• Schedule & Luck Reason Why Yanks In First?

    Posted by on May 13th, 2013 · Comments (23)

    Via David Schoenfield today -

    The Yankees are 23-13, tied for the second-best record in the majors behind the Rangers. They are doing it with that lineup mostly filled with freely available talent — heck, throw in designated hitter Travis Hafner in that group if you want. It’s a remarkable achievement, considering offense is half of the equation. Do we credit Brian Cashman and his staff for astute moves and finding the right needle and thread to patch things together? Or did they merely find the needle in the haystack?

    One strike of good fortune for the Yankees has been the schedule. The only AL East team they’ve played more than one series against so far has been the struggling Blue Jays. They’ve played just three games each against the Orioles, Red Sox and Rays, meaning they have 48 games left against those three opponents — 38 percent of their remaining schedule.

    The most remarkable thing about this team, however: Once they get the lead, they win. They’ve lost just one game all year after they’ve taken the lead.

    Maybe we should wait until June 3rd and see where the Yankees are then, before making a call on this?

    Comments on Schedule & Luck Reason Why Yanks In First?

    1. G.I. Joey
      May 13th, 2013 | 11:31 am

      “The most remarkable thing about this team, however: Once they get the lead, they win. They’ve lost just one game all year after they’ve taken the lead.”

      I guess it’s remarkable if going into the season you had no faith in the pitching staff or bullpen’s ability to protect a lead.

    2. May 13th, 2013 | 12:29 pm

      I actually liked the pen, and Joe’s ability to work it, coming into the season.

      The Starting Rotation has been better than I expected, I will admit.

    3. EHawk
      May 13th, 2013 | 12:47 pm

      I’m not sure but I would venture to guess if the Yanks have only played limited games against the AL East then it would seem logical the other AL East teams haven’t played each other much yet either. I live in Tampa and I’m pretty sure the Rays have only played each AL East team one series except they’ve played the O’s twice so far.

    4. Mr. October
      May 13th, 2013 | 1:33 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Maybe we should wait until June 3rd and see where the Yankees are then, before making a call on this? The Starting Rotation has been better than I expected, I will admit.

      Maybe we should wait until Nov. 3rd. If Sabathia, Kuroda, and Pettitte don’t get the team past the ALCS again this year, then it’s still just 1 pennant and 1 world championship in the last 9 years.

    5. May 13th, 2013 | 1:54 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      then it’s still just 1 pennant and 1 world championship in the last 9 years.

      Actually, it’s one in ten, no?
      And, that one was PED-driven, sadly.

    6. Mr. October
      May 13th, 2013 | 2:28 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Actually, it’s one in ten, no?

      Cashman supposedly didn’t have complete “autonomy” in 2004.

    7. May 13th, 2013 | 2:34 pm

      @ Mr. October:
      Fair, and excellent, point.

    8. MJ Recanati
      May 13th, 2013 | 3:06 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      And, that one was PED-driven, sadly.

      As are everyone else’s.

    9. Ricketson
      May 13th, 2013 | 3:18 pm

      Robinson Fido giving close to 100% in the “walk” year of his contract hasn’t hurt either. The dog is on pace to hit over 40 home runs, having not hit more than 33 in one season in his career…

    10. Evan3457
      May 13th, 2013 | 10:49 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      Robinson Fido giving close to 100% in the “walk” year of his contract hasn’t hurt either. The dog is on pace to hit over 40 home runs, having not hit more than 33 in one season in his career…

      He isn’t having all that great a year. He has 7 RBI that haven’t come on HR. That’s not a lot for nearly a quarter-season. In fact, that’s very little.

    11. Evan3457
      May 13th, 2013 | 10:52 pm

      The Yankees have been a somewhat better than average team. They’ve been very good in the close games, so far. 7-2 in 1 run games, 7-3 in 2 run games. Otherwise, they probably shouldn’t be 10 games over, but more like four games over. But even so, four games over, with half the lineup and more missing at various times, is quite an accomplishment, so far.

      The cavalry starts riding over the hill with the return of Granderson tomorrow, with Tex, Youkillis and Cervelli back probably within the next 3 weeks or so.

    12. Evan3457
      May 13th, 2013 | 11:03 pm

      Several websites try various statistical measures to give a rating of real strength. One is SRS at Baseball Reference, a combination of Run Differential with strength of schedule played to this point. As of yesterday, Yanks’ SRS was 0.7, 4th highest in the league, behind the Tigers’ 1.3, and the O’s and the Indians 0.8. In the NL, the Cards’ 1.4, the D’backs 0.8 and the Rockies 0.9 are higher.

      In Baseball Prospectus’ 3rd-order adjusted wins, places the Yanks’ 7th in the AL, and 4th in their own division, but their adjusted hit list factor, which also adjusts for strength of league has them 3rd in all of baseball, behind only Detroit and Texas.

      Now, the Tigers took 2 of 3 from the Yanks in the 1st week of the season, but two of the three games were Hughes’ 1st game back, before he had full arm strength back, and Nova. They’ve taken 3 of 4 from the Indians, outscoring them by a ton, 2 of three from the O’s, outscoring them 11-7, 2 of three from the D’backs, outscored 10 to 11, and 2 of 3 in Colorado, outscoring them 6 to 5.

      ==================================
      It’s still very, very early; over 120 games left. If the Yanks’ lineup doesn’t get stronger, then eventually, they will sink. The starting pitching will eventually crumble under continuous pressure from a lack of support.

      But for now, this good start has bought them the time they’ve needed to start getting their regulars back. In about three weeks or so, the lineup will be quite a bit stronger than it is now, and, in turn, the bench will be stronger as well.

      And then, the Yanks will be in position to legitimately contend for the divisional title.

    13. Ricketson
      May 14th, 2013 | 10:42 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      And then, the Yanks will be in position to legitimately contend for the divisional title.

      Great! Another division title…

    14. MJ Recanati
      May 14th, 2013 | 10:49 am

      Ricketson wrote:

      Great! Another division title…

      Spoiled as a child?

    15. Raf
      May 14th, 2013 | 11:49 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Ricketson wrote:
      Great! Another division title…
      Spoiled as a child?

      Maybe, maybe not, but it’s the call of an entitled Yankees fan.

    16. Mr. October
      May 14th, 2013 | 11:49 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The cavalry starts riding over the hill with the return of Granderson tomorrow, with Tex, Youkillis and Cervelli back probably within the next 3 weeks or so.

      With Granderson coming back, the team will need Teixeira, Youkilis, and Cervelli that much more…

    17. MJ Recanati
      May 14th, 2013 | 12:52 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      With Granderson coming back, the team will need Teixeira, Youkilis, and Cervelli that much more…

      That makes no sense.

    18. MJ Recanati
      May 14th, 2013 | 12:53 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      That makes no sense.

      Never mind, I assumed you were making an absurdist dig at Granderson but now I think you mean that the Yankees will be too left-handed at the plate.

    19. Mr. October
      May 16th, 2013 | 3:34 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      I assumed you were making an absurdist dig at Granderson but now I think you mean that the Yankees will be too left-handed at the plate.

      No. I meant that with Granderson coming back, the lineup will be less balanced and productive than it has been with his replacement(s) in the early part of the season, and the return of Teixeira and Youkilis will be welcomed with the drop off that can be expected – I’m not one welcoming of Granderson’s return.

    20. MJ Recanati
      May 16th, 2013 | 5:48 pm

      @ Mr. October:
      In that case I revert back to my original position that your comment makes no sense.

    21. Corey
      May 16th, 2013 | 5:50 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      He’d much rather see Ben Fransisco than Granderson. Makes sense.

    22. Evan3457
      May 16th, 2013 | 5:51 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      And then, the Yanks will be in position to legitimately contend for the divisional title.
      Great! Another division title…

      It gets you into the playoffs, and beyond that, nobody knows anything.

    23. Evan3457
      May 16th, 2013 | 5:51 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      The cavalry starts riding over the hill with the return of Granderson tomorrow, with Tex, Youkillis and Cervelli back probably within the next 3 weeks or so.
      With Granderson coming back, the team will need Teixeira, Youkilis, and Cervelli that much more…

      Maybe so. I’ll take them all, please, if healthy.

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