Yanks continue piling on A's in 9-3 win

Playing games away from the cavernous Coliseum can’t be much fun for Oakland’s young pitchers.

The Yankees pulverized an A’s starter for the second straight game, pounding Oakland 9-3. Vin Mazzaro — yet another A’s starter boasting a shiny ERA in a rotation full of hurlers with sub-4.00 marks — proved that, like Trevor Cahill, he isn’t quite the same pitcher on the road, coughing up seven earned runs to the Bombers.

Coming into the game Mazzaro boasted a 3.18 ERA (4.36 FIP) at home and 3.92 (4.76 FIP) mark on the road. Additionally, if he had enough innings to qualify, he’d own the third widest gap between overall ERA (3.61) and FIP (4.59) in the American League (0.98).

It’s been an absolute joy to witness the team’s recent offensive outburst. The Yanks have now scored nine-plus runs five times in their last nine games. That’ll play. The newly christened and devastating heart of the Yankee order featuring Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher continued to rake, with Teixeira going deep for the second straight night — giving him 30 home runs for the year — and Swisher also pumping his 25th jack of the year.…

Game 132: Athletics 3, Yankees 9

Cliff Pennington hit a single to center in the top of the third.  Phil Hughes walked Coco Crisp and Daric Barton to load the bases.  Kurt Suzuki hit a sac fly to center, pushing Pennington across the plate and making the score 3-1. Teixeira singled to right and Swisher hit a two-run homer to right, giving the Yankees a comfortable 5-1 lead.

Kevin Kouzmanoff singled to start the fourth inning.  Ellis followed with a line drive single to right and both runners moved over when Hughes let loose a wild pitch.  Rajai Davis grounded out to second, scoring Kouzmanoff and moving Ellis to third.  Pennington worked a walk, but Crisp popped out to get Hughes out f trouble, as the score sat at 5-2.

The Yankees really broke away from the Athletics in the bottom of the fourth.  Curtis Granderson hit a solo homer with one out.  Ramiro Pena legged out an infield single and Gardner worked a walk to put two on with one out. …

Where The Sox Would Be Without Their Injuries

An interesting post from Dan Szymborski of Baseball Think Factory renown over at ESPN:

What would this AL East race look like if the Sox had stayed healthy?

….For those five starters, there were a combined 996 missed plate appearances compared to what would be expected.

Those 996 plate appearances had to go somewhere, so to do the next phase of this projection, I had to take them back from the guys who got them. I tried to be as fair as I could — Daniel Nava and Ryan Kalish lost the most, as did players like Bill Hall.

Then I used runs created, a Bill James stat. I created an estimate of how many runs the replacements created in those 996 plate appearances — and how many the injured players would have likely created. For the injured players, I used their preseason ZiPS projections as a guide to how they likely would have played, given their normal playing time.

A most welcome addition

It is with great pleasure that Mike and I introduce the newest member of the Yankeeist family: Matt Warden, who had been blogging about the Yankees at Matt on Earth, and has quickly become a good friend and trusted ally of ours. Given our like-minded sensibilities, including Matt’s interest in and reliance on advanced statistical analysis, we know that Matt will make a fantastic addition to the Yankeeist team.

Mike and I had been hoping to add a third writer for a while now, and Matt’s addition only means more good things for you, our readership. Please be sure to check back with Yankeeist on a regular basis, as I expect the site will be updated even more frequently than it already is. Please join us in welcoming Matt aboard!…

Has Curtis Been Pull Happy?

One of the frequent cautions we hear when the Yankees bring in a left handed hitter is brought to the Yankees is that he will get pull happy playing in Yankee Stadium. I can’t recall if this was exactly the case with Curtis Granderson, but I’m sure at least a few people brought it up. Let’s see what we can dig up in the Spray Charts.

Here’s Curtis’s spray chart from 2009. Obviously, this has a bigger sample because it encompasses a full season without time surrendered to the disabled list.

CG 2009 Spray Chart

There, we see a fair amount of hits to left and center field, but most of the hits seem to be concentrated to the right side of the field. Via FanGraphs, let’s look at his splits in terms of hit direction. In 2009, Granderson had a total of 157 hits. 19 went to left (12.1%), 39 to center (24.84), and 99 to right (63.06). We can see that a pretty wide majority of of Granderson’s hits landed in right in 2009.…

Jeter is still a good shortstop, but should not be leading off anymore

Much has deservedly been made of Derek Jeter‘s poor season. Coming into Monday night’s game his career slash stats were .314/.385/.454. His season line was .270/.335/.381. No professional hitter will be happy to bat .044 points below his career average in a season. But Derek is having a bad year only by his standards. His .321 wOBA, although bad for him, is still 6th-best among shortstops in all of baseball. Yankee fans tend to forget how spoiled we are to have one of the best offensive shortstops of all time on our team. Jeter may be playing into the twilight of his impressive career, but even with the decline the Yankees will struggle to find a better offensive option at his position.

But what about his spot in the batting order? Jeter has routinely led off for the Yankees this season. There is no question that this is a loyalty decision, not a baseball decision. The stereotypical leadoff hitter takes long at-bats, is fast, doesn’t necessarily hit for power, and gets on base at a high clip.…

Race(s) for the Red(?) October

Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies

The only other division with a close division race is the AL East’s counterpart. The Braves sit 3 games ahead of the Phillies with 31 games left, and Philadelphia is only 1.5 games ahead of San Francisco with St. Louis, and to a lesser extent Colorado (it’s really hard to leapfrog 3 teams at this point in the season), a little farther back. Philadelphia might actually be in a better position, despite their 3 game deficit in the standings. All their stars are back, and a rotation with Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels could easily see a team run off a seven game winning streak. Atlanta, on the other hand, is hoping Omar Infante can keep up his dream season and that Derrek Lee could be helpful again, neither of which gives me confidence. Regardless, the division should come down to the wire with the schedules being fairly similar (the Braves get the Pirates but also the Cardinals while the Phillies get the Brewers, a game against the Rockies, and a few more against the Dodgers), and luckily for the fans, the Phillies and Braves matchup 6 times in the last 12 games, including the very last three games of the season.…

The Legend Of Homer Bush

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Those who watch Yankees games on YES know that Michael Kay will often mention Homer Bush’s role on the 1998 Yankees whenever discussing how important good baserunning and stolen bases are, particularly from bench players. He tends to pontificate on the topic for a while, suggesting Bush was the consummate bench player and was a key cog on the 1998 Yankees. Yet a close look at the numbers suggest that Kay is misremembering the importance of Homer Bush.

Bush did hit well in his limited appearances, with a gaudy .380/.421/.465 line. However, despite being with the team all year, those numbers came in just 78 plate appearances, and he had just 4 extra base hits and 5 RBI on the season. More importantly, his baserunning was adequate at best. He was just one run better than average as a baserunner in 1998, and had just 6 stolen bases to go with 3 CS’s. In total, he was worth 0.8 wins above replacement over the regular season.…

Checking in on a Claim

While driving home from my first class of the Fall Semester last night, I listened to part of the game on the radio. As I passed Exit 19 on the southbound, Ramiro Pena knocked in Jorge Posada to give the Yankees six runs. Right before he did that, everyone’s favorite radio whipping boy and whipping girl, John Sterling and Suyzn Waldman, made a comment saying that both Pena and Francisco Cervelli became better hitters when the situation called for it. Of course, the term they used was “situational hitting.” Since I’m always curious, I made a mental note to check that idea when I got home. So, let’s see what I found.

Let’s start with Cervelli. Going into last night, Cervelli had a WPA of -1.57 (-4.99 -WPA + 3.43 +WPA) so we’re already seeing that, generally, Cervelli doesn’t do much at the plate to advance the Yankee winning cause. But, let’s be nice, that covers all situations, not just the situations we want to look at.…