The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Monday, July 10, 2017 Frazier stays hot, but Yanks fall to Brewers

Travis Shaw homered and drove in four runs, and All-Star closer Corey Knebel worked overtime to atone for Saturday’s blown save as the Brewers held off rally after late-inning rally to beat the Yankees on Sunday, 5-3, in the finale of the first half.

Shaw’s booming shot off Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka gave Milwaukee a three-run home run in the first inning for the second straight game, and unlike Saturday, the Brewers’ bullpen held the lead. Knebel threw 33 pitches for a four-out save to seal Milwaukee’s ninth win in 10 games, pushing the Brewers into the All-Star break a season-high 5 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Cubs in the National League Central.

This marked the 8th straight series that the Yankees went without without winning a series - a remarkable 0-7-1 in their last eight series, a feat that they haven’t accomplished since 1991, also known as one of the worst seasons in Yankee history.

The Red Sox lost, though, so the Yankees enter the All Star break in second place in the American League, two games back of the Red Sox in the loss column and two games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the loss column (but two games back in the win column, as well, so the Yankees are nominally tied for the first Wild Card with the Rays). 45-41 is certainly not where we all thought that they would be a month ago, when they were just destroying opponents left and right, but obviously a few notable things happened since then, namely:

A. CC Sabathia got hurt, leading to Luis Cessa pitching a few games, all of which were horrible
B. Tyler Clippard becoming one of the worst relievers in baseball
C. Dellin Betance and Aroldis Chapman going on a week and a half stretch where they could not pitch with a lead, including some horrific losses where the Yankees were up multiple runs late only to see their All-Star set-up man and their former All-Star closer pitch terribly.
D. Adam Warren missed most of the time due to injury, robbing them of one of their best relievers
E. Aaron Hicks, who was having a breakout season in center field, got hurt, rushed back, sucked and then got hurt even worse
F. Matt Holliday, who was having a great rebound season, came down with a mysterious disease that took the Yankees weeks to diagnose. He is set to return after the All-Star break.
G. Starlin Castro, who was having an All-Star season at second base, pulled a hamstring muscle and missed a few weeks. He appears ready to return after the All-Star break.
H. Greg Bird’s mysterious ankle injury, suffered at the end of March, has caused him to be unable to return since he went on the DL on May 1st. His replacement, Chris Carter, was so bad that he was cut. Then Tyler Austin came up, but then he was hurt, so then Chris Carter was brought back. Then Chris Carter was so bad that he was cut again.
I. The Yankees’ top prospect, Gleyber Torres, injured himself on a slide at home plate, requiring Tommy John surgery which will keep him out until next season.
J. One of the Yankees’ top prospects, Dustin Fowler, was called up to play center field and then horrifically ruptured a tendon in his knee that will keep him out until at least next season and has a decent chance of never playing again.
K. Michael Pineda went from a good pitcher to a shitty one

Okay, balance that against:

A. Aaron Judge continued to hit really well.
B. Jordan Montgomery continued to pitch very well
C. Luis Severino has pitched pretty well.
D. Gary Sanchez has hit very well for a second-year catcher, pretty well for a player overall (although he’s slumping big time)
E. Didi Gregorius hit well enough to almost make the All-Star team (although he’s slumping big time)
F. Ji-Man Choi was called up to play first base and has hit well.
G. Clint Frazier was called up when Fowler got hurt and eventually (after his swing was fixed) started hitting really, really well.
H. Chad Green has pitched very well in relief (although, of course, he also blew a one-run lead against Toronto because all Yankee relievers blow leads now).

So, as you can see, there are some positives to look forward to in the second half, and a lot of the negatives will hopefully go away, so there is something to be somewhat happy about with this team. They just need to play well after they get swept in their opening series after the break (where they go to Boston for four games against the Red Sox, including a doubleheader on one of the weekend days).

--Posted at 4:25 am by Brian Cronin / 54 Comments | - (0)


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They don’t have the pitching to win the division. Starters, bullpen, depth, everything is mediocre. Maybe they sneak into the second wild card game and we can watch Tanaka give up 3 home runs in 5 innings.

The secret to the Yankees’ early season success was plenty of rainouts.

Hopefully an extended WSG break will be like getting 3 rainouts in a row.

Fangraphs has us 54.9% to make the playoffs, 14.8% to win the division.

Admittedly a minor quibble, but I think it’s a bit premature to make anything of Choi’s play so far.  He’s played like 4 games.

5 Small sample he’s been passable, seems to understand the strike zone and flashes some power.  Time will tell and I doubt anyone would bring back Karter in exchange for Choi.  That said it’d sure be nice if Frazier could be turned into a right handed hitting 1B, OF to platoon with Choi.

ruptured a tendon in his knee that will keep him out until at least next season and has a decent chance of never playing again.

Huh? Everything I read about Fowler has suggested the surgery was a success and they’re expecting a full recovery?

I only read that reports that Fowler himself said he could make a full recovery and be ready for spring training. I thought it was odd that it wasn’t a report from Yankees doctors or anything and assume that’s because recovery is no sure thing.

I assume the Yankee doctors sit around with underwear on their heads like in Wierd Science, and View their reports in that light.

He don’t even got his license, Lisa.

Wow, what a thorough recap of the trip into the netherworld that this season became in the last month. I do worry too about the starting pitching (not so much the bullpen) in the second half. Will Montgomery and Severino hit a wall? Does Tanaka pitch more to his peripherals? What the hell are CC and Pineda going to do? I think these questions will determine how this plays out. I do see them being in the playoff race, but probably not in a secure position, if I had to make a vote.

[6] Nix that Frazier platooning at 1B.

[7] Don’t listen to rumors. Fowler should, barring complications, have a complete recovery.

I only read that reports that Fowler himself said he could make a full recovery and be ready for spring training. I thought it was odd that it wasn’t a report from Yankees doctors or anything and assume that’s because recovery is no sure thing.

Sure, he could be ready for spring training. I noted that, right? There’s still a high percentage that that’s not the case. In the NFL (where this particular injury is a lot more common), guys who have successful surgery on their tendons like Fowler had still have about a 50% chance of never playing meaningful minutes again. Doesn’t mean that it will happen to Fowler, but to act like this is just, “Oh, don’t worry about it, he’ll be fine” is not the correct way to look at it (unlike Torres’ injury, which has a very high recovery rate).

I think you have to assume Fowler’s next sports team uniform is Foot Locker or Buffalo Wild Wings, make plans accordingly, and if he recovers someday treat it as a windfall.

In the same vein, I think Kaprielian’s future is whatever he majored in at UCLA—probably sports kinesiology or some such, which means he’ll be a HS baseball coach.

I think you have to assume Fowler’s next sports team uniform is Foot Locker or Buffalo Wild Wings, make plans accordingly, and if he recovers someday treat it as a windfall.

Basically agreed, in that I don’t think you should be making any plans while working under the assumption that Fowler will be available to you next year. Don’t completely write him off, but don’t rely on him being there either.

The problem is that most of your positives are either

(1) “continued to do well,” which does nothing to compensate for a crazy slew of bad things,

(2) “did kind of well” (Severino), which really means “stopped being as impressive as he had been,” which is formally a negative, requiring (ideally) MORE compensating positives, rather than actually being a positive trend itself.

[17] This sounds like a Marx Bros. routine. Now I want some tutsi fruitsi ice-a cream.

It’s nice to be appreciated.

It’s also nice to come into the evening with a relatively good feeling about the team’s chances at escaping without a loss.

Sanchez > Stanton.

So Fangraphs doing their trade value series right now.  Judge has to be #1 right?

Well shit. So much for watching Judge rampage through this thing.

Rampage is back on y’all

You need more than 22 to defeat Judge, son.  And they didn’t even count the roof HR!

Tino hit 16 total in ‘97.

Other than Judge this is yawn worthy just hope Judge doesn’t break a rib or dislocate his shoulder.

There was a chance for Sanchez and Judge to actually face off in the finals. Oh well, let’s see if Judge can win it! He “only” needs 11, but who knows, it could theoretically be too hard. He might be tired.

I like that Jessica Mendoza is describing what Aaron Judge should do with his swing.

Hilarious how easy that was.

I like Mendoza in general, but tonight…wow, I almost missed Chris Berman.

All rise!

Teixeira was surprisingly good calling the Derby.  He had one of my favorite lines - Judge should be made to compete against himself next year.  Really, it’s only fair to the other contestants.

[21] Being 25 is a factor. He’s the same age as Trout and a year older than Harper. Of course Judge will cost a LOT less going forward, but those guys have much longer track records. And then you’ve got Correa and Seager in their early 20’s. My guess is Correa is the guy - plays a premium position, and is a few years further away from his prime than Judge.

30 I agree the event is pure kitsch and Berman was the perfect accompanist.

[33] I wonder if Sanchez might even beat him given the position. It’s still less than a season for each.

Great googly moogly!  Aaron Judge is playing a different game than everyone else.

(0) Excellent recap BTW

I really don’t like Mendoza in the booth even on SNB. It’s damn near impossible to make you pine for Berman, but you’re right, she did it. I miss when ESPN would have the likes of Gary Thorne and Matt Vasgersian doing games.

Chris Carter officially gone now.

Chris Carter, we hardly knew you.  You were my favorite Yankee for a few weeks at one point this season.  Despite only being among the top 1000 baseball players on the planet, you weren’t good enough to keep the job.  Your tenure at 1B was short, but too long.  You seem like a genuinely good dude.  Have fun in Japan or Korea.

Must be rough to lead your league in homeruns for a team that then non-tenders you then only being able to sign with another team for cheap as a bench player then that team decides to pay you not to play so they can replace you with a middling prospect on his 4th team in 2 years who was DFAed in the off-season.

And the team that decided to move on despite having you under control for TWO more seasons then replaced you with a dude who had to leave MLB to go play overseas and now was back and not only was he MUCH better than you this year, but your former team is now in first place!

BTW, Sanchez has been awful behind the plate this year.  He is one of the worst catchers at blocking pitches in baseball, he needs to tighten that shit up.

From RAB yesterday:

The catcher defense stats at Baseball Prospectus say Sanchez was 1.4 runs below average blocking balls in 316 innings last year. This year he’s at 0.5 runs below average in 400.2 innings.

He’s also been phenomenal at throwing out runners and an average framer. Oh yeah, and the hitting.

It seems like Nichols’ law applies to Gary Sanchez more than a little bit.

[45] If he’s below average at blocking balls, he’s not good, so not sure what your point is. I’d also be curious to see where that average is from year to year.  Of course you MUST realize that the average for anything can slide around from year to year… could be there are many shitty defensive catchers playing the game now compared to 20 years ago when I watched waaaay more baseball (no kids, younger, all that).

And of course you know that he has committed 9 errors this year compared to 3 last year (that is a “phenomenal” number, given he missed a month), and he leads the AL in passed balls.  But hey, maybe my eyes are bad and I am really not seeing any of this stuff.

He’s a half run below average in half a season. I think the Yankees can live with that considering he’s above average in every other facet of the game. That was my point.

He’s (slightly) above average at pitch framing this year and well above average at throwing runners out.  Those things don’t combine to your thesis that “Sanchez has been awful behind the plate this year.”

Your point about passed balls is kinda interesting and maybe there’s something there, but technically a passed ball is a mistake by the pitcher, not the catcher.

Also, Sanchez has a catcher ERA of 3.66 vs. a catcher ERA of 4.54 for Romine. Huge disclaimer that catcher ERA is a potentially garbage stat, but, if anything, it points to Sanchez’s abilities behind the plate.

But, you know, Nichols’ Law.

47 ~ A passed ball is one the official scorer deems the catchers at fault. If the pitcher is to blame it’s scored a wild pitch.

[47] Wild pitch is on the pitcher, passed ball is on the catcher.  He has been awful behind the plate, simply put.  Leading the AL in errors, passed balls, below average at blocking pitches.  Somehow you see all these things as unimportant.  I originally wrote that he has been awful defensively, and you are trying to make arguments that it isn’t the case, when it is the case.  He was better last year, and like I said, he needs to tighten up his defense.

(49) Oops.

(50) Oops on the passed balls. Dont know what I was thinking.

I don’t see those things as unimportant. I do see those things as part of the total player. That total player is about average defensively. Focusing on one or two stats to support an argument without considering those in context of everything else the player does isn’t a great way to analyze a player.

To a much lesser degree, it would be like saying Bonds wasn’t a good hitter because he never had a high triple total. While that one stat was below average, he was good despite that one data point. (I’m too lazy to look up Bonds’ triple totals, I’m just assuming.)

Did you know that Bonds was Top 10 in the National League in triples…in 19fucking98?!?! How insane is that? He was only tied for 8th, but that’s still nuts. Dude was, like, 33!

[51] uhh.. no.  See, you are claiming that I am picking “one stat” to say that Sanchez is bad, when really he is just “average” defensively.  You actually provided one stat, which proved my original point that he is below average at blocking balls.  I added a couple more telling numbers about his defense.  There is nothing else to go on defensively, he is bad at everything right now… maybe throwing out runners, but his percentage is down a tick from last year and judging by how many errors he has, I’d say his throws are not reaching their marks.  But keep applying lipstick to that pig if you like… pigs love lipstick.

Again, the number I provided showed he was a half run below average in half a season.  In other words, about average. 

I think it’s safe to assume we won’t be in agreement on this one. Have a good one.

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Reds (41-58) @ Yankees (51-46), Tuesday, 7/25/2017, 07:05p ET
(68 Comments - 7/26/2017 2:29:20 am) Didi, C. Frazier carry Yanks past Mariners
(70 Comments - 7/25/2017 9:29:53 pm) Judge belts 32nd HR, but Yanks fall in extras
(81 Comments - 7/23/2017 11:56:57 pm)

Yankees (50-45) @ Mariners (48-50), Saturday, 7/22/2017, 09:10p ET
(72 Comments - 7/23/2017 7:22:38 pm) Judge gives CC a huge b-day bash in Seattle
(55 Comments - 7/22/2017 8:54:43 pm)

Yankees (49-45) @ Mariners (48-49), Friday, 7/21/2017, 10:10p ET
(86 Comments - 7/22/2017 9:50:18 am) Severino, bullpen handcuff Mariners
(44 Comments - 7/21/2017 7:58:55 pm)

Yankees (48-45) @ Mariners (48-48), Thursday, 7/20/2017, 10:10p ET
(92 Comments - 7/21/2017 1:42:28 am) Montgomery hit hard as Yanks fall in finale
(62 Comments - 7/20/2017 9:28:50 pm) Yanks acquire Frazier from Sox in 7-player deal
(60 Comments - 7/19/2017 4:59:12 pm)