Sunday, May 5, 2013
NEW YORK—Lyle Overbay’s two-out two-run single in the sixth got a struggling Andy Pettitte off the hook Sunday, but Josh Donaldson’s one-out solo homer to left field off reliever Boone Logan in the eighth sent the Yankees to a 5-4 defeat which gave Oakland the rubber match of the three-game series.
Pettitte, who had given up seven runs to Houston in his previous start, surrendered home runs Sunday to Luke Montz and Yoenis Cespedes. He was relieved successfully by Preston Claiborne, who pitched two spotless innings in his Major League debut before Donaldson connected into the second deck off Logan.
The Yankees threatened in the bottom of the eighth when Travis Hafner’s bloop fell just fair in left and Ichiro Suzuki’s grounder barely found the hole on the right side for a single. But reliever Ryan Cook blew a fastball by Jayson Nix and retired Overbay on a fly ball just short of the right-center-field warning track to end the threat.
It would have been nice to take this one and finish off an 8-2 home stand but the Yankees couldn’t quite pull it off. If David Robertson was available today I think the Yankees probably end up winning, but I guess it’s silly to think that the Yankees would have an uninjured player.
It would also have been nice if Jayson Nix wasn’t batting sixth today
The A’s are a good team, so I’m less annoyed about them losing this series than I am that they didn’t sweep the Astros. Day off tomorrow and then on to Colorado for the foolishness known as interleague play. Colorado has been loads better than I expected them to be and that park presents a unique challenge so it should be an interesting set of exhibition games.
Adam Rosales(R), SS: .290/.353/.452, 0.2 bWAR
Derek Norris(R), C: .264/.420/.340, 0.7 bWAR
Jed Lowrie(S), 2B: .327/.406/.504, 0.5 bWAR
Yoenis Cespedes(R), CF: .239/.338/.478, 0.6 bWAR
Josh Donaldson(R), 3B: .301/.380/.469, 1.1 bWAR
Nate Freiman(R), 1B: .242/.333/.394, -0.1 bWAR
Luke Montz(R), DH: .143/.143/.286, -0.1 bWAR
Seth Smith(L), LF: .295/.380/.474, 0.4 bWAR
Michael Taylor(R), RF: .000/.000/.000, -0.2 bWAR
Lineup Total: .284/.373/.452, 3.1 bWAR
Brett Gardner(L), CF: .265/.333/.398, 0.7 bWAR
Robinson Cano(L), 2B: .319/.367/.605, 1.5 bWAR
Vernon Wells(R), LF: .284/.345/.500, 1 bWAR
Travis Hafner(L), DH: .286/.402/.584, 0.9 bWAR
Ichiro Suzuki(L), RF: .266/.314/.340, 0.3 bWAR
Jayson Nix(R), 3B: .239/.286/.296, -0.1 bWAR
Lyle Overbay(L), 1B: .253/.292/.495, 0.3 bWAR
Eduardo Nunez(R), SS: .203/.293/.278, -0.8 bWAR
Chris Stewart(R), C: .275/.318/.425, 0.4 bWAR
Lineup Total: .268/.331/.445, 4.2 bWAR
So far this season, Dan Straily has yet to give up a single run to a team from the AL East. On the other hand, Andy Pettitte has an ERA of 14.54 vs. the AL West. We probably need to regress Straily’s ERA against the AL East a little due to sample size, so let’s say he’s a true 1.00 ERA pitcher vs. the AL East. To be fair we should also regress Pettitte’s ERA against the AL West. So let’s say he’s really more like a true 14.00 ERA pitcher against the AL West.
Once again we go to the Log 5 expected win probability. In this case, A = Oakland’s winning percentage given they are averaging 5.35 runs per game and Straily is a 1.00 ERA pitcher and B = the Yankees’ winning percentage using their 4.45 runs per game and Pettitte’s 14.00 ERA.
A = 0.945467
B = 0.066187
Adjusted for home field advantage
B = 0.086187387
Oakland win probability = (0.925467229 - 0.925467229 * 0.086187387) / (0.925467229 + 0.086187387 - 2 * 0.925467229 *0.086187387) = 0.992461474 = 99.2%
So there’s a chance the Yankees could win, but for all intents and purposes Oakland has already won the series. Congratulations to them for finally winning a series against the AL East.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Phil Hughes pitched eight scoreless innings to pick up his first victory of the year, Chris Stewart and Lyle Overbay homered, and the Yankees defeated the Athletics, 4-2, on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.
Hughes snapped a string of three straight no-decisions as he limited Oakland to four hits in a sharp effort, winning for the first time in his six starts this season and leading the Yankees to their seventh win in nine games.
Former Yankee Bartolo Colon permitted three runs in 5 1/3 innings, as Stewart drilled his second home run of the year, a solo shot to left in the third inning. Overbay increased New York’s lead with a solo shot into the second deck in right field off Colon in the fifth, Overbay’s fifth of the year.
Hughes pitched a dandy of a game against the highest-scoring offense in the Major Leagues and if it weren’t for some questionable umpire calls, he likely could have gone the whole nine. Instead, it got a bit hairy in the ninth inning with Shawn Kelley only being given “until it is a save situation” before he was yanked (which was after a leadoff hit) and then Mariano Rivera struggled but he got the final three outs and the Yankees got an impressive victory.
As you can see from the comments in the game thread, most of us are all thinking the same thing, “If Hughes can string together a bunch of starts like this one, he will be very expensive this offseason.” Heck, I dare say that he might be the best free agent pitcher on the market if he keeps pitching like this (and Josh Johnson and Tim Lincecum keep pitching the way they have been pitching). With the $189 salary cap limit possibly going away, I certainly won’t mind Hughes pitching so well that the Yankees have to cough up some serious coinage to keep him in Pinstripes for the vast majority of his career.
In other news, Jayson Nix used his day off today to practice taking grounders at first base in case Girardi wanted to play him there against a lefty this season. That is a real thing that happened. Luckily, it seems like it is just an emergency thing and Girardi does not actually seem like he will ever play Nix at first, but I wouldn’t be so sure, as when it comes to Nix, Girardi is clearly smitten, sort of like Torre with Yankee legend (and starting first baseman in twenty-three games as a Yankee) Miguel Cairo (then again, the Reds started Cairo at first baseman sixteen times themselves…last season! When Cairo was 38!).
John Jaso(L), C: .272/.344/.358, 0.2 bWAR
Jed Lowrie(S), DH: .339/.419/.523, 0.6 bWAR
Yoenis Cespedes(R), CF: .222/.329/.476, 0.6 bWAR
Brandon Moss(L), 1B: .289/.390/.467, 0.9 bWAR
Josh Donaldson(R), 3B: .312/.392/.486, 1.3 bWAR
Seth Smith(L), LF: .286/.375/.462, 0.4 bWAR
Josh Reddick(L), RF: .143/.260/.238, -0.2 bWAR
Adam Rosales(R), SS: .333/.400/.519, 0.3 bWAR
Eric Sogard(L), 2B: .243/.312/.300, 0.3 bWAR
Lineup Total: .272/.360/.425, 4.4 bWAR
Brett Gardner(L), CF: .266/.336/.404, 0.6 bWAR
Robinson Cano(L), 2B: .322/.371/.609, 1.5 bWAR
Vernon Wells(R), LF: .286/.349/.510, 1.3 bWAR
Travis Hafner(L), DH: .288/.409/.603, 0.9 bWAR
Ichiro Suzuki(L), RF: .278/.327/.356, 0.2 bWAR
Chris Nelson(R), 3B: .242/.282/.318, -0.4 bWAR
Lyle Overbay(L), 1B: .239/.280/.443, 0.3 bWAR
Eduardo Nunez(R), SS: .197/.292/.250, -0.8 bWAR
Chris Stewart(R), C: .270/.317/.351, 0.3 bWAR
Lineup Total: .269/.333/.441, 3.9 bWAR
Regular readers of this blog should be familiar with Bill James’s log 5 methodology. It’s a way to estimate the likelihood of winning one game.
The formula is:
WPct = A - A * B / A + B - 2 * A * B
This figures out the odds of team A winning where A is team A’s winning percentage and B is team B’s winning percentage. In this case, we can use Bartolo Colon’s winning percentage for A and Phil Hughes’s winning percentage for B to figure out the A’s and Yankees likelihood of winning today.
WPct = 1 - 1 * 0 / 1 + 0 - 2 * 1 * 0
WPct = 1/1 = 100%
So basically the A’s are guaranteed to win today. If you want to adjust for home field advantage I suppose there odds are more like 99.958368%. That’s close enough to 100% that it’s not premature to congratulate them on today’s victory.
The Yankees trailed immediately on Friday when CC Sabathia’s left hand fired its first fastball, yet the night’s biggest pyrotechnics might have been the verbal sparks between the ace and the home-plate umpire.
Athletics right-hander A.J. Griffin took his early lead and held it deep into the night against a baffled Bombers lineup, hurling shutout ball into the eighth inning as Oakland defeated the Yankees, 2-0, at Yankee Stadium.
You know there’s not a lot to say about a game when the next three or four paragraphs from the Yankees.com recap was about an altercation CC Sabathia got into with the home plate umpire (a batter CC thought he had struck out but the umpire disagreed on a strike call then got a single and CC shouted at the mound. The umpire fell CC was complaining about the call and berated CC over it. CC took issue with the umpire yelling at him).
Once again, after putting the Yankees into a hole early, CC buckled down and pitched a strong game. A.J. Griffin just pitched better. There were also some unlucky breaks with some hits, but for the most part, Griffin just pitched well tonight. Obviously, if you don’t score any runs, you are going to lose.
Boston and Baltimore both lost tonight, as well, so that takes a bit of the sting out of the loss, although the fact that Oakland won their first game against the Yankees after going 2-5 against Boston and Baltimore is not fun at all (although it is fair to note that they did get a game against both Boston and Baltimore, so if the Yankees can just beat them the next two games, this series won’t be too irritating).
Friday, May 3, 2013
Adam Rosales, SS: .318/.400/.409
Seth Smith*, LF: .302/.394/.488
Jed Lowrie#, 2B: .327/.412/.519
Yoenis Cespedes, CF: .233/.324/.500
Josh Donaldson, 3B: .314/.397/.495
Derek Norris, C: .260/.415/.340
Josh Reddick*, RF: .148/.260/.247
Nate Freiman, 1B: .167/.278/.333
Luke Montz, DH: .250/.250/.500
Brett Gardner*, CF: .257/.331/.400
Robinson Cano*, 2B: .324/.375/.613
Vernon Wells, LF: .298/.362/.532
Travis Hafner*, DH: .304/.429/.638
Ichiro Suzuki*, RF: .279/.330/.360
Eduardo Nunez, SS: .208/.306/.264
Lyle Overbay*, 1B: .247/.289/.459
Jayson Nix, 3B: .221/.270/.265
Chris Stewart, C: .270/.300/.351
Why is Austin Romine even on the 25 man roster? At least Francisco Cervelli could be back in 5-6 weeks. At which point he’ll still be on the 60 day DL for another 20 days/three weeks, but I digress…
Hopefully Oakland plays the Yankees as tough as they’ve played the rest of the AL East so far (2-8).
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Preston Claiborne to be Called Up to Replace Joba Chamberlain
Preston Claiborne is the reliever who will be called up to replace Joba Chamberlain. Here‘s Chad Jennings on the topic.
I presume Cody Eppley’s Yankee career is over with this move, but this, of course, means that another 40-man move must happen when Joba returns to the team. Honestly, what that tells me is that Brian Cashman is far less worried about the upcoming 40-man roster crunch than we are.
It is surprising that the Yankees would add a reliever to the 40-man not named Mark Montgomery, but I believe that the Yankees actually feel Claiborne is closer to being ready to contribute in the Majors at right this second (Claiborne pitched very well during Spring Training). Cashman specifically mentioned Claiborne, Montgomery and Sam Demel as possible options earlier tonight, so this should not be such a surprise, but it still sure as heck surprised me.
In other news, A-Rod was cleared to resume baseball activities. So he’ll be joining Grandy and Teix at the Yankees’ training complex.
Also, Cashman downplayed Robertson’s recent hamstring injury, making it clear that it is not a DL-level injury (he called it “crankiness”. I love that). Which, of course, means that Robertson’s hamstring is likely about to break like a rubber band.
The Yankees don’t even play Thursday, yet their disabled list keeps growing larger.
Joba Chamberlain became the latest to join the walking wounded, as the team announced the righthander was being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique.
The DL stint is retroactive to April 28.
Who will pitch the seventh?
Yankee Positional Split League Ranks through May 1, 2013
Rank: Rank in American league by OPS+.
OPS+: On-base plus slugging percentage relative to league average, adjusted for park.
If you want to figure out where the Yankees could use the most help, this list is one way to think about it.
NEW YORK – The Yankees have found a stop-gap solution for their infield: They acquired third baseman Chris Nelson from Colorado for cash considerations or a player to be named later. To make room on the 40-man roster, the team transferred catcher Francisco Cervelli (broken hand) to the 60-day disabled list.
Nelson, a 27-year-old former first-round pick, was designated for assignment by the Rockies over the week. He is a right-handed hitter. With Kevin Youkilis on the disabled list, the team lacks a backup third baseman. Nelson posted a .600 on-base plus slugging percentage in 21 games this season.
It’s tough to gauge how good a player coming from the Rockies is, because of the way the park in Colorado plays. Nelson had a superficially strong season in 2012 (.301/.352/.458)but it was only good for a wRC+ of 105. For his career he’s hit .279/.322/.416 which translates to a wRC+ of 86. Although he played 522 of his 604 minor league games at shortstop he’s primarily played 3B in the majors with some time at 2B as well. His defensive numbers aren’t very good as he’s been around -17 by both defensive runs saved and ultimate zone rating in about 2/3 of a full season at 3B and -12 or so in less than 1/3 of a full season at 2B. He projects around a -18 defender at 3B over a full season, and a -25 defender at 2B.
The thing is, Nelson doesn’t really have to be all that good to help the Yankees. By all accounts, Corban Joseph can’t play 3B and David Adams is still two weeks away from being an option for the MLB roster. Ronnier Mustelier could have been an option to play 3B but he’s just coming back from an injury and apparently the Yankees weren’t willing to wait. So assuming Eduardo Nunez is locked in at SS, they literally have one 3B on the roster in Jayson Nix.
Here’s how CAIRO projects Nelson as a Yankee.
Not particularly overwhelming, but he was once a top prospect and at 27 may still have some growth in him. Then again, the Coors factor could be overrating him if he took more advantage of hitting there than the typical Rockie. For whatever it’s worth, Nelson has a career line of .316/.363/.460 at home vs. a career line of .238/.275/.366. Now, that doesn’t mean you can just take his road stats and assume that’s his ‘true’ talent level. First of all, he’s got fewer than career 700 PA in the majors. Second of all, just about every player hits better at home and you can’t just throw away half of a player’s line.
He projects to out-hit Nix (baseline of .227/.290/.396) at a level that would be worth about 4-5 runs over a full season. With defense, it’s probably a safe bet that he’s not any better overall than Nix. But he adds depth and likely didn’t come at too high of a price. He also adds another right-handed bat to a team that hasn’t hit lefties well at all so far this year.
I was a bit surprised that the Yankees rushed to put Francisco Cervelli on the 60 day DL when there was a chance he could be back in 6 weeks but I suppose it was the easiest move to make.
Anyway, I don’t have a problem with this move and it may turn out to be a decent one.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
NEW YORK—Lyle Overbay’s smart baserunning on a double-play ball gave the Yankees the lead, and they held on to make it stand up as the difference in a 5-4 victory over the Astros on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Leading from first base with one out in the sixth inning, Overbay hesitated as second baseman Jose Altuve fielded Ichiro Suzuki’s ground ball, running at Overbay briefly before throwing to first base for the out.
Overbay was tagged out at second base on the unconventional twin killing, but he stayed alive on the basepaths long enough for Eduardo Nunez to touch home plate with the deciding run as the Yanks were victorious for the seventh time in nine games.
Boone Logan picked up the victory in relief of Yankees starter David Phelps, while Robinson Cano and Ben Francisco hit solo homers to lead the charge against Astros starter Erik Bedard, who allowed four runs in four innings.
Cano’s third-inning blast was his team-leading eighth and the 185th of his career, tying Paul O’Neill for 17th place on the Yankees’ all-time list.
Ben Francisco finally became a True Yankee™ tonight.
Phelps looked great aside from the fourth, but he was really bad in that frame. The Yankees stranded something like 25* runners tonight but managed to score the five runs they needed to salvage the series.
Two out of three against probably the worst team in baseball at home isn’t all that impressive to me. It’s even less impressive when you realize that the Astros actually won the Pythagenpat version of this series 1.9-1.1.
But ugly real wins still count as wins, fortunately. So yay for that.
Robbie Grossman*, CF: .138/.242/.207
Jose Altuve, 2B: .330/.374/.438
Jason Castro*, C: .274/.315/.405
Carlos Pena*, 1B: .220/.330/.363
Chris Carter, DH: .227/.303/.454
J.D. Martinez, RF: .244/.271/.444
Brandon Barnes, LF: .375/.468/.525
Matt Dominguez, 3B: .250/.303/.315
Marwin Gonzalez#, SS: .297/.338/.516
Ichiro Suzuki*, CF: .268/.315/.329
Jayson Nix, 3B: .219/.261/.266
Robinson Cano*, 2B: .327/.379/.598
Vernon Wells, LF: .300/.366/.544
Travis Hafner*, DH: .318/.438/.667
Ben Francisco, RF: .103/.212/.103
Eduardo Nunez, SS: .203/.296/.246
Lyle Overbay*, 1B: .241/.267/.446
Chris Stewart, C: .294/.333/.382
Erik Bedard throws with his left arm. The Yankees have hit .216/.290/.338 against pitchers who do that. David Phelps throws with his right arm. The Astros have hit .246/.298/.408 vs. pitchers who do that.
Would you take a line of .216/.290/.338 over a line of .246/.298/.408? No, you would not.
April 2013 Log 5 Expectations vs. Actual Performance for the Yankees
Back on April 4, I ran through the Yankees’ Log 5 expectations for the month of April. In a nutshell, this is a crude way to estimate how many wins/losses a team should have given their schedule. It adjusts for home field advantage and strength of opposition, but its crude in that it relies on estimations of how good the opponents (and the Yankees are) and ignores pitching matchups. At the time I was using the average win projections from the pre-season projection blowout for the Yankees and their opponents but as the season moves forward we can incorporate 2013 results (properly weighed) as well.
Anyhow, the Yankees should have gone something like 14.3 - 13.7, aka roughly .500. Since two games were rained out make that 13.3-12.7 instead. Here’s how they actually ended up doing.
|Date||Road Team||Home Team||rW%||hW%||xW||xL||aW||cxW||cxL||caW||diff|
rW%: Road team projected winning percentage* adjusted for home field advantage
hW%: Home team projected winning percentage adjusted for home field advantage
xW/L: Expected wins/losses using log 5
aW: Actual wins
cxW/L: Cumulative expected wins/losses
caW: Cumulative actual wins
diff: Difference between caW and cxW. Positive means team is ahead of their projected pace
When the Yankees lost to the Tigers on April 6 to fall to 1-4 they were 1.6 games behind an 85 win pace and with Justin Verlander looming the next day it looked like they were headed for disaster. But they beat Verlander the next day and have won 15 of 21 games since that 1-4 start to push themselves up to 2.7 games ahead of an 85 win pace. If their pre-season projections were accurate then they are now closer to an 88 win team.
I don’t know how sustainable their recent play is. You look at the lineups they are running out there most nights and they don’t look like the lineups of a team that can win 71.4% of its games. But they are putting real wins up now while they are hopefully moving towards a time when they will be a better team that can sustain a good enough winning percentage to contend for a spot in the postseason.
The things I’ve most enjoyed so far are the performances of Hiroki Kuroda, Travis Hafner and Mariano Rivera.
I expected Kuroda to be solid, but figured he’d drop back from his very good 2012. Instead he’s been even better although some of his peripherals indicate that he’s likely to drop off a bit going forward.
I thought Hafner would be reasonably good as long as he could stay healthy. I figured he’d mostly walk, homer and strike out but he’s been a much better overall hitter than I expected, beating the shift numerous times and hitting against lefties and righties. I do think he still needs to be used judiciously even if it means running a weaker lineup out there periodically, but he’s been a boon to a lineup that needed it badly.
And really, I don’t know what I can say about Mo. I have to admit I was worried that he wouldn’t be the same after his knee injury and he didn’t look quite as dominant early on. Over his last eight games he’s faced 27 batters and has struck out nine of them without walking any and has really looked as good as he ever has.
Overall, this team has really surprised me so far. They’re two games ahead of their Pythagenpat winning percentage so they’ve probably been a bit lucky to this point, but those wins do actually count in the real standings.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
NEW YORK—The box score doesn’t tell the whole story for Hiroki Kuroda, who seemed to be in danger in each of the first three innings, then figured out a way to cruise for the rest of his night.
The veteran right-hander may have flailed early as he searched for the command of his stuff, but he finished with seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball to help the Yankees defeat the Astros, 7-4, on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.
The Astros had their chances early but stranded seven men against Kuroda through the first three innings, which required 67 pitches. Kuroda righted himself with a six-pitch fourth inning and finished with a season-high eight strikeouts in a 108-pitch effort, walking four.
Travis Hafner drove in two of the Yankees’ four runs against Astros starter Phil Humber, who permitted nine hits in a 94-pitch outing that featured four wild pitches as well as two walks and two strikeouts.
Hafner drove home Brett Gardner with a first-inning RBI single, a sinking liner to left field that Brandon Barnes trapped on a dive, then knocked in Ichiro Suzuki with a run-scoring hit up the middle in the third inning. Hafner’s third and final RBI single came in the bottom of the eighth.
Kuroda looked awful over the first three innings but settled down nicely and it was nice to see Ichiro and Nun-E showing some signs of life. With Curtis Granderson working his way back, Ichiro may be playing for his job.
Robbie Grossman*, CF: .115/.179/.192
Jose Altuve, 2B: .327/.373/.430
Jason Castro*, C: .266/.310/.392
Carlos Pena*, 1B: .216/.324/.364
Chris Carter, DH: .226/.305/.430
Rick Ankiel*, RF: .204/.220/.571
Matt Dominguez, 3B: .250/.305/.318
Brandon Barnes, LF: .405/.488/.568
Marwin Gonzalez#, SS: .300/.344/.517
Brett Gardner*, CF: .263/.333/.414
Ichiro Suzuki*, LF: .247/.298/.312
Robinson Cano*, 2B: .324/.378/.608
Travis Hafner*, DH: .290/.413/.661
Brennan Boesch*, RF: .219/.265/.500
Jayson Nix, 3B: .217/.262/.267
Lyle Overbay*, 1B: .241/.268/.418
Eduardo Nunez, SS: .169/.273/.185
Chris Stewart, C: .267/.313/.367
Philip Humber has pitched a perfect game. Hiroki Kuroda has never even pitched a no-hitter. You can’t win if you don’t get a single runner on base. Advantage Astros.
The Astros have two players who’ve hit exactly five home runs. Aside from the three Yankees who have hit at least six, no one on the team has hit more than three. Advantage Astros.
The Astros’ worst position player by OPS+ so far has an OPS+ of 3. The Yankees’ worst position player by OPS+ so far has an OPS+ of -23. Advantage Astros.
The Astros’ closer is Verasing Jose Veras. The Yankees’ closer is not. Advantage Yankees.
3 advantages > 1 advantage. Advantage Astros.
I guess that makes it four advantages, but you get the point.
I don’t know if I’d take the Yankees’ lineup over Houston’s. I guess I would simply because Cano is so much better than anyone else, but it’s close…
From Baker University to Yankees pinstripes, Vidal Nuno’s rise through baseball has been rapid and improbable.
Nuno, a left-hander assigned to the bullpen, has yet to take the mound in the majors after being called up from Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. But he told his college coach, Phil Hannon, in a telephone call Sunday evening that he’s ready to go.
“They’ve given him a couple of days to get acclimated,” Hannon said. “He’s ready to take the ball any time.”
This article was written before Nuno made his MLB debut last night. He’s a pretty cool story, as he’s worked his way to the majors from the NAIA college ranks where he got drafted by Cleveland in the 48th round before getting released then went to the independent Frontier League before the Yankees picked him up. He doesn’t throw hard, which limits his ceiling, but his minor league numbers last year and so far this year were really good and he may be able to be a useful part of a big league roster if his command is as good as it appears to be.
Monday, April 29, 2013
NEW YORK—Andy Pettitte was roughed up for seven runs and knocked out in the fifth inning as the Astros snapped the Yankees’ four-game winning streak, posting a 9-1 victory on Monday at Yankee Stadium.
Houston’s first game facing the Yankees as an American League opponent went into the books, as Pettitte allowed seven or more runs in a start for the first time since 2008, finding few answers as he surrendered 10 hits to his former club.
The Astros’ attack was paced by catcher Carlos Corporan’s career-high four hits. Brandon Barnes also drove in three runs, and Houston batted around in a four-run fifth inning, sending Pettitte to the showers.
It was clear that Pettitte didn’t have his good stuff from the beginning. The veteran lefty allowed three runs in the first, with Carlos Pena and Corporan collecting RBIs, and Barnes added a two-run double in the fourth inning.
After Ronny Cedeno roped Pettitte’s 91st and final pitch off the third-base bag for a fluke double, Corporan greeted reliever Adam Warren with a two-run homer into the right-field seats. Warren allowed two runs and three hits in 1 2/3 innings of relief.
When you lose 9-1 to the worst team in your league, perhaps they aren’t the worst team in your league after all. Perhaps you are.
I guess it’s good that Pettitte picked a night when his team would only score one run to give up eleventy billion runs at least.
Jose Altuve, 2B: .327/.375/.426
Brandon Barnes, RF: .375/.474/.500
Brandon Laird, 1B: .217/.280/.565
Chris Carter, LF: .216/.300/.432
Carlos Pena*, DH: .205/.320/.337
Ronny Cedeno, SS: .333/.324/.472
Carlos Corporan*, C: .250/.375/.250
Matt Dominguez, 3B: .262/.311/.333
Robbie Grossman*, CF: .091/.130/.182
Brett Gardner*, CF: .253/.327/.411
Robinson Cano*, 2B: .316/.374/.612
Vernon Wells, LF: .294/.358/.553
Travis Hafner*, DH: .305/.423/.695
Brennan Boesch*, RF: .233/.233/.533
Jayson Nix, 3B: .232/.279/.286
Lyle Overbay*, 1B: .240/.269/.427
Eduardo Nunez, SS: .164/.274/.180
Austin Romine, C: -/-/-
Interleague play again? Seriously? Oh, wait.
Houston comes to town after dropping four straight to Boston. The Astros don’t have a whole lot of good players, but Lucas Harrell has been a reasonably good pitcher so far in his MLB career.
Houston’s 7-18 record is a bit misleading as they should be 8-17 according to Pythagorean expectations. So they’re more likely to end the year 51-111 than they are to end the year 45-117.
As bad as Houston is, they are still going to win at least 25% of their games and logic says the Yankees probably won’t sweep this series. But seriously, anything less than a sweep will feel like a disappointment.
Josh Norris @jnorris427
It’s almost a month into the season, and Brett Gardner has as many home runs as Josh Hamilton and Matt Kemp combined.
Pitcher A vs. Pitcher B
FIP: Fielding independent pitching
xFIP: Expected FIP
BB/BF: Walks and hit batters per batters faced
K/BF: Strikeouts per batters faced
K/BB: Strikeout to walk ratio
GB%: Percentage of batted balls that were ground balls
FB%: Percentage of batted balls that were fly balls
LD%: Percentage of batted balls that were line drives
IFFB: Percentage of batted balls that were infield flies
BABIP: Batting average on balls in play
FBv: Average fastball velocity