hopefully it's not too serious.

I'm not surprised that the Yankees struggled against a pitcher they've never seen before. I've written about that several times. I was surprised to read today that the Yankees were 9-4 this year against guys they've never faced. I read that in the comments section on one of Pete Abraham's posts. I forget which one but hat tip to whoever posted that stat. I'm a little shocked that they've done that well. My perception is that struggle more often than not. Waldman and Sterling talked about that quite a bit on their broadcast tonight. Take that for what it's worth though as it is Waldman and Sterling. Waldman brought up the idea that teams should bring up AAA pitchers whenever they play the Yanks. Sterling agreed with her that it was a good idea. But they struggled tonight and only really got things going once the Nats lifted the starter and went with the very familiar Ron Villone. It didn't take him long to blow that lead. 2 hitters and the game was tied. 4 hitters and the lead was gone. Thanks Ronnie.

Welcome back Brian Bruney. The 8th inning missed you. Jose Veras was DFA'd. I can't say I'll miss him, but I wish him the best.

The new daddy Chien-Ming Wang makes a very important start tomorrow. It's do or die for the Wanger. If he tanks, it's probably his last start. I read on Pete Abraham's blog, that in Taiwan, a new baby is supposed to bring good luck to the parents. For Wang's sake I hope that's true. He's already got one thing going for him: he's pitching against the Nationals, owners of the worst record in all of baseball. Their 16 wins is 11 less than the next closest team. Take advantage Wang. Take advantage.

So much for keeping it brief.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


It's A Boy! Chien-Ming Wang & Wife Welcome First Child

Just wanted to send a quick congrats to CMW and his wife on the birth of their son, Justin Jesse Wang. How's that for a name? I love it. Justin clocked in at 7 lbs. 12 ounces.

Congrats to the Wangs.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Jorge Posada: Is It Time To Pass The Torch?

As I was watching yesterday's 15-0 beatdown of the Mets, I started wondering if A.J. Burnett would have pitched as well as he did if Jorge Posada were his battery mate instead of Francisco Cervelli. I've heard and read a lot of things over the years about Posada as a catcher. My impression of Jorge is that not everyone is a fan of his ability to call a game. Chalk me up as one of those people. I don't think it's a coincidence that Mike Mussina won 20 games when he primarily pitched to Jose Molina. Randy Johnson pretty much preferred anyone to Posada, using John Flaherty or Kelly Stinnett as his personal catcher. So as I sat and watched Burnett put up 7 scoreless, I decided to pull some stats from this year to see if I was off base. The stats I put together were a little surprising. I'm pretty sure that the numbers are accurate. I did my best to check and double check it for accuracy.Take a look:

Yankees record by starting catcher:

  • Jorge Posada: 15-11 (.577)
  • Jose Molina: 5-8 (.385)
  • Kevin Cash: 5-2 (.714)
  • Francisco Cervelli: 11-6 (.647)

The team is definitely winning more with Cervelli behind the dish. Over 162 games, that would work out to about 12 more wins. I also looked at who was the "catcher of record," meaning who was behind the plate when the team won or lost to see if that changed anything:

  • Jorge Posada: 16-13 (.552)
  • Jose Molina: 4-7 (.364)
  • Kevin Cash: 6-3 (.667)
  • Francisco Cervelli: 10-4 (.714)

Cervelli's winning percentage is the only one that increased, meaning more game where he starts are lost when the back-up catcher comes in. I also broke down each catcher's record by who got the win, a starter or reliever:

  • Jorge Posada: 9-10 rotation/6-1 bullpen
  • Jose Molina: 3-3 rotation/2-5 bullpen
  • Kevin Cash: 3-2 rotation/2-0 bullpen
  • Francisco Cervelli: 7-1 rotation/4-5 bullpen

I find it very interesting that the starters have a losing record with Jorge Posada. Cervelli's record is outstanding with the rotation. Considering how bad the Yankee bullpen has been, I'm surprised that Posada's record when it comes to the pen is so good. I'm taking the guy that kicks ass with the rotation. Cervelli's record with the SPs is pretty impressive. The next set of stats I looked at go a little hand-in-hand with each other. I looked at how many runs per game the Yankees scored based on who was the starting catcher, and what the catcher's ERA was. The catcher's ERA is based on the team's ERA only for when that catcher is catching:

  • Jorge Posada: 5.58 runs per game/cERA of 6.44 (career = 4.44)
  • Jose Molina: 5.38 runs per game/cERA of 3.66
  • Kevin Cash: 6.14 runs per game/cERA of 3.49
  • Francisco Cervelli: 6 runs per game/cERA of 4.18

I was shocked to see that the team scores fewer runs per game with Posada catching than with Cervelli or Cash. I made sure to triple-check that to make sure it was correct. Posada's cERA is absolutely horrendous. It's 2+ runs higher than the next closest. I know that some of that has to do with Jorge catching Wang's 1st 3 starts. If you toss those 3 starts out, Posada's cERA is till ridiculously high at 5.70. Posada is the only one whose cERA is higher than the runs scored per game. His cERa has also climbed every year since 2006. The cERA alone is enough for me to consider other options. Posada is just not getting it done this year. I'm not sure how much of that has to do with catching new pitchers, but if it is, those guys aren't going anywhere.

The last stat I looked at was the percentage of runners they throw out stealing:

  • Jorge Posada: 31.91% of runner caught (career = 28.6%)
  • Jose Molina: 23.53% of runners caught (career = 40.5%)
  • Kevin Cash: 18.18% of runners caught (career = 32.1%)
  • Francisco Cervelli: 37.5% of runners caught (career = 35.3%)

Posada has never been thought of has having a great arm. Maybe in his younger days, but not anymore, especially after going thru his recent injury issues. Speed is becoming a very big part of the game. The Rays lead all of baseball with 105 stolen bases. The Red Sox have the 4th highest number of stolen bases in the AL with 47. Teams are going to be better suited by having a catcher with a good arm behind the plate, especially in the AL East. Cervelli has a leg up on the competition.

I also took a really quick glance at Posada and Cervelli's zone rating, range factor, and fielding percentage. Cervelli's fielding percentage is higher (.993 to .986). Cervelli's zone rating is higher (3.179 to 3.121). Cervelli's range factor is higher (7.93 to 7.90). Cervelli has Posada pretty much beat up and down when it comes to catching. The only thing Jorge has on Cervelli is his bat. No question about that. But is having Jorge's bat in the lineup providing a huge impact? According to their runs/game, it's not. It's also evident that the added offense is only making up for the inferior catching.

And that was pretty much how I spent my Sunday night. I asked in the title of this post, is it time for Jorge to pass the torch? It's evident to me that the team is better off with Cervelli catching. The numbers to me bear that out. Now I know it's not a large sample size and Cervelli doesn't have a lot of time in the majors under his belt, but Cervelli has Jorge beat pretty much up and down the line. Unfortunately, Cervelli playing full-time is probably not in the cards. I have to think once Jose Molina comes back that Cervelli is on his way to Trenton or Scranton. That's a shame. He's playing better than anyone the Yankees have. I understand their hands are tied because it's not like they can just throw Posada at DH. It's something the Yankees need to consider, if not now, for the future. Maybe they can find somebody to unload Matsui on? It would allow Posada to DH more.

The Yankee bullpen is atrocious right now. The team is better off when the SPs go deep into games. Right now the guy getting it done with the SPs is Cervelli. His winning percentage is high. His cERA is pretty good. He cuts down more runners. He's flat out the best option the Yankees have right now. They say pitching and defense wins championships. Right now, I'd take Cervelli over Posada. He's getting the job done. If not in a full-time role, maybe in some kind of a platoon with Posada. What say you? Am I off my rocker?

I wonder who the Yankee pitchers prefer?

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Who's In The Yankee Hall Of Shame?

Thought I'd pass this along. The guys over at Bleacher Report have started The Yankees Hall of Shame. Right now there are 4 inductees. Click on the link if you want to see who made it in. I can't say I disagree with any of the selections.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Yanks Rip Johan Santana A New One

OK, why is it the Yankees can rip arguably the best pitcher in the game for 9 runs on 9 hits over 3 innings, but they can't manage bupkiss against pitchers with minimal starts that they've never seen before. After Friday's improbable victory, I blogged that the Yanks always seem to struggle against pitchers they're seeing for the first time. And sure enough, the Yankees offense managed only 4 hits off a guy named Fernando Nieve. I said that Andy Pettitte needed a nice, long outing. Didn't happen. Andy had a brutal outing. The Mets offense battered him all over the ballpark. That's when you hope the offense picks you up. It was a bad game to run into a newbie. I hope somebody, someday, figures out why they struggle so much.

I think everyone on the planet thought today's game against the Mets was a gimme for the Mets. Not a lot of teams fare well against the great Johan Santana. The Yankees always seem to do better than most when it comes to facing Johan. They sure had his number today. I don't think anyone saw that coming. The 9 earned runs Johan gave up were a career high. The Yankees offense exploded for 15 runs on 17 hits and 7 walks. They had 15 of those hits in 5 innings. The offense was running on all cylinders. Well, almost all cylinders. A-Rod and Nick Swisher were the only 2 starters who failed to get a hit. Swisher I'll give a pass to because he walked twice and leads the team in OBP. A-Rod though needs to get his act in to gear. Alex is tipping the scales at .230. His average has dropped 25 points (.255 to .230) over the last 7 games. Alex is 3 for 24 over that stretch. When he hits the ball, he hits it well. 18 of his 28 hits have gone for extra bases. His SLG percentage is a healthy .517 and his .913 OPS us nothing to scoff at. Those #s will obviously drop after today's ohfer. But he's hitting only .230! He's got 122 at bats under his belt this season. He's had plenty of time to get things worked out. A-Rod is a career .305 hitter. I keep expecting him to pull a Teixeira and go on a tear. Any day now.

A.J. Burnett had an extremely solid outing. He got out of a major jam in the 3rd inning and that was definitely the turning point of the game for Burnett. Hopefully, it's the turning point of his season. the 7 scoreless innings dropped his ERA to 4.46. After 13 starts last season, A.J. was 5-5 with an ERA of 4.32. His ERA after his first 16 starts last year was 5.42. It was over 5 after his 20th start. He finished the year with 18 wins and an ERA barely over 4. I think we'd all settle for that. I definitely would. A.J. is having a very similar year this season. There's a lot of time left. A few more starts like today and we'll all be singing his praises by year's end. He's done it before. He can do it again.

The Brian Bruney/K-Rod feud seems to be over. K-Rod is such a little girl. Bruney was right on with his comments about K-Rod's antics. K-Rod takes things a little overboard when he gets a save. I must have watched the ending of Friday's game 100 times (exaggerating of course) and I loved seeing K-Rod get pumped when Alex popped it up, only to lose it all a few seconds later. I thought the video of K-Rod confronting Bruney during the Yankees' BP was comical. Who does K-Rod think he is? I would have loved to hear that exchange. Something tells me Bruney would mop the floor with him. This whole beef though has got me thinking about Joba's fist pumps. Are they along the same lines as K-Rod's antics? Absolutely. Do I have a problem with it? Ask me again later. I'm now on the fence. If I say no, then K-Rod's antics shouldn't bother me. If I say yes, then I feel like I'm losing a little piece of my Yankee fandom. I'm torn. I wonder how Brian Bruney feels about it.

The Yankees have a well-deserved off-day tomorrow. It'll be their first off day since May 28th. They've played 17 straight days and I'm sure they could use the day off. Up next are the lowly Washington Nationals, owners of the league's worst record at 16-45. It'll be CC, Wang, and Joba going for the Yanks. Anything less than a sweep would be unacceptable. Unfortunately, they're facing 3 guys they've never seen before so who knows what to expect. I hope they've done their homework.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Friday, June 12, 2009

Yanks Beat Mets 9-8 On The Most Improbable Of Walkoffs

Last night I couldn't find the words to start the post because my mind was blown over watching the Yankees blow another game to the Sox. Tonight, I'm having the same problem but this time it's a good thing. I can't believe that the Yankees won on of all things, a dropped pop up. Unreal. I'd hate to be Luis Castillo right about now. I got a text from my friend Dan the Mets fan (not be confused with Dan the Yankees fan) that said "I would cut Castillo if I was in charge." That was a brutal play. It is probably the worst play I've ever seen. Again, unreal. Here are some of the instant reactions of some of my fellow Yankee bloggers, all done via Twitter:

Scott Proctor's Arm tweeted: "Holy Sh*t"
Flair For The Dramatic tweeted: "Increedddiblle..."
Yankeeschick78 tweeted: ""I don't believe what I just saw""
RiverAveBlues tweeted: "Only the Mets. Only A-Rod. It was the perfect storm."
The Stadium Insider tweeted: "Wamp wamp wamp wamp wahhhhhh... A-Rod is unclutch! Bat him 8th!" followed by "Wait. He dropped it?!?!?! I turned the game off when Castillo settled under it. I am retarded." editor's note: that's hilarious.

I tweeted "HOLY SH*T" and "ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?!?!?!" and "That was insane in the membrane."

The best tweet of the night also came courtesy of River Ave Blues: "Unsung hero = Mark Teixeira for just putting his head down and running hard on a routine pop up." That my friends is the absolute truth. Kids take note: that is why you run hard all the time. You never know what's going to happen. Teixeira better be tonight's recipient of the WWE belt. That was clutch. And I can't decide if it's sad or not that the Yankees reacted like they did in terms of rushing A-Rod. He should get absolutely no credit for that. At least no pies were involved.

That improbable ending pretty much made me forget the rest of the game. It made me forget that Joba Chamberlain was absolutely horrendous, issuing 5 walks and hitting 2 people in 4 innings of work. It made me forget that no matter what move Joe Girardi makes, it backfires. It made me forget that Mo, yet again, wasn't the Mo we all know and love. It made me forget that Nick Swisher had another fielding blunder. That makes 4 in the last 3 days (2 defensive miscues and 2 baserunning blunders). OK, maybe I didn't forget those things but it makes the negative a lot easier to swallow.

I still can't believe how that came ended. I get that everyone who has ever played the great game of baseball has dropped a pop-up at some point, but I have to think that it's rarely ended the game, especially at the major league level. The best part of the ending, besides the Yankees winning of course, was watching K-Rod look all mopey and sad. I was so not looking forward to seeing him pump his fists and/or point to the heavens. Besides Jonathan Papelbon, there's no reliever I dislike more the K-Rod. It gives me great joy knowing that he gets knocked with a blown save, even though it wasn't his fault.

Tomorrow's game should be interesting as the Yankees are going up against Fernando Nieve, who they've never faced before. The Yanks always seem to struggle against guys they're seeing for the first time. It's amazing how often they struggle. It happens way too often and it makes me think that there's an underlying reason for it. The only thing I can think of is poor scouting. I'm not a major league hitting coach, nor do I pretend to be, but I'd have to think that part of their job is to know what to expect from opposing pitchers and to make sure that his hitters are prepared for it. Maybe Kevin Long struggles in that department. I don't know. Andy Pettitte takes the ball for the Yanks and he really needs a good, long outing. Andy's had 2 so-so outings in a row and with Joba only going 4 tonight, we need to see some length from Andy. He needs to do anything he can do to keep the ball out of the bullpen's hands. A win would be huge because it guarantees a series win and it would mean less pressure on the team for Sunday's game against Johan Santana.

A dropped pop up? Unbelievable.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,