Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Michael Saunders(L), CF: .286/.366/.514, 1.1 bWAR
Jason Bay(R), LF: .253/.360/.453, 0.7 bWAR
Kyle Seager(L), 3B: .283/.353/.464, 1.4 bWAR
DH 1B: .262/.351/.415, 0.6 bWAR
Mike Morse(R), RF: .230/.292/.468, -0.2 bWAR
Kelly Shoppach(R), C: .264/.371/.472, 0.4 bWAR
The Shockmaster™(L), DH: .194/.250/.403, -0.6 bWAR
Robert Andino(R), 2B: .159/.221/.206, -0.5 bWAR
Brendan Ryan(R), SS: .122/.198/.122, -0.3 bWAR
Lineup Total: .234/.313/.400, 2.6 bWAR
Brett Gardner(L), CF: .252/.323/.388, 0.9 bWAR
Robinson Cano(L), 2B: .299/.341/.554, 1.5 bWAR
Vernon Wells(R), DH: .299/.349/.526, 1.4 bWAR
Curtis Granderson(L), LF: .000/.000/.000, 0 bWAR
Lyle Overbay(L), 1B: .252/.292/.480, 0.6 bWAR
Jayson Nix(R), SS: .253/.324/.313, 0.3 bWAR
Ichiro Suzuki(L), RF: .254/.298/.352, 0.4 bWAR
Chris Nelson(R), 3B: .224/.260/.296, -0.7 bWAR
Austin Romine(R), C: .100/.182/.200, -0.1 bWAR
Lineup Total: .263/.314/.426, 4.3 bWAR
Yay, Grandy’s back! Boo, where’s Hafner? Isn’t the point of adding players back to run a better lineup out there?
Anyway, this will be the first time that CC Sabathia and Felix Hernandez have matched up. What should we be looking for in this battle of former Cy Young award winners? Let’s look at the cold hard facts.
- Hernandez has thrown 58.2 innings this year, Sabathia has thrown 53. Advantage, Seattle.
- Hernandez has allowed 45 hits this year, Sabathia has allowed 51. Advantage, Seattle.
- Hernandez has allowed 12 runs this year, Sabathia has allowed 21. Advantage, Seattle.
- Hernandez has allowed three home runs this year, Sabathia has allowed seven. Hell, CC allowed three home runs in ONE GAME. Advantage, Seattle.
- Hernandez has walked eight batters, this year, Sabathia has walked 13. Advantage, Seattle.
- Hernandez has struck out 56 batters, this year. Sabathia has struck out 44. Advantage, Seattle.
- Hernandez’s ERA+ this year is 244. Sabathia’s is 127. Advantage, Seattle.
- Hernandez’s average fastball this year has been 91.1 mph. Sabathia’s has been 89.9 mph. Advantage, Seattle.
- Over his last five starts Hernandez has pitched 38 innings and allowed four runs (three earned). Over his last five starts, Sabathia has pitched 33 innings and allowed 15 runs (14 earned). Advantage, Seattle.
- Opposing batters have hit .213/.240/.336 against Hernandez so far this year and .254/.300/.398 against Sabathia. Advantage, Seattle.
- The Yankees have won two of the last nine games Hernandez has started against them. Advantage, Seattle.
I count 11 advantages for Seattle and a big fat none for the Yankees.
You don’t have to be a math major or a stat dork to make sense of this litany of numbers. There is no conceivable way the Yankees can win this game.
How Should the Yankees’ Outfield Be Configured Going Forward?
With the news that Curtis Granderson is likely to be activated tonight, the Yankees find themselves with a suddenly crowded outfield picture. These things generally have a way of working themselves out, but let’s take a look at the various ways the Yankees could deploy their outfield for maximum benefit.
The first thing to look at are the projections for everyone for the rest of 2013. Since I haven’t run CAIRO to include 2013 yet and we have close to one-quarter of the season of additional data I’ll just use the ZiPS rest of the season projections available at Fangraphs for this.
First off, here are the overall projections for the six outfielders on the 40 man roster who have seen or will see the bulk of the playing time for the Yankees this year barring more injuries.
I should note that the fielding is based on primary position played over the time that is included in the projection and it doesn’t account for position changes. I should also note that it’s based only on UZR and may not give a completely accurate picture of the defensive ability of these players. That being said, we can assume that Curtis Granderson would project better defensively in an OF corner than Vernon Wells and we can assume that Brett Gardner would project a bit worse as a primary CF. So consider it more of a rough proxy for defensive ability and less a hard and fast number to use.
If you were to go strictly by these numbers, the player that should lose the most playing time of the four primary starting outfield candidates is Ichiro. Vernon Wells’s solid start has made his projection pretty respectable, albeit with a bit less OBP than you’d like to see.
Of course, we also need to consider the platoon advantage. Here’s the same list sorted by projected wOBA vs. LHP.
This is purely looking at offense. RAA/150 PA is runs above the league average wOBA of .314 in 150 PA. That’s for all players, not just outfielders.
It’s hard to justify Ben Francisco’s spot on the roster when he’s not a better platoon option than Granderson or Gardner, particularly since his defense is not likely any better. Although the Yankees don’t need to clear a 40 man roster spot to activate Granderson, I’d assume Francisco is the most likely candidate to go. Clearing the 40 man roster spot would also clear the way for an eventual call up of David Adams in a couple of days, presumably with one of the extra arms in the bullpen sent down.
Let’s look at the platoon splits for wOBA vs. RHP, using 250 PA instead.
It doesn’t look good here for Ichiro either.
If were to look strictly at offense using these projections, Wells and Granderson should play the most going forward. Of course, we shouldn’t just look strictly at offense which means Gardner should not lose much playing time either. So the primary outfield going forward should probably be Wellsy in LF, Gardy in CF and Grandy in RF. Actually, it may be better to have Grandy in LF and Verny in RF but Verny has only played 28 games in RF in his career and may not be comfortable there.
Ichiro can play all three spots and can be used to spell all three. Since Kevin Youkilis is likely done for the year., the Yankees can also DH Wells against LHP and use Ichiro in the OF if they want to shore up the defense and give Travis Hafner some much-needed rest.
The Yankees have gotten 492 PA out of their outfield in 38 games which means they should have about 1600 over the rest of the season. I think they’ll figure out a way to get everyone at least 300 PA, with the ones who perform better earning more.
Curtis Granderson “On The Way Back to NY”
Late late night, Curtis Granderson tweeted the following:
Just finished 5 games with @swbrailriders now in the car on the way back to NY #RoadToRecovery
Is it possible that Granderson is coming to New York for some other reason (like a medical check-up)? Sure, it’s possible, but it sure seems much more likely that Granderson is, indeed, back to the Yankees just in time to join the team against Felix Hernandez Tuesday night. Some welcome home present! At least King Felix is a righty! Imagine if Granderson’s first game back was against a tough lefty? Welcome back, Grandy, you were missed!
Monday, May 13, 2013
CLEVELAND—The Yankees’ pantheon of starting pitchers is chock full of legends such as Whitey Ford, Roger Clemens and Ron Guidry.
At this juncture, David Phelps and Vidal Nuno aren’t legends. For the time being, though, their Yankees teammates should treat them as such.
The fill-in starters provided New York with quality efforts to help the battered, bruised and worn—yet surging—Yankees to a split of Monday’s doubleheader in Cleveland. Nuno delivered five stellar innings to guide the Yankees to a 7-0 win in the second tilt after New York dropped the opener, 1-0, despite 6 2/3 effective frames from Phelps.
I’m very happy with a split of the doubleheader, especially coming off an already successful road trip. And really, the Yankees swept this doubleheader Pythagoreanally which is the more important consideration.
David Phelps deserved better in the first game, but he continues to make his case for a permanent spot in the rotation. Vidal Nuno was effective for five scoreless innings, which I’m sure wasn’t easy given the fact that he hasn’t seem game action in weeks.
Adam Warren was also outstanding to close out the second game, and he’s been a revelation so far in the pen.
It was also cool to see Corban Joseph get his first MLB hit. Joseph looked pretty good defensively at 1B in the first game. Not quite so good at 2B in the second.
A 6-2 road trip with the roster this team has right now is amazing. I keep waiting for the bubble to burst, but I hope I keep waiting.
Brett Gardner(L), CF: .259/.329/.403, 0.8 bWAR
Ichiro Suzuki(L), LF: .263/.307/.364, 0.4 bWAR
Robinson Cano(L), 2B: .311/.354/.581, 1.7 bWAR
Travis Hafner(L), DH: .269/.387/.527, 0.8 bWAR
Brennan Boesch(L), RF: .205/.244/.436, -0.3 bWAR
Chris Nelson(R), 3B: .221/.257/.295, -0.6 bWAR
Corban Joseph(L), 1B: .000/.000/.000, 0 bWAR
Chris Stewart(R), C: .254/.292/.356, 0.5 bWAR
Alberto Gonzalez(R), SS: .217/.269/.391, 0 bWAR
Lineup Total: .262/.320/.433, 3.3 bWAR
Michael Bourn(L), CF: .304/.350/.518, 0.7 bWAR
Jason Kipnis(L), 2B: .224/.287/.414, 0.3 bWAR
Asdrubal Cabrera(S), SS: .238/.304/.429, 0.3 bWAR
Nick Swisher(S), 1B: .265/.370/.479, 1.2 bWAR
Jason Giambi(L), DH: .225/.304/.450, 0 bWAR
Carlos Santana(S), C: .336/.437/.626, 1.5 bWAR
Mark Reynolds(R), 3B: .291/.372/.624, 0.9 bWAR
Michael Brantley(L), LF: .306/.365/.388, 0.8 bWAR
Drew Stubbs(R), RF: .250/.296/.362, 0.6 bWAR
Lineup Total: .272/.346/.473, 6.3 bWAR
It would have been nice to have played these games when Cleveland stunk instead of when they are the hottest team in baseball, but them’s the breaks.
I’m hoping for a split, but I’m expecting Cleveland to sweep.
Game 2 Link:
NYY:Vidal Nuno (25, LHP, 0-0, 0.00) vs. CLE:Trevor Bauer (22, RHP, 1-1, 2.70)
Sunday, May 12, 2013
KANSAS CITY—Robinson Cano and Vernon Wells hit back-to-back homers, and Hiroki Kuroda pitched into the eighth inning as the Yankees won their fifth straight contest on Sunday, defeating the Royals, 4-2, at Kauffman Stadium.
Kuroda picked up his third victory in his last four outings, and Cano and Wells teamed for the damage against Royals starter Ervin Santana, who permitted four runs in 6 1/3 innings.
Cano blasted a two-run shot over the right-field bullpen—using a pink Mother’s Day bat—in the third inning, his team-leading 10th of the season, and Wells followed with his ninth home run.
Wells tacked on a fifth-inning RBI single to support Kuroda, who limited Kansas City to two runs in his effort as the Yankees completed the three-game sweep.
I didn’t get to see any of the games in this series but yay sweep.
It’s that one day of the year, the day where us basement dwellers crawl out to give props to the person who lets us stay in them. So Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.
Hiroki Kuroda’s been great all year, but so has Ervin Santana. So i go to the tiebreaker, which is xFIP. Kuroda’s 3.77 xFIP isn’t even in the same league as Santana’s 3.29. Advantage, KC.
I would have typed more but all this sunlight is killing my retinas and corneas so I’m going back down into the basement.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
KANSAS CITY—Andy Pettitte recaptured the control of his cutter and Vernon Wells gave his team the lead with a two-run homer as the Yankees defeated the Royals, 3-2, on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Pettitte had struggled in his previous two outings as he searched to command a pitch that is usually in his back pocket, and as he struck out seven Royals in a strong performance, the veteran left-hander seemed to have figured out what he had been missing.
David Robertson pitched a scoreless eighth inning to set up Mariano Rivera for his 14th save in as many opportunities this season. It marked the 70th victory that Rivera has saved for Pettitte, further extending the all-time Major League record for win-save combinations between any two pitchers.
New York won its fourth straight game as it scratched just enough against Kansas City’s James Shields, who allowed three runs (two earned) and six hits in eight innings of work.
Wells gave the Yankees the lead in the fifth inning with his eighth home run of the season, a shot into the left-field bullpen with Chris Stewart aboard.
i’ll admit that Pettitte was starting to concern me so it was nice to see him pitch well tonight.
I am still not sure how this team is in first place all by their lonesome, but there they are for at least one night.
Brett Gardner CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells LF
Travis Hafner DH
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Jayson Nix SS
Lyle Overbay 1B
Chris Nelson 3B
Chris Stewart C
Alcides Escobar SS
Lorenzo Cain CF
Alex Gordon LF
Billy Butler DH
Eric Hosmer 1B
Salvador Perez C
Mike Moustakas 3B
Jeff Francoeur RF
Elliot Johnson 2B
Austin Romine has effectively ended Andy Pettitte’s career, but he’s still valiantly trying to go out there and pitch anyway. Will that be good enough to keep the Yankees in the game against Big Game James?
Friday, May 10, 2013
Lyle Overbay hit a two-run homer, doubled twice, singled and drove in five runs, and Ichiro Suzuki also slugged a two-run blast as the Yankees defeated the Royals, 11-6, on Friday at Kauffman Stadium.
The bottom of New York’s lineup was responsible for most of the heavy lifting as the Yankees pounded out 16 hits, collecting five doubles and a triple to lift Joe Girardi to his 500th win as Yankees manager.
Wow, 500 wins! That’s pretty damn impressive for less than five and a half seasons as the manager of the team.
It’s funny that after four straight strong games where he only managed a single win, Hughes picked up a win with one of his weakest starts of the season! It was good that the offense came through and gave Mo and D-Rob a well-earned day off (well, they were going to have the day off regardless, I guess I should have said “good that the offense came through and made the most of Mo and D-Rob’s day off”).
I complained about Ichiro Suzuki batting fifth, so of course he showed off that power we’re always hearing he has. However, the guy I wanted batting fifth, Lyle Overbay, did even better as he continues with his season-long crushing of righthanded pitching. Good for him. At the very least, if Teix and A-Rod both come back strong, Overbay has clearly earned himself a starting gig elsewhere this season. He’s been a revelation against righties.
If only Baltimore hadn’t come back from a 6-0 deficit…
Brett Gardner(L), CF: .262/.333/.389, 0.8 bWAR
Robinson Cano(L), 2B: .311/.359/.585, 1.5 bWAR
Vernon Wells(R), LF: .294/.346/.504, 1.2 bWAR
Travis Hafner(L), DH: .284/.408/.568, 0.9 bWAR
Ichiro Suzuki(L), RF: .267/.316/.343, 0.4 bWAR
Jayson Nix(R), SS: .224/.280/.271, -0.2 bWAR
Lyle Overbay(L), 1B: .238/.279/.448, 0.4 bWAR
Chris Nelson(R), 3B: .220/.261/.293, -0.5 bWAR
Chris Stewart(R), C: .245/.278/.367, 0.4 bWAR
Lineup Total: .265/.323/.431, 4.9 bWAR
Alcides Escobar(R), SS: .262/.297/.377, 0.2 bWAR
Lorenzo Cain(R), RF: .324/.378/.448, 1.1 bWAR
Alex Gordon(L), LF: .316/.340/.522, 1 bWAR
Billy Butler(R), DH: .245/.376/.382, 0.2 bWAR
Eric Hosmer(L), 1B: .277/.345/.366, 0.5 bWAR
Salvador Perez(R), C: .278/.301/.370, 0.6 bWAR
Mike Moustakas(L), 3B: .222/.301/.364, 0 bWAR
Elliot Johnson(S), 2B: .290/.313/.387, 1 bWAR
Jarrod Dyson(L), CF: .250/.250/.458, 0.2 bWAR
Lineup Total: .276/.331/.409, 4.8 bWAR
We’ve got a steaming hot 62 degree forecast for tonight’s game in Kansas City.
Here is the list of AL teams that are allowing fewer runs per game than the Royals so far this year.
Yes, there is no such list. In fact, there’s only one team in baseball that’s allowed fewer runs per game than the Royals and they play in a weaker league that feels using players in roles they are grossly unqualified for is actually exciting and strategic. Because of that, I am comfortable anointing the Royals as the best run prevention team in baseball.
So what happens when the best run prevention team in baseball faces this Yankee lineup? I’m guessing it won’t be pretty, although at least we don’t have to deal with the farcical sight of pitchers in the batter’s box tonight.
No Robertson or Rivera tonight, so I wonder who the closer is? If it’s Boone Logan then it’s probably not necessary to take a lead into the ninth.
The Killer B’s are dead.
Not long ago, the Yankees were hoping that Manuel Banuelos, Dellin Betances and Andrew Brackman would help uplift their rotation with low-cost, high-ceiling arms. Brackman washed out. Banuelos needed Tommy John surgery and is out for this season. And now the Yankees have decided to move Betances to the bullpen at Triple-A, The Post has learned.
The decision was to some degree about baseball technicalities, according to GM Brian Cashman. Betances runs out of options after this year, meaning he either makes the 25-man roster in 2014 or he would have to be subjected to waivers.
“This is the problem with the development clock,” Cashman said. “If he had two or three more options, we would keep working with him as a starter. But with him being out of options after this year, it is becoming more obvious that if he is going to help us, it is going to be out of the pen.”
I don’t suppose you could keep trying him as a starter without worrying about 2014 yet since it’s pretty easy to move a starter to the bullpen?
But I guess this makes sense. I think Betances is a DFA candidate at this point when the Yankee roster crunch starts to really begin, so they may as well see if something clicks with a change in role.
During the middle of last season, Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes made the stark realization that he simply wasn’t good enough. This is not to say he didn’t think he was good—just not great, at least not good enough for the expectations that he had placed upon himself, and that thousands of Yankees fans had put upon him when he was a heralded young prospect.
Hughes has always been an enigma to most baseball fans. Some think he’s simply overrated because he plays for the Yankees. Meanwhile, Yankees fans think he’s still yet to tap into that immense potential. After all, Hughes throws in the mid to lower 90s, features at least four pitches, and is still only 26 years old.
Hughes himself still saw potential for improvement. So when he realized that hitters were easily anticipating his pitches, and that he increasingly had a difficult time fooling them even when they didn’t know what was coming, Hughes sought a change.
For an athlete, change is always difficult. For baseball players, who are attuned to their routines for 162 games per year, change is like the unwanted visit to the dentist’s office. Out of necessity, perhaps out of desperation, Hughes decided to try a new pitch anyway.
“If you pick up on things that hitters were trying to do to you, and you don’t really have anything to combat that, then I guess you start thinking about ways that you can start incorporating new pitches into what you do,” Hughes said.
The easiest solution, and the one that would require the least amount of drastic makeover, would be for Hughes to transform his cutter into a full-fledged slider. The two pitches aren’t so different. They both move sideways. The slider is just a more drastic version of the cutter.
It seems like Hughes has re-invented himself in just about every season. He’s had four very good starts in a row. In fact this is the first time in his career he’s had four straight starts of at least six innings pitched with fewer than two runs allowed. But he’s had similarly good stretches at times.
Four good to great starts aren’t enough evidence to definitively say he’s now developed into a dependable third starter. But if he can continue to pitch like he has over his last four starts over the majority of the rest of the season, he could be one.
The New York Yankees added some more infield depth late Thursday night, acquiring middle infielder Alberto Gonzalez from the Cubs in return for cash considerations or a player to be named later, reports Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.
Gonzalez has parts of seven big-league seasons under his belt, and actually broke into the big leagues as a Yankee way back in 2007. The veteran infielder appeared in at least 100 games for three straight seasons—2009-2011—but made it into just 24 games last year with the Rangers.
Because Gonzalez was bumped off the Cubs’ 40-man roster before he was moved to New York, the Yankees are not required to make a corresponding roster move at the moment. However, when/if they do call him up, someone else will need to be moved down.
The prodigal son returns!
Gonzalez was never much of a hitter and doesn’t project to be one now according to CAIRO with a projected slash line of .240 .278 .332. But what he can do is play an average defensive shortstop, something very few people in the Yankee organization can do.
With Eduardo Nunez adding the inability to stay healthy to his skill set, this gives the Yankees a bit more depth. Granted, it’s probably replacement level depth, but that is better than what they currently have.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
DENVER—With so many frontline players on the disabled list, run production has become very iffy for the Yankees. Their pitching has not just sustained them but has enabled them to thrive.
That scenario unfolded again Thursday afternoon as the Yankees beat the Rockies, 3-1, in a game where a rain delay of one hour, 59 minutes caused starters CC Sabathia and Jeff Francis to depart after the fourth inning.
Victory in the rubber game of this low-scoring series—the Yankees lost, 2-0, on Tuesday and won, 3-2, on Wednesday—resulted from the efforts of Sabathia and five relievers along with just enough offense.
Mariano Rivera capped the bullpen’s five scoreless innings by retiring the side in the ninth for his 13th save in as many chances. That is his second longest streak of consecutive saves to begin a season. He converted his first 28 save opportunities in 2008.
The Yankees’ pitching was outstanding in this series, in a ballpark that’s tough to pitch in against a team that’s hit very well this year. And that combined with just enough offense made for a nice series win, particularly when you factor in the fact that Colorado threw two lefties against them .
Brett Gardner(L), CF: .265/.333/.398, 0.7 bWAR
Jayson Nix(R), SS: .239/.286/.296, -0.1 bWAR
Robinson Cano(L), 2B: .319/.367/.605, 1.5 bWAR
Vernon Wells(R), LF: .284/.345/.500, 1 bWAR
Ben Francisco(R), rF: .133/.257/.233, -0.3 bWAR
Chris Nelson(R), 3B: .229/.267/.300, -0.5 bWAR
Lyle Overbay(L), 1B: .253/.292/.495, 0.3 bWAR
Chris Stewart(R), C: .275/.318/.425, 0.4 bWAR
CC Sabathia(L), P: .000/.000/.000, 0 bWAR
Lineup Total: .264/.318/.439, 3 bWAR
Eric Young(S), RF: .310/.341/.464, 0.1 bWAR
Dexter Fowler(S), CF: .310/.420/.610, 2 bWAR
Troy Tulowitzki(R), SS: .341/.433/.635, 1.8 bWAR
Carlos Gonzalez(L), LF: .318/.406/.582, 1.3 bWAR
Wilin Rosario(R), C: .312/.340/.581, 1 bWAR
Nolan Arenado(R), 3B: .308/.357/.615, 0.7 bWAR
Jordan Pacheco(R), 1B: .309/.356/.368, 0 bWAR
Josh Rutledge(R), 2B: .241/.303/.380, -0.1 bWAR
Jeff Francis(L), P: .000/.222/.000, -0.1 bWAR
Lineup Total: .301/.371/.520, 6.7 bWAR
The question of the day is whether CC will give up more runs in the first inning than the Yankees will score for the entire game.
For all the talk of Sabathia being a good hitter for a pitcher, the Yankees haven’t seen it. He hit .261/270/.398 in 92 career PA prior to becoming a Yankee and has hit .118/.118/.118 in 17 PA as a Yankee. Bust.
Jeff Francis has lost about 3 mph off his fastball from his prime, which means he averages around 85 mph now. Sabathia’s not quite there yet, but give him a few more months.
Player A vs. Player B
Player A: .276/.300/.448
Player B: .182/.217/.182
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
DENVER—It was a long leap, and it was just enough for Brennan Boesch and the Yankees. They scored a run in the ninth to beat the Rockies, 3-2, on Wednesday night, their bases-loaded, no-out situation netting the winning run.
The Yankees, who broke a two-game losing streak and have yet to lose three games in a row, have scored just 13 runs in their past five games. Left fielder Vernon Wells hit a two-run homer in the first and, playing third base in the bottom of the ninth, he speared a grounder for the second out. Wells led off the ninth with an infield single, grounding a ball deep in the hole that shortstop Jonathan Herrera caught and made a jump-throw that was off the mark and Wells easily beat.
Wells broke for second on a 2-1 pitch and appeared to be out, but Herrera was unable to hold catcher Wilin Rosario’s throw as he tried to tag the sliding Wells. After Ichiro Suzuki’s sacrifice, the Rockies drew their infield in. Rafael Betancourt pitched out with a 2-0 count, but there was no squeeze play on. Betancourt then intentionally threw ball four to load the bases for pinch-hitter Travis Hafner and struck him out.
Pinch-hitter Boesch hit a grounder that third baseman Nolan Arenado grabbed with a sprawling stop to his left, but could not throw him out as the go-ahead run scored.
Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his 12th save in his first appearance at Coors Field.
Two-run homers by Wells in the first and the Rockies’ Todd Helton in the second were all the scoring until the ninth.
This had weird game written all over it when the lineup showed David Phelps batting eighth but it got even weirder later when Vernon Wells was playing 3B in the ninth inning of a one run game. Wells has never played an inning anywhere other than the outfield in his professional career, but he handled his one chance flawlessly and that was good enough to help the Yankees pull off a much-needed win.
Of course the Yankees don’t win if Wells doesn’t drive in the first two runs of the game with a homer and then score the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth. They also don’t win if David Phelps and the bullpen don’t pitch as well as they did. You have to figure Phelps has earned at least one more start, right?
The last few innings were tense, but this was a really nice win. The Yankee lineup is terrible right now, but the pitching is keeping them in games and hopefully that can last for a bit longer.
Incidentally, tonight was the first time Rivera ever pitched at Coors.
Brett Gardner(L), CF: .269/.338/.403, 0.7 bWAR
Robinson Cano(L), 2B: .315/.365/.583, 1.5 bWAR
Vernon Wells(R), LF: .270/.328/.468, 0.9 bWAR
Lyle Overbay(L), 1B: .245/.282/.469, 0.4 bWAR
Ichiro Suzuki(L), RF: .277/.327/.356, 0.5 bWAR
Jayson Nix(R), SS: .241/.282/.291, -0.1 bWAR
Chris Nelson(R), 3B: .211/.247/.276, -0.7 bWAR
David Phelps(R), P: .000/.000/.000, 0 bWAR
Austin Romine(R), C: .000/.250/.000, 0 bWAR
Team Total: .265/.316/.420, 3.2 bWAR
Dexter Fowler(L), CF: .310/.420/.610, 2.1 bWAR
Josh Rutledge(R), 2B: .243/.307/.388, -0.1 bWAR
Carlos Gonzalez(L), LF: .311/.398/.557, 1.1 bWAR
Michael Cuddyer(R), RF: .317/.385/.587, 1 bWAR
Wilin Rosario(R), C: .322/.344/.600, 1 bWAR
Todd Helton(L), 1B: .268/.333/.415, 0 bWAR
Nolan Arenado(R), 3B: .318/.375/.545, 0.5 bWAR
Reid Brignac(L), SS: .270/.325/.324, -0.4 bWAR
Juan Nicasio(R), P: .167/.375/.167, 0.1 bWAR
Lineup Total: .296/.367/.521, 5.3 bWAR
I realize Joe Girardi hates Austin Romine, but this is a bit much.
There are three teams in MLB this season that have not lost three games in a row yet. Those teams are Kansas City, Texas and the Yankees. Interestingly enough, all three teams have lost two straight games heading into today’s action, so there’s a chance that by the end of the day there will no longer be any team that hasn’t had a three game losing streak.
What’s most likely is that Kansas City will lose to Baltimore, the Yankees will lose to Colorado and Texas will beat Milwaukee to remain in this select group.
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
br/650: br pro-rated to 650 plate appearances
re24: run expectancy based on the 24 base out states of the player’s plate appearances
It looks like the ‘Vernon Wells is bad at baseball’ crowd can show themselves again. Yeah, there’s some evidence of his BABIP being a bit unlucky, but the walk rate has plummeted and the K rate has spiked and that ain’t good.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
DENVER—Yankees manager Joe Girardi played for the Rockies in 1995, the year Coors Field opened. Before Tuesday night’s 2-0 loss, he recalled an abundance of 11-10 games that have become far less frequent since a humidor was installed in 2002.
Girardi cited the Rockies’ 3.86 ERA at home entering Tuesday—virtually identical to their 3.88 road ERA—as proof that Coors Field now plays differently. Hours later, Girardi had hard proof as the Rockies took the series opener.
The humidor notwithstanding, a taut pitchers’ duel is still a rarity here. But Hiroki Kuroda and Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa matched zeros in a steady rain that was hard at times until Carlos Gonzalez hit a two-run homer in the sixth.
Kuroda, who worked seven innings, had allowed two homers in 36 innings through his first six starts of the season. He yielded two hits and had retired nine straight batters before Josh Rutledge singled with two outs in the sixth. Gonzalez followed with his seventh home run, driving Kuroda’s 3-2 fastball into the Rockies’ bullpen in right-center. Michael Cuddyer and Todd Helton followed with singles, but Nolan Arenado lined out to right to end the inning.
This game could have gone 18 innings and the Yankees would not have scored. The lineup’s weakness is really exposed without Travis Hafner in there, but luckily there are only 5 more stupid National League games left on this trip.