• Dave Eiland Fired

    Posted by on October 25th, 2010 · Comments (17)

    Apparently the scapegoat for the 2010 ALCS defeat was Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland.  GM Brian Cashman sacked him today and, although I’m sure there was some rationale for the move, none was offered.

    I’m curious who will be tapped to replace Eiland.  Triple-A pitching coach Scott Aldred might be one replacement.

    Giant Oddities & Ryan Hopes

    Posted by on October 24th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    The Giants have  appeared in the fall classic only four times since their arrival on the West Coast in 1958.   Each appearance has been a first or  last of  one sort or another.

    In 1962 the Giants took on the Yankees in what you might consider to be  a farewell to a golden era series.  The teams, long time subway series rivals, were meeting for the first time since the Giants moved away.   The Yankee victory in a thrilling series marked the final championship  in a run that started for the Yankees forty years earlier with a victory against the Giants.

    The San Francisco Giants made their second series appearance in 1989, with BART  (Bay Area Rapid Transit) replacing the subway as  the two Bay Area teams squared off for the first time.  The series, which became known as the earthquake series, saw the Giants swept away by the A’s in four straight.

    2002 marked the third San Francisco Giant World Series appearance,  the opponent, and World Series winner,  the Anaheim Angels, in their first World Series appearance.  The Angels were one of the original expansion teams, and the second of that group to win a World Series.

    2010 the Giants find themselves once again battling a first time World Series team, the Texas Rangers, another of the original expansion teams.  And speaking of expansion teams…..

    Nolan Ryan has some rather odd points of interest on his resume.  In addition to being the last active player from the 1960′s to appear in a major league game, Ryan has spent his entire baseball life working for one of the four original expansion teams.  He played for the 1969 Mets(the Mets first championship team) , he was on the 79 Angels (the Angels first Western Division Championship), the 1980 Astros (the Astros first division championship) and now he is the President and co-owner of the first Ranger pennant winner).  I think it’s amazing that Nolan’s long and storied baseball career has been spent with these four clubs.

    Former Yankees Dave Righetti & Andy Hawkins To Meet In 2010 World Series

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2010 · Comments (15)

    Yup, Rags and “The Anchor” – both authors of Yankees no-hitters – will face-off as coaches in the Fall Classic this year…now that the Giants have matched the Rangers in winning their league’s pennant. How’bout that?

    2010 Yankees Last Stand Their Worst Ever Since ’22 and ’76 World Series

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2010 · Comments (5)

    Were the Yankees out-hit and out-pitched in the 2010 ALCS? Check out these interesting numbers via STATS LLC

    The Yankees’ first-round sweep against the banged-up Twins, who entered the postseason without Justin Morneau and with Joe Mauer playing hurt, masked a team that went 29-30 from Aug. 1 on.

    New York was outscored 38-19 by Texas, outhit .304 to .201 and had a 6.58 ERA to Texas’ 3.06. New York batted .151 (8 for 53) with runners in scoring position to .328 (19 for 58) for the Rangers, and while Texas swiped nine bases in 10 chances, New York stole just two.

    Alex Rodriguez hit .190 with two RBIs in the ALCS, while Brett Gardner slumped to .176 and Nick Swisher to .091. Mark Teixeira was 0 for 14 before straining a hamstring, leaving his two-year postseason average with the Yankees at .180.

    Last year, their left fielders and designated hitters – primarily Damon and Matsui – hit .296 with 15 runs, five homers and 21 RBIs in the postseason. This time, with Gardner and Marcus Thames getting most of the at-bats, the left field and DH slots combined for a .220 average with five runs, two homers and nine RBIs.

    CC Sabathia’s postseason ERA rose from 1.98 to 5.63 and A.J Burnett’s from 5.27 to 7.50. While Damaso Marte (0.00 ERA) and Phil Coke (five scoreless appearances before allowing two runs in Game 5 at Philadelphia) gave them solid left-handed relief in 2009, Boone Logan had a 10.80 ERA in the playoffs.

    This was only the second time the Yankees were outhit by 100 points in a postseason series, the first since the New York Giants outhit them .309 to .203 in the 1922 World Series, according to STATS LLC. And was it the biggest ever difference for the Yankees’ ERA over an opponent’s, topping the 1976 World Series, when Cincinnati had a 2.00 ERA to New York’s 5.45.

    Yankees Reaction To Post-Season Ouster

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2010 · Comments (7)

    First, Alex Rodriguez via The Post -

    Alex Rodriguez declared the Yankees’ season a failure, admitted not winning a championship this season will hurt for a long time, and said he fully expects to have a big season next year.

    “The goal is to win a championship every year, and obviously it hurts very much not to get the ultimate goal accomplished,” Rodriguez said after the Yankees lost Game 6 of the ALCS to the Rangers, 6-1. “Bottom line is: I didn’t do enough, the team didn’t do enough and we’re accountable.”

    Rodriguez suffered through a miserable ALCS, hitting a lowly .190 (4-for-21) with two RBIs, both of which came in Game 1. He was also homerless for the entire nine-game postseason.

    “I felt comfortable pretty much all series, especially after Game 4,” Rodriguez said. “You go out there, you hit rockets and nobody really wants to hear about that. They want to hear about results.”

    Rodriguez characterized the season as a disappointment.

    “The team didn’t accomplish a goal,” he said. “I’m one of the leaders of the team and therefore it’s a failure.”

    Next, words from Brian Cashman via Chad Jennings (here and here) -

    “[The Rangers] dominated us,” Brian Cashman said.

    Last last night, in the hours after the Yankees were eliminated from the posteason, Brian Cashman said he not begun thinking about the offseason. He wasn’t thinking about Derek Jeter’s expiring contract, he had not explored the free agent and trade markets, and he had yet to set a plan of action with ownership.

    But that day is coming, and it’s coming soon.

    “It’s not something that’s on my mind right now,” Cashman said. “We’ll deal with that stuff this winter, and winter is upon us. Now we’ll start that whole process of assessing what our needs are, begin negotiating with the guys to try to bring those guys back, and then look at the trade and free agent market.”

    “Our team has areas of weakness that we have to tackle,” Cashman said. “I think we have a great team, but Texas just proved they’re better. It’s as simple as that. Obviously the job is to attack areas of weakness and hope that your current strengths remain strengths.”

    From Hal Steinbrenner – ‘tho I suspect it’s off the memo pad of Howard Rubenstein -

    Hal Steinbrenner, the club’s managing general partner, issued this statement: “On behalf of the New York Yankees I want to congratulate the Texas Rangers, Chuck Greenberg, Nolan Ryan and their entire ownership, staff and organization on winning their first American League pennant. They played like champions

    New York Yankees players look on from the dugout in the seventh inning of Game 6 of baseball’s American League Championship Series against the Texas Rangers Friday, Oct. 22, 2010, in Arlington, Texas. ((AP Photo/Chris O’Meara))and we wish them the best of luck representing the American League in the World Series.”

    Lastly, Derek Jeter via Mark Feinsand -

    Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte are free agents this winter, and while the smart money is that all three will be back in pinstripes in 2011, they didn’t have much to say regarding their respective futures after Friday night’s ouster at the hands of the Rangers.

    “I can’t think about that,” Jeter said. “We just lost, what, 15 minutes ago? I’m not thinking about myself right now.”

    “You’re trying to come back, trying to win the game,” Jeter said. “It would have been unfair for me to be thinking about it. We lost and it feels bad. I’m not sitting here thinking about my future.”

    ‘Tis The Season…Already?

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2010 · Comments (16)

    After my son’s Fall Ball Little League game this morning, the four of us ran over to Lowe’s – since I had to pick up some filters for our furnace and humidifier. My wife and son waited in the car – and my daughter and I went into the store. I was wearing a Yankees hoodie – navy with the white inter-locking “NY” on the front.

    On the way to checkout, one of the guys working in the store said to me “You better hurry home to watch that Yankees game tonight! Oh…wait…that’s right…they lost and there is no game today.” He was smiling as he said it – but, I couldn’t tell if he was playfully teasing or just being a hump. In any event, I had my 8-year old daughter with me and I didn’t feel like getting into it. So, I ignored him.

    The guy standing in front of me at the checkout heard him. And, he turned to me and said “Lemme guess, he’s probably a friggin’ Met fan.”

    I was still in a mood – but, I could not ignore a compadre. So, I replied with “Hey, what can you do? They got beat.” And, he then said “Yeah. I’m happy for Texas. Good for them and good for Nolan Ryan. They deserve to go to the Series. The Yankees played like they were dead. Did you see that thing with the Rangers coach – the list of things that he wants their batters to do? The Yankees didn’t do any of those things. They never do. So, they should have lost.”

    By this time, he was checked out and it was my time to pay. And, he was off on his way. Still, now, I’m wondering: Didn’t Paul O’Neill sort of mention this in the YES post-game last night too? It was late – but – I thought O’Neill said something about the Yankees batters putting up big numbers against so-so teams and less than great pitchers. And, because of that, when they faced great pitching, like in the post-season, they forgot and/or didin’t do the little things you need to do, in order to win, when you’re not going to be able to slug your way to five or six runs a game.

    In any event, for sure, it’s open season on Yankees fans – already – as my trip to Lowe’s this afternoon stands testament. Brace yourselves Yankeeland.

    No Shock, Just Questions, In Yankeeland The Morning After

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2010 · Comments (55)

    In their last 67 games of the 2010 regular season, the Yankees went 34-33. During this time, their pitchers allowed 4.5 runs per game and their offense scored 5.1 runs per game. Clearly, for the last 67 games of the season – which is more than 40% of the schedule – the Yankees were in tread water mode.

    And, it was worse towards the end. In their last 26 games of the 2010 regular season, the Yankees went 9-17. During this time, their pitchers allowed 5.4 runs per game and their offense scored 4.6 runs per game.

    So, should be be shocked that the Yankees averaged 4.0 runs scored per game and allowed 5.0 runs per game this post-season? What the Yankees did, collectively, in the ALDS and ALCS was basically the same poor performance that they had over their last 26 games of the season.

    Personally, I was concerned about their poor closing performance as they headed into the ALDS. Therefore, I’m not shocked that they Yankees went 5-4 in their 9 post-season games. Mediocre is as mediocre does, and all that.

    More so, at this point, I’m more interested in the “why?” than the “what.” Why did the Yankees play so poorly for so long at the close of the season? And, who was responsible for realizing what was going on and what did they do to address it? There’s failure here. And, there has to be a root cause. Further, what will be done to address it for next season? And, who’s on point for that?

    I have some preliminary ideas about all this – but, at this junction, I’d rather here from you. What do you think about this? How would you answer these questions?

    Showalter Now Three For Three?

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Good news, down the road, for Orioles fans? Via Gerry Fraley -

    What moment made the Texas Rangers a World Series team?

    That’s easy.

    When they dumped Buck Showalter as manager after the 2006 season. The Rangers became the third team to fire Showalter. They also became the third team to reach the World Series with Showalter’s immediate replacement.

    The New York Yankees did it in 1996, in Joe Torre’s first season as Showalter’s replacement. Arizona did it in 2001, in Bob Brenly’s first season as Showalter’s replacement. The Rangers took a bit longer, going four seasons with Ron Washington as Showalter’s replacement.

    Washington and the Rangers have one more step to go to complete the post-Showalter success story. The Yankees and Arizona each went on to win the World Series.

    Congrats To The 2010 A.L. Champion Texas Rangers

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2010 · Comments (22)

    A-Rod. Looking. And, that wraps it up, Yankeeland.

    In the end, during the regular season, the Yankees were better than the crippled Boston Red Sox. But, not as good as the Tampa Bay Rays. And, in the post-season, the Yankees were better than the Minnesota Twins. But, not as good as the Texas Rangers.

    The Rangers beat the Yankees brains out in this series. And, they did it only having to use Cliff Lee once over the course of six games. Think about that for a moment. Wow.

    That’s all I got for now. Is there really a need to say anything more at this moment. On to the post-game YES coverage for now…

    With 6 Outs Left To Their 2010, There’s A Sound Kickin’ Up In Yankeeland…

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Thanks For Playing

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2010 · Comments (0)

    The Rangers are now 12 outs from their first-ever American League pennant, thanks to a fat pitch from Phil Hughes to Vlad Guerrero and, then, (predictably), Girardi’s quick hook leading to Dave Robertson’s ineffectiveness once again.

    This game, and the series, isn’t over.  But it really is remarkable how Girardi seems to have the bizarro-Midas Touch working on all cylinders.  There is literally not a single move this guy can make right now that works out.  Some of it is the fault of his players not executing but some of it really just is him not knowing what to do.

    I suppose it wouldn’t all be so dire if the Yankee offense hadn’t gone on vacation sometime in late August…

    Huuuuughes Or Looooose Tonight?

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Gotta think that Phil Hughes will be a factor in Game 6 of the ALCS this evening. As always with Hughes, at least this year, he’ll be very good or not good at all. At this stage of his career, it’s rare for him to gut one out – like CC Sabathia did in Game 5.

    So, what will it be?

    Will Texas have Hughes by the huevos like they did in Game 2? Or, will Hughes be chillin’ after the game with a measured Olde English celebrating a fine effort and a “W”?

    Time will tell. Enjoy the game.

    So, This Only Works For The Yankees?

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2010 · Comments (2)

    Oh, to wear those Yankees Blinders

    I keep hearing about how well the Yankees are going to do down in Texas – because their hitters are now seeing Colby Lewis and Cliff Lee for a second time over a short period of time…and that’s going to help them smack these hurlers around the park, etc.

    Ah, um, excuse me…but…is this not also the second time that the Rangers batters will see Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte over a short period of time? Or, does that only help Yankees hitters and not Rangers hitters?

    How Good Was Granderson For Yanks In 2010?

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Looking at the numbers below, I would say that “Grandy” this season was about as good as Melky Cabrera in 2007, slightly better than Melky in 2009, but, not as good as Johnny Damon was in 2006.

    Rk Player WAR/pos 6 PA Year Age Tm G R 2B HR RBI BB SO SB BA OBP SLG
    1 Bernie Williams 4.9 633 2001 32 NYY 146 102 38 26 94 78 67 11 .307 .395 .522
    2 Bernie Williams 4.4 699 2002 33 NYY 154 102 37 19 102 83 97 8 .333 .415 .493
    3 Johnny Damon 3.7 671 2006 32 NYY 149 115 35 24 80 67 85 25 .285 .359 .482
    4 Curtis Granderson 2.1 528 2010 29 NYY 136 76 17 24 67 53 116 12 .247 .324 .468
    5 Melky Cabrera 2.1 612 2007 22 NYY 150 66 24 8 73 43 68 13 .273 .327 .391
    6 Melky Cabrera 1.7 540 2009 24 NYY 154 66 28 13 68 43 59 10 .274 .336 .416
    7 Bernie Williams 0.5 521 2003 34 NYY 119 77 19 15 64 71 61 5 .263 .367 .411
    8 Bernie Williams -0.6 546 2005 36 NYY 141 53 19 12 64 53 75 1 .249 .321 .367
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 10/22/2010.

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    But, at least, Granderson was trending upward towards the end of the season and into the post-season.

    Nick Swisher On Cliff Lee: “[Bleep], Who Cares?”

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2010 · Comments (5)

    Via Andrew Marchand

    Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher wants to face Cliff Lee in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, but he is sick of talking about him. Swisher cannot stand hearing another question asked about Lee.

    With the Yankees facing Texas Rangers starter Colby Lewis in Game 6, Swisher did not take kindly to a reporter asking teammates a couple lockers down about Lee.

    “You guys are talking about Cliff Lee?” said Swisher out loud in a room full of reporters. “[Expletive], who cares?”

    As he walked off, Swisher said, “I can’t wait to hit against his [behind].”

    Later, when asked about saying this out loud with reporters present, Swisher cut off a question when the words “Cliff Lee” were uttered.

    “I’m not talking about Cliff Lee,” Swisher said. “I don’t give a [expletive].”

    Swishalicious being Swishalicious?

    Somehow, I don’t think Paul O’Neill ever went on the record like this when talking about Pedro Martnez…

    The Yankees Karl Ehrhardt?

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Maybe?

    Cool story.

    But, I’d like to see what Joe Morante could do if they gave him good seats.

    Just Slide, Glide, Slippity-Slide…

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2010 · Comments (0)

    I’ve had this earworm stuck in my head all day today. Now it’s your turn.

    Phil Hughes On Regular Rest In 2010

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Here are the games that Phil Hughes has pitched this regular season where he had exactly four days rest between starts:

    Date 5 Rslt Inngs Dec DR IP H R ER HR
    May 2 W,12-3 GS-7 W(3-0) 4 7.0 4 0 0 0
    May 7 W,10-3 GS-7 W(4-0) 4 7.0 7 2 2 0
    May 12(2) W,8-0 GS-7 W(5-0) 4 7.0 5 0 0 0
    May 17 W,11-9 GS-5   4 5.0 6 5 5 2
    May 22 L,3-5 GS-6 L(5-1) 4 5.2 8 4 4 0
    Jun 2 W,9-1 GS-7 W(7-1) 4 7.0 6 1 1 0
    Jun 13 W,9-5 GS-6 W(9-1) 4 5.2 7 5 5 1
    Jul 4 W,7-6 GS-6   4 6.0 6 5 5 3
    Jul 9 W,6-1 GS-7 W(11-2) 4 7.0 6 1 1 0
    Jul 25 W,12-6 GS-6 W(12-3) 4 5.1 6 3 3 2
    Jul 30 L,2-3 GS-6 L(12-4) 4 6.0 4 3 3 1
    Aug 4 W,5-1 GS-6 W(13-4) 4 5.1 4 1 1 0
    Aug 9 L,1-2 GS-6 L(13-5) 4 6.0 6 2 2 0
    Aug 14 W,8-3 GS-6 W(14-5) 4 6.0 9 3 3 1
    Aug 19 W,11-5 GS-6 W(15-5) 4 6.0 4 2 2 1
    Sep 5 L,3-7 GS-6 L(16-7) 4 6.0 7 6 6 3
    Sep 15 L,3-4 GS-7 L(16-8) 4 6.2 6 4 4 2
    Sep 26 W,4-3 GS-7   4 6.0 3 1 1 0
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 10/22/2010.

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    The good news here is that Hughes almost always pitches into the 6th inning, at the least, when he’s on regular rest. The bad news is that the Yankees have gone just 4-4 in the last 8 regular season games where Hughes started with four days rest between starts.

    ALCS Game 6 Thunderstorm Probability: 95%

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2010 · Comments (7)

    Mike Silva makes a good point. Will Game 6 of the ALCS be rained out for the second year in a row? And, if it is, will Texas come back with Cliff Lee?

    Yanks On Borrowed Time?

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2010 · Comments (22)

    Today from Tony DeMarco, a NBCSports.com contributor -

    The New York Yankees’ postseason fate has come down to a weekend in Arlington, Texas. Truth is, the only apparent advantage they have is in terms of payroll.

    Not only do they have to win two more in a row; the second one will come against Cliff Lee, who completely dominated them in Game 3 in the midst of his historic postseason run.

    Five games into this American League Championship Series, the Yankees have been outscored 32-18 — 25-5 in a stretch of three consecutive losses — out-hit .316 to .218, and left behind in the running game, nine stolen bases to two.

    Even after the Yankees’ Game 5 victory that sent the series back to Texas, the Rangers’ trip to the Bronx could only be termed a success. They did exactly what they needed to do by winning two of three, stripping away a long-held Yankees’ postseason advantage.

    In fact, it was hard to tell what was more alarming — the results on the field, or the change in fan base — read: corporate crowd that bailed early on back-to-back nights as the Yankees were embarrassed in Games 3 and 4.

    But a sense of vulnerability also has crept in during this series. The Yankees are operating on borrowed time — every look at the more-athletic and aggressive team in the other dugout has to tell them that.

    So no matter what happens this weekend, and the rest of this postseason, the game’s most-successful franchise finds itself in a pivotal transition phase, the impact of which can’t be understated.

    It took a decade to work through the transition that followed the 1996-2000 run of four titles. And this time, we’re talking about legendary icons being involved:

    The passing of George Steinbrenner and handing over of the team to his sons; the creeping-ever-closer ends for future first-ballot Hall of Famers Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, plus Cooperstown maybes Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada.

    Last winter goes down as a failure for general manager Brian Cashman. Coming off the club’s first title since 2000, Cashman chose to tweak, and for the most part failed at that.

    He dealt for Javier Vazquez and signed Nick Johnson, and neither made it to the postseason. Curtis Granderson had a just-OK year, and that deal cost Austin Jackson, who might be the AL Rookie of the Year.

    It’s going to take a much more aggressive and bold approach this off-season. It’s going to take more than tweaking for the 2011 Yankees to have a legitimate shot at another championship.

    Are the Yankees in a “pivotal transition phase” as DeMarco states here? Well, if not, they’re getting close to it. The Core Four ain’t getting any younger. A-Rod is aging as well. Maybe Tex too – sorta/kinda? And, an outfield of Gardner, Granderson and Swisher, while nice, lacks the production that would make up for what the Yankees used to get from other places (which put them ahead of the league in those positions). Hughes still needs to improve his consistency. And, Burnett…well…do I have to say it?

    So, maybe DeMarco is right here. What do you think?

    A-Rod’s 2010 ALCS Performance Is Questioned

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2010 · Comments (18)

    Via Mike Sielski of the WSJ

    Through the first five games of this series, the Texas Rangers have succeeded for the most part in stifling [Alex] Rodriguez, the Yankees third baseman. He has just three hits in 17 at-bats for a .176 batting average and hasn’t hit a home run.

    Mr. Rodriguez, who earlier this year became the youngest player to reach the 600-home run mark, was supposed to have buried the notion that he wilted amid the pressure of October baseball. He batted .365 with six home runs in 15 postseason games last year, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Thursday that this season has been easier for Mr. Rodriguez because he hasn’t had to answer similar questions about his playoff performance.

    But whether it’s a matter of correlation or cause, this much is certain: When Mr. Rodriguez hasn’t hit, the Yankees haven’t won in the postseason. Over the previous four playoff series the Yankees lost—the championship series in 2004 and division series in ’05, ’06 and ’07—he batted .200 with three home runs.

    The Yankees will need more such production from Mr. Rodriguez if they’re to advance to the World Series again, though he might have overstated the importance of Game 6 and (if necessary) Saturday’s Game 7. After his clubhouse study session Thursday afternoon, he spoke briefly to reporters, telling them that “any time you play for your life, these [games] are life and death.”

    As I have written before in this blog -

    There’s no doubt in my mind that, without Alex Rodriguez swinging the bat the way he did during the post-season of 2009, there’s no way the Yankees would have achieved all the success that they did in the ALDS, ALCS and World Series.

    And, for sure, A-Rod this post-season does look more like the post-season A-Rod of 2005-07 than he does the one from last year. But, a big game with the stick tonight – and another one, hopefully, in Game 7 – will go a long way towards killing the question of his poor performance, so far, this ALCS. Let’s hope that happens.

    What, Lee Worry [Game 7]?

    Posted by on October 21st, 2010 · Comments (2)

    Neil Paine says:

    Contrary to what you may have heard, the Yankees do have a fighting chance of beating Cliff Lee if they can force a Game 7 against the Rangers.

    Read on for more on this thought.

    How Important Is Sabathia To The Yankees?

    Posted by on October 21st, 2010 · Comments (4)

    To date, over the last two post-seasons, the Yankees have won 16 games. And, seven of those sixteen games were started by CC Sabathia.

    Yeah, I’d say CC is pretty important to the Yankees.  And, that Pettitte guy ain’t bad too.

    Yankees post-season wins, 2009 to date, by those who started the game:

    Rk Player #Matching   W L W-L% ERA GS
    1 CC Sabathia 7 Ind. Games 5 0 1.000 3.18 7
    2 Andy Pettitte 5 Ind. Games 5 0 1.000 3.16 5
    3 A.J. Burnett 3 Ind. Games 1 0 1.000 1.86 3
    4 Phil Hughes 1 Ind. Games 1 0 1.000 0.00 1
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 10/21/2010.

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    AzFL Notes

    Posted by on October 21st, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Courtesy of Keith Law over at the Worldwide Leader*:

    Yankees pitcher Craig Heyer has posted some otherworldly walk rates the last two years in the minors — walking eight batters unintentionally in 72 innings last year, then beating that by walking six in 92 innings this year — and he’s not just doing it with below-average stuff. Heyer throws a heavy fastball at 90-92 from a slot just below three-quarters, generating a lot of ground balls, and he works quickly to try to keep hitters off-balance. His slider was fringy at 83-84 with a tendency to get long and sweepy, which can be a problem for pitchers with lower arm slots, but if he can tighten that up, he’s a valuable relief prospect, but would need a third pitch to use against lefties if he’s going to end up a starter. (Interesting notes on Heyer’s walk rate: He didn’t walk a single batter in 28 relief innings, and his first walk of the year came in his third start of the year, on July 15. And half of his walks for the season came in one game.)

    For those that don’t know of Craig Heyer, he’s a righty that spent the 2010 season at High-A Tampa in the Florida State League.  He’s old (25) to be a college pitcher still pitching in A-level ball but, as K-Law reports, no matter how old he is, that kind of control and stuff can lead to effective innings as a ground ball-inducing relief pitcher.  Thus far in the Arizona Fall League, Heyer’s gone 4 3 1 1 0 1.  Hopefully he’s a fast mover next year and shows up on the major league radar for bullpen duty in early 2012.

    *Subscription required.

    When’s The Next Yankees Game?

    Posted by on October 20th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Sometimes, when you’re in Texas, with apologies to Tom Petty, the waiting is the hardest part

    Gosh, is it Friday yet?

    October 20th vs. The Rangers

    Posted by on October 20th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    The Yankees stayed alive until at least Friday with their 7-2 win over the Rangers.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to watch the first five innings as work and the evening commute interfered with my enjoyment of the first half of the game.

    Based only on the boxscore, however, I see that the Yankees still failed to drive in runs with men on base, going 2-for-11 with RISP and extending their ALCS RISP futility to a woeful 8-for-50.  Beyond that, Sabathia labored through 112 pitches in six innings of work.  He pitched well enough to win (6 11 2 2 0 7) but still wasn’t his old dominant self.

    The series continues in Texas with a rematch of Game 2 starters Phil Hughes vs. Colby Lewis.  Hopefully Hughes is able to better contain the Rangers offense this time around.

    So, Yankeeland, How’ya Feelin’?

    Posted by on October 20th, 2010 · Comments (10)

    The 2010 ALCS is now heading to Game 6 – with the Texas Rangers leading the New York Yankees, three games to two.

    Three games to two. What’s that mean?

    More importantly, how does that feel?

    Most of Yankeeland, coming into Game 5 of this ALCS, were not feeling groovy about the state of their ballclub in this series. New York was out-played in 35 of the 36 innings played, to that point, in this match-up…or something close to that. After a miracle comeback win in Game 1, the Yankees dropped three games in a row – in lackluster fashion. After Game 4 of the ALCS, most Yankees fans were already lamenting how their team had brought this post-season to an end.

    But, it wasn’t over, completely, yet. And, now, it’s still not over. As Yogi says, it ain’t over till it’s over, right?

    Of course, one win, today, in Game 5, doesn’t obliterate the sickly pinstripe pallor that the Yankees cast in the first four games of this ALCS. Three losses in a row, albeit book-ended with wins, will do that to you.

    However, what if it wasn’t W-L-L-L-W here? What if it was L-W-L-W-L, would “three games to two” feel better then? Or, what if it was W-W-L-L-L instead of W-L-L-L-W, to date? In that case, W-L-L-L-W would look a lot better, no? Yet, in the end, they’re all “three games to two.” And, does it matter what sequence derived that state? This said, how are you feeling, Yankeeland?

    Feeling better today than yesterday? And, looking forward to Game 6, now, more than you were looking forward to Game 5, this morning? Or, is it no different now, compared to then, and will be no different tomorrow? You tell me…

    2010 ALCS Game 5 Viewer Discussion

    Posted by on October 20th, 2010 · Comments (48)

    As a result of the start time for Game 5 of the 2010 ALCS, I would imagine that many fans in the NY/NJ/CT area will be following the game – at least the start of it – via Gameday or some other online connection. If you are one of those, or are watching the game, or listening to it, while also online, and would like to chat with others who are doing the same, please feel free to use the comments section of this post to chat about the game.

    ALCS Game 5 Tickets Going For Less Than Regular Season Face Value

    Posted by on October 20th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Via the Times Bats Blog -

    It’s do-or-die for the Yankees, who face elimination at the hands of the Texas Rangers. Apparently, their fans think the Yankees are more likely to die than do.

    Ticket prices for Game 5, which begins at 4 p.m. Wednesday, have fallen, with some fans selling their tickets below face value. The average price for resale has fallen to $127, down from $249 before Tuesday’s 10-3 loss to the Rangers, according to FanSnap.com, a ticket comparison shopping site.

    Tickets in the 300 deck in left field are being offered for resale for as little as $46, $2 below their face value in the regular season. Seats in Section 121, which is behind home plate, were being resold for $281, compared with their $300 face value in the regular season.

    Imagine that, tickets to a Yankees home ALCS Game going for prices less than face value in the regular season?

    Of course, besides the factor of fans thinking this series is toast, today being a 4 pm ET start, and the high-priced-nature of Yankees tickets, in general, have something to do with this as well…

    Baseball America Issues Draft Report Card

    Posted by on October 20th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Baseball America’s draft report card for the Yankees 2010 Rule IV draft can be found here.*  The rundown is as follows:

    Position Players:
    Best Pure Hitter:  Ben Gamel, OF (Bishop Kenny HS, Jacksonville, FL)
    Best Power Hitter:  Rob Segedin, 3B (Tulane University) and Kyle Roller, 1B (East Carolina University)
    Fastest Runner:  Mason Williams, OF (West Orange HS, Winter Garden, FL)
    Best Defensive Player:  Cito Culver, SS (Irondequoit HS, Rochester, NY)

    Pitchers:
    Best Fastball:  Tommy Kahnle, RHP (Lynn (FL) University) and Conor Mullee (St. Peter’s (NJ) College)
    Best Secondary Pitch:  Chase Whitley, RHP (Troy (AL) University)

    Odds & Ends:
    Best Pro Debut:  Chase Whitley, Cito Culver and Zach Varce, RHP (University of Portland (OR))
    Best Athlete:  Angelo Gumbs, SS/OF (Torrance HS, Torrance, CA)
    Most Intriguing Background: Ben Gamel
    Closest To The Majors:  Tommy Kahnle and Chase Whitley
    Best Late Round Pick:  Chase Whitley and Conor Mullee
    One That Got Away:  Josh Dezse, RHP (Olentangy Liberty HS, Powell, OH).  Dezse was the Yankees 28th round selection (865th overall) and could not be bought out of his commitment to Ohio State.  According to Baseball America, he was touching 95 on the radar gun this past summer.

    At this point, we all know the Yankees chose to spread their $6.7M in bonus money across 14 players and 30 rounds.  As such, they Yankees went after young, raw athletes and lesser-known talents.  The return on investment may not be apparent for several years (if at all) but, at the very least, the team should be applauded for taking chances on players who may be able to infuse the system with a jolt of athleticism that has been sorely lacking over the past few years.

    Also, for a look at last year’s draft report card, click here.

    *Subscription required.

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