Saturday, April 27, 2013
In what has seemingly become a daily theme in 2013, the Yankees’ resilience was on full display yet again on Saturday en route to their third straight victory.
On a day when New York placed two more regulars on its ever-growing disabled list and ace CC Sabathia struggled at times, the Yankees rallied twice to defeat the Blue Jays, 5-4, at Yankee Stadium.
After erasing an early three-run deficit with a three-run homer, designated hitter Travis Hafner broke a 4-4 tie in the seventh inning with what turned out to be a decisive RBI triple. With two outs and a runner on third base, Hafner sent a towering fly ball to center field that deflected off Rajai Davis’ glove, allowing Vernon Wells to score the go-ahead run.
What a win!
CC Sabathia struggled but he truly battled his way through eight innings and really pitched well in the eighth. Jayson Nix saved the win with a great diving play in the ninth inning as Joba Chamberlain came in to get the save (Mo and Robertson were both unavailable, Mo because he can’t pitch three games in a row and Robertson because he has pitched in three of the last four games). Travis Hafner got his first start of the season against a left-handed pitcher and came through with a three-run home run and then a game-winning triple in the seventh inning off a left-handed reliever. Hopefully this positive reinforcement gets Girardi to change his approach with Hafner never starting against lefties.
Rajai Davis, CF: .273/.286/.418
Melky Cabrera#, LF: .253/.308/.305
Jose Bautista, RF: .185/.284/.492
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B: .225/.317/.483
J.P. Arencibia, C: .256/.272/.589
Brett Lawrie, 3B: .205/.273/.308
Mark DeRosa, DH: .143/.257/.321
Maicer Izturis#, SS: .167/.200/.264
Emilio Bonifacio#, 2B: .169/.219/.305
Brett Gardner*, CF: .256/.333/.422
Jayson Nix, 3B: .245/.296/.306
Robinson Cano*, 2B: .319/.374/.626
Vernon Wells, LF: .308/.368/.590
Kevin Youkilis, 1B: .279/.353/.443
Travis Hafner*, DH: .294/.429/.647
Ichiro Suzuki*, RF: .243/.289/.314
Eduardo Nunez, SS: .164/.273/.182
Chris Stewart, C: .304/.360/.435
It’d be pretty cool if CC wouldn’t put the team in a 4-0 hole before the bottom of the first. It’d also be cool if his improved velocity in his last start shows up again.
The Yankees owe Happ a beating for injuring Granderson. Since he’s left-handed they probably won’t give him one, but they owe him one regardless.
Friday, April 26, 2013
The Yankees were dealt two serious early blows to their starting battery but hung around to pick up the win, taking advantage of 10 walks to weather three Toronto homers and post a 6-4 victory over the Blue Jays on Friday at Yankee Stadium.
The contest came at a high price, as catcher Francisco Cervelli fractured his right hand in the first inning and will miss a minimum of six weeks following surgery, and starter Ivan Nova left with pain in his right elbow and is scheduled to have an MRI on Friday.
It’s been said before, but if Yankees didn’t have bad luck with injuries, they’d have no luck at all. Kevin Youkilis looking the best he has in years? To the disabled list with you! Cervello having his best start ever? Out for almost two months! Nova’s hurt, too, but that’s the least of the Yankees’ problems. Unless, of course, it is Tommy John Surgery.
Obviously, Austin Romine will be thrown into the deep end, whether he can swim yet or not. I have no idea who will be called up for Nova (if he even goes to the DL at all). Montgomery makes a lot of sense, but so does Nuno. Luckily, Phelps was very good in relief, so he’ll obviously slot into Nova’s rotation slot without much of a drop off. If Youk does go to the DL, then adding David Adams to the 40-man makes sense (I guess using Jeter’s 60-Day DL spot).
The win, while bittersweet, was still a win. And against a left-handed pitcher, nevertheless! So, not a total disaster tonight, but boy, talk about the walking wounded.
Rajai Davis, DH: .260/.275/.420
Colby Rasmus*, CF: .225/.286/.465
Jose Bautista, RF: .180/.286/.459
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B: .212/.309/.412
Melky Cabrera#, LF: .253/.310/.308
J.P. Arencibia, C: .267/.284/.616
Brett Lawrie, 3B: .167/.225/.278
Maicer Izturis#, 2B: .162/.197/.265
Munenori Kawasaki*, SS: .235/.317/.324
Brett Gardner*, CF: .253/.327/.391
Jayson Nix, 3B: .261/.286/.326
Robinson Cano*, 2B: .322/.372/.632
Vernon Wells, LF: .293/.361/.587
Francisco Cervelli, C: .269/.377/.500
Ichiro Suzuki*, RF: .239/.278/.313
Eduardo Nunez, SS: .173/.274/.192
Lyle Overbay*, 1B: .221/.254/.353
Ben Francisco, DH: .103/.188/.103
Kevin Youkilis should be good to go tomorrow. If not, definitely by Sunday. Unless he needs an extra day. Then maybe Monday…
Dear Yankees, 1B and DH are the two spots where you should be getting the most offense. If you are batting your 1B and DH 8th and 9th then perhaps you should consider improving there.
Remember what I said about the Yankees not facing a lefty until Saturday? Well, Josh Johnson has been scratched with a strained tricep which means former Yankee Aaron Laffey will get the start after being claimed off waivers from the Mets two days ago.
You have to figure Laffey’s 7.20 ERA and 2.10 WHIP will get healthy against the Yankees’ abysmal lineup vs. LHP. Ben Francisco’s reward for getting his third hit as a Yankee was a demotion to the ninth spot in the batting order. Of course I’m not sure demoting Francisco to get Jayson Nix more PA is really all that optimal.
We know about the Yankees and left-handed pitching but all Laffey really has to do is outpitch Ivan Nova, which is something pretty much everyone in MLB has done so far this year.
All along, the New York Yankees have stated the effort to cut their 2014 payroll to $189 million is merely a goal. More and more, it’s one major league sources don’t believe they’ll reach.
In recent months, the Yankees have become far less bullish on their publicly stated austerity plan, admitting to other executives and agents that staying beneath the $189 million threshold is unlikely and impractical.
“They’re going to be over 189,” one source familiar with the Yankees’ plans said. “They know it. Everyone knows it. You can’t run a $3 billion team with the intentions of saving a few million dollars.”
The logic holds up well: The Yankees are arguably the greatest brand in American sports, and already with an injury-depleted roster this season, they could suffer a down year. To dilute the Yankee name for multiple years would necessitate a humongous monetary benefit – one sources say the Yankees no longer believe is coming to them, even if they were to dip beneath $189 million.
While the stash of money New York expected to reap was in the tens of millions, it’s not nearly as large as the Yankees had hoped, a prognosis that is pushing the team to recalibrate its plans, sources said. The Yankees expected to receive money not just from a decreased luxury tax rate but a complicated clause in the collective-bargaining agreement called the market-disqualification rebate.
It was painfully obvious that the Yankees goal of lowering their payroll without the MLB-ready prospects to do so was penny-wise and pound-foolish. So it makes sense that they may scrap the plan for now.
First order of business is probably to lock up Ben Francisco for five years. They should also probably tack on a few years onto Alex Rodriguez’s contact while they’re at it so they can ensure he breaks Barry Bonds’s home run record in pinstripes sometime around the year 2050.
Seriously though, you wonder exactly what they’ll spend the money on.
How Sustainable is Vernon Wells’s current performance?
As Vernon Wells continues to defy reasonable expectations, I continue to wait for him to revert back to being Vernon Wells. The thing is, as I started poking around inside his numbers for the last few years I found some things that could lead us to believe he may actually not revert back to the 2011-2012 version of Vernon Wells.
xavg: batting average if player hit for xBABIP
xobp: on-base percentage if player hit for xBABIP
xslg: slugging percentage if player hit for xBABIP
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
xBABIP: expected BABIP (using batted ball distribution)
br: Linear weights batting runs
xbr: Expected br if player hit for xBABIP
br/650: br pro-rated to 650 plate appearances
xbr/650: xbr pro-rated to 650 plate appearances
re24: run expectancy based on the 24 base out states of the player’s plate appearances
Wells hasn’t benefited from a flukishly high batting average on balls in play thus far this season, which is often the quickest way to try and figure out if a player’s playing significantly over his head. But that’s not really the best way to try and analyze what’s happening so let’s delve a bit deeper into his numbers.
I’m figuring out an expected batting average on balls in play for Wells using the league average rates for the percentage of times that batted balls of each type are hits. That’s 23.5% for ground balls, 21.1% for non-HR fly balls and 71.8% for line drives. The difference between his actual BABIP and xBABIP then gets converted to a hit value that’s 2/3 singles and 1/3 doubles.
Batted ball data is limited, so any analysis based on using it needs to be viewed with that understanding. But I find it encouraging and interesting that Wells may actually have underperformed his underlying periphals this year and that he appears to have done so by a very significant amount in 2011-2012. His 2011-12 performance would still have been substandard if he hit closer to his xBABIP but not nearly as bad as his actual performance was.
So maybe he was a reasonably good bounce-back candidate if you looked beyond his raw numbers.
I don’t see Wells hitting .319/.385/.613 for the rest of the year, obviously. But can he hit .270/.330/.450? That’s not far off his expected line for 2011-2012 if he can maintain his improved walk rate. Add that to what he’s done this year and he’d end the year in the .275/.340/.490 range. That’d be pretty good.
Wells doesn’t have to keep hitting as well as he has so far to be an asset going forward, particularly if he becomes more of a complementary piece as the Yankees get healthier. But this team has desperately needed the performance they’ve gotten out of him so far given the number of unproductive players they’ve been running out there.
However his season finishes, April’s been a lot of fun.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
NEW YORK—Robinson Cano belted a three-run homer, Vernon Wells and Francisco Cervelli also cleared the fences, and the Yankees outslugged the Blue Jays, 5-3, on Thursday at Yankee Stadium.
The trio of blasts came off Toronto starter Mark Buehrle in support of right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, who settled in after a shaky beginning to complete six innings and log his third victory of the season.
Edwin Encarnacion opened the scoring with a two-run homer off Kuroda in the first inning, and Brett Lawrie slugged a solo shot in the second to put the Jays up by three runs. Kuroda adjusted and held the Blue Jays to a total of six hits, walking one and striking out three.
Wells hit the first homer off Buehrle, going deep to center field in the second inning, and Cano gave New York the lead when he homered to right field with Jayson Nix and Brett Gardner onboard in the third.
Cervelli completed the power display by homering to left field in the fourth off Buehrle, who permitted seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. The lefty walked none and struck out three, taking his first loss in a Toronto uniform.
Kuroda was due for a clunker but he recovered nicely from the first two innings to keep the game close enough for Cano to do his thing and the bullpen was stellar to get through the last three. I thought Mo looked the best he’s looked so far this year. His command was great and his velocity seems to be improving.
Wells continues to defy expectations, and while I thought Francisco Cervelli had a chance to hit well enough for a catcher, he’s been much better than that. We shouldn’t expect either to last, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it while it’s happening.
I know this team still stinks, but they’re kind of fun to watch.
Rajai Davis, DH: .261/.277/.435
Munenori Kawasaki*, SS: .233/.324/.300
Jose Bautista, RF: .190/.288/.483
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B: .210/.312/.383
Melky Cabrera#, LF: .253/.313/.310
J.P. Arencibia, C: .268/.286/.634
Colby Rasmus*, CF: .239/.301/.493
Brett Lawrie, 3B: .125/.194/.156
Maicer Izturis#, 2B: .169/.206/.277
Brett Gardner*, CF: .250/.319/.393
Ben Francisco, DH: .080/.179/.080
Robinson Cano*, 2B: .325/.378/.614
Vernon Wells, LF: .296/.367/.563
Francisco Cervelli, C: .265/.368/.449
Ichiro Suzuki*, RF: .222/.265/.302
Eduardo Nunez, SS: .184/.276/.204
Lyle Overbay*, 1B: .234/.269/.375
Jayson Nix, 3B: .233/.261/.302
Really? Another lefty?
Really? Ben Francisco hitting second, again?
Really? Kevin Youkilis is still out?
Really? FIVE players with sub .300 OBPs?
The good news is that the Yankees won’t see another lefty until Saturday.
Pitcher A vs. Pitcher B
If this was all the information you had on two pitchers, which would you choose?
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
How about if you had this as well?
What about if you also had this?
I don’t know why Ivan Nova’s peripheral stats have improved while his results have gotten worse. I just know it’s annoying and hope it stops.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
ST. PETERSBURG—The Yankees were handcuffed by Alex Cobb’s masterful pitching performance on Wednesday, managing just four singles as the Rays posted a 3-0 victory at Tropicana Field.
Cobb permitted just two hits that left the infield over his 8 1/3 innings, striking out seven and walking one as the Yankees lost for the 13th time in their last 16 games in St. Petersburg.
The Yankees chased Cobb with Brett Gardner’s single through the right side with one out in the ninth and brought Robinson Cano to the plate as the tying run after Ichiro Suzuki singled, but Fernando Rodney recorded the final two outs to slam the door.
Cobb was great, but the Yankee lineup tonight left a lot to be desired. The Yankees have been better than I thought they’d be so far this year, but I don’t think that can continue with the lineups they’ve been running out there this week. They should get healthier and better, hopefully.
A 3-3 road trip in the division is okay I guess, but neither Toronto or Tampa Bay has been playing all that well this year and it would have been nice to take better advantage of that.
Brett Gardner, CF: .250/.322/.400
Ichiro Suzuki, LF: .220/.266/.305
Robinson Cano, 2B: .342/.395/.646
Travis Hafner, DH: .319/.429/.702
Francisco Cervelli, C: .283/.389/.478
Lyle Overbay, 1B: .246/.281/.393
Eduardo Nunez, SS: .174/.273/.196
Brennan Boesch, RF: .250/.250/.500
Jayson Nix, 3B: .225/.256/.300
Desmond Jennings, CF: .234/.302/.390
Ryan Roberts, 2B: .302/.333/.488
Ben Zobrist, RF: .254/.337/.352
Evan Longoria, 3B: .282/.358/.521
Sean Rodriguez, 1B: .227/.346/.364
Yunel Escobar, SS: .157/.224/.286
Shelley Duncan, DH: .205/.327/.364
Jose Molina, C: .256/.293/.359
Kelly Johnson, LF: .191/.316/.383
Alex Cobb got his rotation spot when the Rays traded James Shields and so far this year he’s outpitched Shields, at least according to ERA+. The Yankees have destroyed RHP so far this season, but it’s not sustainable. But they’re a fair sight better against righties so hopefully they can get Andy Pettitte enough runs to take tonight’s game and this series.
OK, this was not meant to be a cliffhanger. Since the clue is the “14-start mark” and this is New York and Matt Harvey is starting tonight, you probably already know Harvey is Pitcher A.
What might surprise you is Pitcher B is Michael Pineda through his first 14 starts — all for the Mariners in 2011. Here might come another piece of info you didn’t know: Pineda is just 69 days older than Harvey. Still just 24.
WTF? A vs. B is my thing. Can I sue?
Of course, Pineda never has thrown a pitch for the Yankees. He broke down in spring 2012, needed surgery in May to repair a shoulder tear and didn’t throw his first simulated inning until Monday. The Yankees have been encouraged by a setback-free recovery. The reports from the simulation were that he topped out in the low 90-mph range and threw well.
Still too early to get overly excited, but I would classify this as encouraging.
Yankees vs. Lefties through April 24, 2013
BR/650: Linear weights batting runs pro-rated to 650 PA.
A league average hitter in 2013 MLB is probably worth about 77-78 BR in 650 PA. So the Yankees so far have gotten better than average performance against lefties from exactly two players.
Now obviously we have sample size issues here, and we need to be careful to not assume that what these players have done is what they’ll continue to do going forward. I don’t think Ben Francisco is a .087/.192/.087 hitter against lefties, but I do think that’s the most obvious place the Yankees can look to upgrade. I don’t think playing Hafner at DH against all pitching is the answer, because he does need regular rest and doing it when he’s less valuable to the lineup is the best time to give him that rest. It’s also nice to have his bat available for pinch-hitting late in games in high leverage situations with a lineup that’s chock full of holes.
Francisco’s spot on the 40 man and 25 man roster could go to Ronnier Mustelier if he’s healthy, or David Adams, who’s hitting .317/.417/.463 so far this season in 48 AAA plate appearances after hitting .306/.385/.450 in 383 PA in AA last year. Adams is playing 3B now, which possibly gives the Yankees a better option to start at 3B vs. lefties instead of Jayson Nix. Here are the CAIRO projections for Adams, Francisco, Mustelier and Nix given 200 PA.
wOBA: Weighted on-base average
Mustelier seems like the best option if you want a pure DH, although he can play 3B in theory. Probably not well, but it’s an option. Adams may offer the best combination of offense plus defense if you want a 3B although he doesn’t project much better than Nix.
The main thing here is that Adams and Mustelier offer upside that Francisco does not. They are also players who could figure into the team’s plans after 2013. It makes a ridiculous amount of sense to have one of them getting the PAs that are going to Francisco right now for negative run production.
Which is why the Yankees will never do it.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
ST. PETERSBURG—Ichiro Suzuki lined a two-run single to center field in the top of the ninth inning, and the Yankees toppled Fernando Rodney and posted a 4-3 victory on Tuesday at Tropicana Field.
The Yankees won for just the third time in their last 15 games at the Trop, taking advantage after Rodney couldn’t keep the score tied for David Price, who started the ninth and was saddled with the loss after permitting a leadoff single to Robinson Cano.
Cano stole second base on Rodney, moving up on a strikeout, and the Rays intentionally walked Travis Hafner. Rodney lost Lyle Overbay to a full-count walk and, after jamming Chris Stewart on a foulout, allowed the deciding hit to the slumping Ichiro.
Mariano Rivera allowed a leadoff homer to Evan Longoria in the ninth but recovered to log his sixth save.
David Robertson was credited with the victory in relief of Phil Hughes, who recovered from a shaky first inning to complete seven innings, picking up a no-decision after turning in his second straight solid outing.
Ichiro’s hit saved Joe Girardi from having to explain why he didn’t pinch-hit for Chris Stewart with the winning run on base and one out. No, Brennan Boesch isn’t Ted Williams, but he’s a better hitter than Stewart and would have the platoon advantage. Even if you apply the standard pinch-hitting penalty I’m fairly certain the right move there is sending up Boesch.
OK. Complaints are done, and it was a good win. This team still can’t hit lefties, although they were facing one of the best in baseball tonight. But Hughes salvaged a very good start from an ugly first inning and kept them in it until they were able to pull it out. That makes two strong starts in a row for Hughes, who probably shouldn’t have been making spring training starts in real games that count. Maybe that will make him cheaper to re-sign…
Andy Pettitte goes for the series win tomorrow. Alex Cobb’s a pretty good pitcher, but at least he’s not a lefty.
Brett Gardner, CF: .263/.337/.421
Eduardo Nunez, SS: .167/.275/.190
Robinson Cano, 2B: .333/.390/.653
Vernon Wells, LF: .299/.373/.582
Ben Francisco, DH: .091/.200/.091
Lyle Overbay, 1B: .259/.283/.414
Chris Stewart, C: .353/.353/.529
Ichiro Suzuki, RF: .200/.250/.291
Jayson Nix, 3B: .194/.231/.278
Desmond Jennings, CF: .230/.293/.392
Ryan Roberts, 2B: .308/.341/.487
Ben Zobrist, RF: .265/.354/.368
Evan Longoria, 3B: .284/.364/.493
Matthew Joyce, LF: .204/.235/.347
Yunel Escobar, SS: .167/.236/.303
James Loney, 1B: .295/.367/.477
Jose Molina, C: .250/.289/.361
Kelly Johnson, DH: .182/.315/.386
I’m sorry, but I can’t take these lineups any more.
I don’t care if this team is 10-8. They stink.
Monday, April 22, 2013
There has been a great deal of attention paid to CC Sabathia’s diminished radar-gun readings, and the left-hander has essentially responded with a shrug. As he reasons, veteran power pitchers are supposed to lose a few ticks of velocity sooner or later.
But Sabathia was taking angry cracks at himself in front of his locker on Monday, about two hours after a few of the Rays also got in their share of good swings. He wasn’t pitching with fire out of the gate and the results showed, as the Yankees took a 5-1 loss at Tropicana Field.
“I think it was just not being aggressive from the start,” Sabathia said. “I was just telling myself to be nice and easy, and I think that took some of my aggressiveness away in coming after guys and letting the ball go.”
Sabathia served up three homers—two off the bat of Ryan Roberts, who cleared the fences in the first and third innings. The Rays’ four-run first was plenty, as Matt Moore held the Yankees to a run on two hits over eight frames.
“CC’s been a guy that seems to get stronger as the game goes on,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He kept us in the game. We just weren’t able to do much off Moore.”
To paraphrase Tina Turner, CC, you really should never do anything “nice and easy.” So yes, CC, be aggressive next start. After his rough start, CC was quite good, just like he seems to be in every game where he starts the game with a rough inning. But he keeps having the one rough inning! Four runs (including two home runs and a triple) in the first inning is going to lose you most games.
However, it is fair to say that this game was going to be a tough game for the Yankees even if CC had pitched well, as Matt Moore was lights out, allowing two walks and just two hits (both to Cano, one of which was a monster home run). It certainly did not help that Kevin Youkilis was a late scratch. For an injury-ravaged team, it really does not help to lose one of your better hitters to something like a bad back, which could easily bother him the entire season.
With another lefty on the hill Tuesday night and Tuesday being Hughesday…well, let’s just hope that the Yankees surprise us (if Pronk is not DHing tomorrow, I will be quite displeased. Girardi simply cannot be this rigid. Can he?).
B. Gardner, CF: .270/.329/.432
B. Francisco, DH: .111/.238/.111
R. Cano, 2B: .324/.385/.620
K. Youkilis, 1B: .295/.368/.459
V. Wells, LF: .317/.394/.619
F. Cervelli, C: .310/.420/.524
B. Boesch, RF: .286/.286/.571
E. Nunez, SS: .175/.271/.200
J. Nix, 3B: .212/.250/.303
D. Jennings, CF: .239/.304/.408
R. Roberts, 2B: .257/.297/.286
B. Zobrist#, RF: .281/.373/.391
E. Longoria, 3B: .281/.356/.500
S. Rodriguez, 1B: .211/.348/.263
Y. Escobar, SS: .159/.232/.254
S. Duncan, DH: .214/.327/.381
J. Lobaton#, C: .182/.182/.227
S. Fuld, LF: .111/.143/.111
What’s the definition of insanity? Today it includes the name Ben Francisco.
Tonight marks CC Sabathia’s 19th start as a Yankee against Tampa Bay. The Yankees have gone 6-12 in the prior 18 games, including 1-4 last year. And that was when CC could dent bread with his fastball…
In CC’s last game he gave up two runs before even getting the second out of the first inning. Matt Moore has pitched in three games this season and has allowed two runs. In total.
The Yankees have hit .210/.279/.318 vs, LHP and none of the LHP they’ve faced so far has been as dominant as Matt Moore has been this year. This could get ugly.
Fix your radar gun please.
Average cut fastball velocity
Average fastball velocity.
Average fastball velocity.
Average two-seam fastball velocity
Average cut fastball velocity
2013 MLB Teams vs. LHP through April 22
Whaddya know? The Yankees actually have not been the worst team in MLB vs. LHP.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
TORONTO—The Yankees couldn’t complete a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays, relinquishing the lead in Toronto’s four-run sixth inning in an 8-4 loss in front of 45,575 at Rogers Centre on Sunday.
With the Yankees ahead, 4-2, in the sixth, manager Joe Girardi elected to play the matchups after starter Ivan Nova allowed the first two runners to reach. Girardi brought in Boone Logan for the lefty-lefty matchup against Colby Rasmus.
The skipper did the same thing in Saturday’s game and it worked—Logan punched out Rasmus on eight pitches in the ninth—but on Sunday, Rasmus delivered. He hit an RBI single that cut New York’s lead to one run before Brett Lawrie followed with a two-run double off David Phelps to give the Blue Jays a 5-4 advantage.
Phelps allowed another run on an RBI single by Melky Cabrera and the Yankees left the inning down two after starting the frame up a pair of runs.
It was not a strong relief performance by Phelps, who also allowed a two-run homer to J.P. Arencibia, his seventh of the year, in the seventh that pushed Toronto’s lead to 8-4.
Nope, it was not a strong relief performance by Phelps, who’s been pretty bad for most of his appearances this year.
Nova continues to show flashes of great stuff but he was not good today either. He allowed the lead off man to reach in all but one of his innings and again put the team in the position of needing four innings from their bullpen. There doesn’t appear to be a ton of alternative to replacing him in the rotation at this moment so I don’t think his spot is in jeopardy, but a few more bad starts and the Yankees may decide to try Phelps or Adam Warren in his spot.
I suppose if you told me before the series the Yankees would take two of three I’d have been happy with that, but any time you have a chance at a sweep and blow it it feels like a letdown. Now it’s on to Tampa Bay in a series where the Yankees will face two left-handed starters, something that’s been a serious problem for them so far this year.
Brett Gardner CF: .257/.325/.429
Robinson Cano 2B: .318/.384/.621
Vernon Wells LF: .310/.394/.638
Travis Hafner DH: .349/.440/.767
Lyle Overbay 1B: .269/.283/.442
Eduardo Nunez SS: .184/.267/.211
Ichiro Suzuki RF: .216/.268/.314
Jayson Nix 3B: .172/.219/.276
Chris Stewart C: .286/.286/.286
Munenori Kawasaki SS: .263/.375/.368
Melky Cabrera LF: .254/.308/.296
Jose Bautista RF: .214/.313/.548
Edwin Encarnacion 1B: .209/.303/.328
Adam Lind DH: .222/.310/.306
J.P. Arencibia C: .235/.246/.559
Colby Rasmus CF: .226/.293/.509
Brett Lawrie 3B: .105/.100/.105
Maicer Izturis 2B: .170/.200/.302
The Yankees are running some serious offensive firepower 5-9, aren’t they?
Ivan Nova was better last time out, but still not particularly good. The good news is despite that unsightly 5.59 ERA he’s got a 2.30 FIP and a 3.17 xFIP so he’s been pitching great if you ignore that .414 BABIP against him.
Much like Nova, Josh Johnson’s FIP(4.21) and xFIP(3.96) point to a pitcher whose ERA could be a bit misleading. Johnson was quite good last time out as he held the White Sox to two runs and four hits over seven innings while striking out eight, so he may have started his correction already.
A sweep would be nice, but I don’t trust Nova to be the guy to get it.