Game 47: Sweep the leg

Your first place in the (not-so) rough-and-tumble AL East New York Yankees (24-22) go for the sweep against Central division-leading Kansas City Royals (28-17). Tall man Michael Pineda faces off against even taller man Chris Young.

Game time: 1:05pm

Per ESPN: New York hasn’t swept the Royals at home since April 11-13, 2006.

Your lineups:

Kansas City Royals New York Yankees
Alcides Escobar, SS Brett Gardner, LF
Mike Moustakas, 3B Chase Headley, 3B
Lorenzo Cain, CF Alex Rodriguez, DH
Eric Hosmer, 1B Mark Teixeira, 1B
Kendrys Morales, DH Brian McCann, C
Alex Gordon, LF Carlos Beltran, RF
Salvador Perez, C Stephen Drew, 2B
Omar Infante, 2B Slade Heathcott, CF
Paulo Orlando, RF Didi Gregorius, SS
Chris Young, SP Michael Pineda, SP

I also spent some time digging in the archives to unearth this gem from 2013 by our William Tasker: The Kansas City Connection.…

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Dellin Betances and Must See Baseball

081313Yankees046RA.JPG

I had a brief conversation on Twitter with Katie Sharp last night. I asked her (since she is so good at such things) if the Royals had been struck out in order in any inning this season. Her reply was, “You mean, how many times have they been Betances’d?” I laughed and said exactly. She later came back and said that it did not appear to have happened to them before Dellin Betances put them away in order last night on fourteen pitches. Betances has become must see TV.

There are several players that I would pay more to watch play baseball. Mike Trout comes to mind, Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper and Clayton Kershaw. Dellin Betances has become in that company for me. As soon as he comes in the game, adrenalin kicks in, the heart rate rises, anticipation becomes overwhelming and then awe once the inning (or two) is over. His outings are mesmerizing.

I am not sure even those of us who watch baseball every day understand what we are seeing.…

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Game 46 Recap: Yankees 5 Royals 1

Teix vs KC

The organic straw that stirs the gluten-free drink. Courtesy of the AP

The Yankees have taken the first 2 games of this series after losing 6 in a row and have outscored the best team in the American League 19-2 in the process.  I can’t explain it but I’ll damn sure take it.  An early Teix message was the difference last night, as Adam Warren continued to put the pieces of being a consistent, good MLB starter together.

Warren has slowly been getting better as the season has progressed and he put his best outing together last night.  He had his command going from the get go and used it to retire the Royals in order the first turn through on 38 pitches.  He didn’t allow his first hit until the 4th and didn’t allow his first run until the 6th when Paulo Orlando got him for his first home run of the year.  Those 2 hits were the only hits KC would get off Warren, who exited with 1 out in the 7th.  …

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Game 46: Warren vs. Vargas

Here is your game thread for this evening. Tonight’s lineups are:

Kansas City Royals New York Yankees
Alcides Escobar, SS Brett Gardner, LF
Mike Moustakas, 3B Chris Young, CF
Lorenzo Cain, CF Alex Rodriguez, DH
Eric Hosmer, 1B Mark Teixeira, 1B
Kendrys Morales, DH Chase Headley, 3B
Alex Gordon, LF Carlos Beltran, RF
Salvador Perez, C Stephen Drew, 2B
Omar Infante, 2B John Ryan Murphy, C
Paulo Orlando, RF Didi Gregorius, SS
Jason Vargas, SP Adam Warren, SP

Enjoy the game!

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The Myth About “Bad” Big Contracts

Courtesy: NY Newsday

The prevailing wisdom around the Yankees is that big contracts like the ones Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira have are what is killing the team. In reality, those contracts have been fine and fans in general worry way too much about them.

I never get fans who would rather see the money go into the pockets of the owner than into the players’. The difference in the Yankees over the last two plus seasons is that they’ve been spending less and the performance on the field has suffered. Sure, Hal Steinbrenner fooled most people with his shopping spree in the 2013-14 offseason. People didn’t realize how much money came off the books and that the payroll was only about $120 million to begin that offseason, so the Yankees didn’t really go above and beyond at all.

The business model the Yankees used from 2001 through 2012 absolutely worked. The lack of championships are lamented, but the reality is that the Yankees put themselves in the best position to bring home rings every season winning 95 plus games.…

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Tuesday Afternoon News And Notes: 5/26/15

How’s everybody feeling after the long weekend?  Here’s a roundup of some of the smaller goings on that you might have missed.

Masahiro Tanaka threw a 31-pitch bullpen session on Sunday and once again it was all good.  Weather permitting, he’ll make his next Triple-A rehab start tomorrow.  I imagine his pitch count will be bumped up to 60.

– Still a lot of nothing on the Jacoby Ellsbury knee front.  Joe acknowledged that Ellsbury will miss more than the minimum 15-day DL stint, but there has been no timetable given and nothing official on the diagnosis.  Right now, we know it was a knee sprain that won’t require surgery and Ellsbury is wearing a knee brace.  That’s it.

– Keith Law released his updated top 25 prospects list earlier today.  The whole thing is Insider-only but the relevant information for Yankee fans is not.  After a strong start in Double-A, Aaron Judge came in at number 16 on the list.  …

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Quick Hit: Pulling Still a Problem for Some Yankees

It’s been over a year now since Brian McCann has recognized his growing problem with the infield shift. It even looked like he was making progress last season, distributing his line dives fairly evenly.

McCann’s pulling problem has only gotten worse this year. While his average sits at .245, his Offensive rating is already at -2.7 – a season after he posted a -7.2. That’s due in large part to his habit of hitting the ball to the right side of the field.

2013 (ATL) 2014 (NYY) 2015 (NYY)
GB% 35.4% 32.7% 38.1%
Pull% 48.6% 44.1% 49.6%
Hard Hit% 35.3% 31.0% 27.8%

McCann actually did reduce the number of balls he pulled to right field last season – 44% was the third-lowest rate of his career & the lowest since 2007. This season, though, his problem is back. As evidenced by his increased ground ball rate, and reduced hard-hit ball rate, those balls are headed right into the shift. You can expect to see three fielders to the right side of the infield for the foreseeable future when the Yankees’ catcher steps to the dish.…

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About Last Night Yesterday Afternoon: Murder in the first inning

You can admit it, you had no expectations going into yesterday’s game other than expecting the Royals to win the game because it seems like months since the Yankees were able to put one in the win column. Don’t worry. We all felt that way. But when the 22:39 bottom of the first finally ended, and the Yankees had an 8-0 lead, those expectations quickly changed.

Here’s how that first inning unfolded, in heat map/grid/spray chart form:

1st inning SLG heat map

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Jeremy Guthrie was throwing balls low in the zone and the Yankees were reaching them.

1st inning SLG grid

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Guthrie’s 1st inning pitch frequency (See? A lot of low pitches.)

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Here are the pitches Headley, McCann and Gardner hit for home runs. Headley and McCann’s home runs were off fastballs while Gardner’s was off a curve.

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Look at how low Gardner’s pitch was.…

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