• June 11th @ The A’s

    Posted by on June 12th, 2008 · Comments (5)

    Ah, .500 again…

    In many ways, the Yankees are like Underdog and this season is Simon Bar Sinister. And, in this episode, Simon Bar Sinister has invented a “.500 gun” that he’s using against our hero, Underdog. I can just hear Bar Sinister now, pointing the gun at the Yankees and declaring: “Simon sez, return to five hundred!”

    What happened to Darrell Rasner in this game? Too many pitches left right smack-dab in the middle of the hitting zone. I’m willing to write this one off to him having so much family at the game. Branch Rickey used to say that control/command (for pitchers) was a matter of concentration. And, clearly, with so many loved ones at the game, Rasner had a lot on his mind during this one. Also, maybe that error by Giambi – on that terrible flip on the 3-1 attempt – got Darrell a bit rattled?

    And, the Bronx bats? Well, this season, the Yankees offense is about as consistent as Anne Heche’s dating habits back when she was someone in the news.

    So, the Yankees have now played 66 games this season. And, New York has found themselves at .500 (on the season) after 23 of those 66 games. Here are the dates, this year, where the Yankees record has sat at .500 (after a game):

    April 2
    April 4
    April 6
    April 8
    April 10
    April 12
    April 14
    April 18
    April 20
    April 25
    April 27
    April 29
    May 3
    May 6
    May 8
    May 10
    May 25
    May 30
    June 1
    June 5
    June 7
    June 9
    June 11

    Not a lot of days in May, there, are there? That’s because – believe or not – there were many days in May where the Yankees record was under .500. And, it was not until the Seattle Mariners came along that the Yankees got their record back near the .500 mark.

    That’s the rub for me on the Yankees record. They’ve really played worse than their record appears – on the whole. Look at it this way: The Yankees, in their 66 games, have played 25 games against the Indians, Tigers, Royals and Mariners – teams who have been very bad this season. That’s over one-third of the Yankees games so far this season. And, yet, even with having this soft chunk of the schedule to feast on…the Yankees are just a .500 team.

    Or, put it another way: The Yankees, so far, this season, are 27-33 when playing teams not called the Seattle Mariners. That’s a .450 winning percentage. And, that’s not pretty.

    Comments on June 11th @ The A’s

    1. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      June 12th, 2008 | 8:55 am

      Steve, I’ll give you a far more likely reason than “too many family members watching” for Rasner’s bad day:

      Regression toward the mean

      Rasner was pitching a lot better than anyone had a right to expect and was due for a stinker of a game.

    2. hopbitters
      June 12th, 2008 | 11:00 am

      Regression toward the mean

      -

      I suspect you’re right, but I’d give him a few more outings before declaring him dead.

    3. Raf
      June 12th, 2008 | 11:27 am

      I suspect you’re right, but I’d give him a few more outings before declaring him dead.
      ———-
      No one’s declaring him dead, just saying he was due for a bad outing :)

    4. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      June 12th, 2008 | 11:57 am

      Raf is right – I think Rasner as sort of a Yankee version of the Royal’s Bannister. Someone who can give you good starts without the greatest stuff, by changing speeds and not making mistakes. He still tops out as a number 4 but he can succeed in this league.

    5. hopbitters
      June 12th, 2008 | 12:54 pm

      I guess I misinterpreted a bit. I see “due for a bad outing” as different from “regressing to the mean” with the mean being 6 ER in 3 2/3 IP. I do think Rasner is probably not as good as what we’ve seen so far (cf. Chacon, Shawn), but still could potentially be a better than league average pitcher (an admittedly low standard).

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