• April 23rd @ The White Sox

    Posted by on April 24th, 2008 · Comments (18)

    Now, that’s the Javy Vazquez that I remember and didn’t love so much.

    You know, coming into this game, Johnny Damon’s BA/OBP/SLG line in games that the Yankees have won this season was .342/.390/.711 (in 41 PA); and, in losses it was .125/.326/.188 (in 44 PA). Last season, in wins it was .307/.397/.463 (in 374 PA); and, in losses it was .213/.277/.294 (in 231 PA). It’s starting to look like…as Johnny Damon goes, so do the Yankees.

    So, what’s up with Mussina? Should we book him for an Eddie Harris moment once every two weeks? It was Harris again in this one, right? Or, was this his Jamie Moyer moment? Either way, I’ll take it – as will Moose and the Yankees.

    This was an interesting game for Joe Girardi. When he came to the mound in the 7th, and began to motion in order to remove Mussina, only to check-arm his signal to the pen upon Posada’s protest, I didn’t know what to make of it. (And, I still don’t.) Is it a good thing that he’s listening to his players? Or, should it be taken as a sign that he’s not fully in charge?

    In any event, as this season unfolds, Girardi has shown one thing: When there’s a win on the table, and it’s starting to look like it may slip, he’s not afraid to lock it down – even if that means bringing in Joba in the 7th or Rivera in the 8th. If he keeps this up, and New York does well this season, Joe may go down in history as the one who broke the relief pitchers role-mold that Tony LaRussa started back-in-the-day with the A’s (and is now the norm in baseball).

    Comments on April 23rd @ The White Sox

    1. straylightrise
      April 24th, 2008 | 3:13 am

      i think it was a thing that this is a team that feels they can express their feelings and thoughts to their manager and he is trusting enough in these all-stars to trust them. if it’s chad moeller or molina doing that to Joe I think Giradi would definetly continue bringing in the pen. But it’s Jorge and Jorge has the respect of his manager

      also its a helluva boost for Moose to get some support from Jorge

    2. JeremyM
      April 24th, 2008 | 7:51 am

      I was waiting for Mussina to wave Girardi back, just like he did to Torre a couple years ago.

    3. antone
      April 24th, 2008 | 8:15 am

      Maybe Hank needs to call out Mussina more often, of course it probably helps that these Sox don’t have Manny Ramirez in their lineup huh?

    4. WRT
      April 24th, 2008 | 10:27 am

      I was just about to go and fiddle with Moose’s stats to see what his numbers would look like had he simply walked Manny, but Bronx Banter already did it for me:

      “…if you take Manny’s hits and RBIs out of Moose’s season totals, his ERA drops to 3.04 with a 1.06 WHIP.”

      Unfortunately, you can’t just take those ABs away… but still, for someone who’s ostensibly our 5th starter, I hardly think anyone should be complaining.

      BB also noted that “the YES gun clocked a few of Mussina’s [changeups] at 63 MPH.” Regardless of the gun’s sensitivity (or lack thereof), that’s pretty crazy.

    5. baileywalk
      April 24th, 2008 | 11:23 am

      Well, the explanation for what happened is out there (from Kat O’Brien, Pete, etc.): Girardi asked Jorge’s opinion, Jorge said “He’s got nothing,” but meant “Nothing wrong.” So before Girardi could make the move, he quickly corrected himself. Not a big deal.

      That YES gun was hilariously off. It was off the entire series. I don’t understand why they would continue to put up the readings when they are clearly off. They have Wang, Vazquez, Jenks, Mo and other hard throwers putting up 85-89 mph fastballs. Cone was even talking about how “Jenks’ velocity is down.” Actually, to hit 90 on that gun meant he was throwing about 96. Same goes for Moose: on ESPN he was hitting 89-90 (!) and on YES he was at 82-84.

    6. antone
      April 24th, 2008 | 11:35 am

      I was just about to go and fiddle with Moose’s stats to see what his numbers would look like had he simply walked Manny, but Bronx Banter already did it for me:

      “…if you take Manny’s hits and RBIs out of Moose’s season totals, his ERA drops to 3.04 with a 1.06 WHIP.”
      _________________________________________________

      More proof that they should pitch around him.

    7. redbug
      April 24th, 2008 | 4:58 pm

      Girardi has shown one thing: When there’s a win on the table, and it’s starting to look like it may slip, he’s not afraid to lock it down – even if that means bringing in Joba in the 7th or Rivera in the 8th. If he keeps this up, and New York does well this season, Joe may go down in history as the one who broke the relief pitchers role-mold that Tony LaRussa started back-in-the-day with the A’s (and is now the norm in baseball).
      __________________________________________________

      Joe Torre use to bring Mo in in the 8th too. He had to stop when Mo’s arm was injured toward the end of the ’06 season. Last year they decided to keep him pretty much limited to one inning so he’d be able to pitch through the end of the season.

    8. hopbitters
      April 24th, 2008 | 5:23 pm

      I’m all for breaking the LaRussa mold for relief pitchers, but you have to start it at the lowest levels or you’ll just be ruining the arms that aren’t conditioned for that kind of work.

    9. April 24th, 2008 | 6:45 pm

      Steve, I’ve noticed a pattern with the way you use stats, and your Johnny Damon observation was enough for me to mention it. In basic terms, you need to use controls. Yes, Johnny Damon hits very well in Yankee wins. But do other Yankee hitters? There’s obviously a strong connection between one player performing well and winning games — SOMEBODY had to hit well. And there’s a strong chances that wins come against worse pitching, which means everyone in the lineup is likely to hit better. This is the same observation I had with your Jason Giambi power-pitcher stats. It’s important to know how OTHER hitters do against power pitchers.

      In stats, you should always be comparing what actually happened to what you would expect the neutral result to be. If you don’t do that, you’ll tend to sometimes draw conclusions that aren’t valid.

    10. straylightrise
      April 24th, 2008 | 7:09 pm

      Moose has a record of performing well after being criticized – he nearly pitched a no-hitter after being criticized in baltimore

    11. hopbitters
      April 24th, 2008 | 7:25 pm

      skyking162 makes an interesting point. Perhaps we could use vs. team average stats?

    12. April 24th, 2008 | 8:01 pm

      2008 In Wins (AVG/OBP/SLG):
      HMatsui .356 .442 .556
      BAbreu .304 .373 .543

      2007 In Wins:
      DJeter .359 .423 .503
      ARodriguez .332 .452 .749
      BAbreu .356 .439 .563

      You’d still like to see the difference in performance of the average player between wins and losses. My guess it that it’s surprisingly huge.

    13. April 24th, 2008 | 9:01 pm

      sky – I’ll look into this soon.

    14. April 24th, 2008 | 10:02 pm

      Sky – it’s the same as the Giambi thing, FYI.

      B-R.com tracks sOPS+

      sOPS+ is the OPS+ of a split relative to the major league OPS for this split.

      Damon’s 2008 sOPS+ in wins is 149. And, his sOPS+ in losses is 70. (All after last night’s game). So, he’s way above average in wins and way below average in losses, no?

      This answer your question?

    15. April 25th, 2008 | 9:50 am

      Steve, where are you finding sOPS+ for these stats? I’m only finding tOPS+ on Johnny Damon’s PI Splits page, which compares each player’s split line to his overall line.

      In 2007, league-average OPS+ in Wins was 128. In losses it was 70. Johnny Damon has a career OPS+ of 102, and sported a 97 OPS+ in 2007 — he’s pretty much the definition of league-average, with some year-to-year variation. Anyway, his 2007 tOPS+ in Wins was 130*, almost exactly league-average. His 2007 tOPS+ in losses was 53, a bit worse than average. (You can’t just weight them equally because Damon’s Yanks had many fewer losses than wins.)

      Over his career, damon’s tOPS+ in wins is 122 and in losses it’s 73, again basically exactly what the league-averages are.

      In 2008, he’s ahead of the game, as you pointed out. But he’s had only 47 PAs in wins so far. The Yankee splits page doesn’t list tOPS+ for individual players, but it looks like Giambi, ARod, and Posada have similar ratios between OPS in Wins and Losses, and Matsui and Abreu have also performed quite well in wins (but also decently in losses.)

      (*Because Damon’s overall OPS+ was basically league-average, his tOPS+ numbers in various splits reflect almost exactly what his actual OPS+ is in those splits, which is nice because B-Ref doesn’t list OPS+ on the splits page.)

    16. April 25th, 2008 | 9:56 am

      Sky – go to Damon’s main page on B-R.com
      then choose splits and 2008.

      Look for the wins-losses split.
      And, scroll to the right. It’s there.

      sOPS+ is after BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip
      and before tOPS+

    17. April 25th, 2008 | 11:53 am

      Thanks, Steve. I’d forgotten you had to look at a specific year’s split page to see sOPS+.

      Damon’s 2007 page backs up my point from the previous post. In 2007, his sOPS+ in Wins was exactly 100. He’s a league-average hitter who performed like the typical league-average hitter in games the Yankees won.

    18. June 12th, 2008 | 4:10 pm

      [...] on fire, the Yankees win. And, when he’s so-so, the team does not do well. Back in April, I suggested that, as goes Johnny Damon, so do the Yankees. Looks like that’s still holding true. June 12, [...]

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