The Human Element

But aren’t these statistics supposed to predict the future? They didn’t see the Padres coming! Not exactly. The idea is that, after identifying the problems above and answering them to a degree, the new statistics can better predict what’s going to happen. They never said they can predict with absolute certainty what will happen. Injuries, performance, randomness, etc. fluctuate due to all sorts of factors, and there is no way to definitively state what will happen. However, sabermetrics can say with a greater degree of accuracy what will happen. This is important when fans evaluate GMs … and even when GMs evaluate themselves. If you have to make a decision and we’ve agreed that nothing on earth can definitively state what will happen, you essentially have to take the option that has the greatest chance of occurring. It’s playing the odds like you would anywhere else. And yes, something else might happen, which is why we say ODDS, but that does not mean that the idea/theory is wrong.… Click here to read the rest

Some pitching changes

As you likely know by now, Phil Hughes is starting in place of Dustin Moseley tonight. Considering that tonight represents normal rest for Hughes as it is, combined with the desire to knock the Magic Number down to one, I obviously approve of this move.

Apparently the Yankees are also now saying they plan to start CC Sabathia on Tuesday in Toronto, which could potentially complicate lining him up for Game 1 of the ALDS. Of course, they have to get there first.

For some excellent insight on these two moves, please be sure to check out Stephen R.’s take over at TYU.… Click here to read the rest

Hughes starts tonight as rotation stays on schedule

For quite some time the Yankees have planned to start Dustin Moseley in tonight’s home finale against Boston, despite the fact that it was Phil Hughes’ turn in the rotation.  Change of plans.  Per every Yankee reporter out there, Phil Hughes will start tonight against Boston.  Despite the fact that he is almost certainly bumping up against the innings limit of 175-180 (currently at 169.1), the team is opting to have him go now.  There’s no word as to when he will start again this season, but it seems possible that this is his final start of the regular season.  The team has also made a change in the rotation in Toronto.  For now, AJ Burnett, CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte will start on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  This complicates lining up the postseason rotation significantly.

It seems that Brian Cashman is at least aware of the criticism that he will face for making this move.  It’s not exactly inaccurate to call a move like this reactionary, not in the pejorative sense but in the purely descriptive sense.  … Click here to read the rest

Not that this is news, but pitching primary culprit in Yanks' recent dreadful play

The Yankees’ current four-game losing streak has been tougher to endure than any other stretch thus far this year — the dual fear of the Red Sox hanging around past their expiration date coupled with a desire to see the team head into the postseason on a high note has certainly made me feel uncomfortable, and I doubt I’m the only one.

That being said, one doesn’t have to look too far to see why the Yankees have lost the last four games. While the offense hasn’t exactly shown up outside of Friday night’s 10-8 loss — and even then, despite a valiant effort it still came too late — these losses can almost exclusively be pinned on the Yankees’ pitching, both of the starting and relieving variety.

No Yankee starter has lasted longer than CC Sabathia‘s 5 1/3 innings these last four games. Andy Pettitte was of course lit up over 3 1/3 on Friday, while Ivan Nova once again had his regularly scheduled fifth-inning implosion yesterday.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks fall to Sox 7-3, lose four straight at home for first time all season

I’ve been trying my best to paint a rosy picture around the Yankees’ recent struggles, but even I’m finding my patience getting a bit tested, following the Yankees’ 7-3 loss to Boston, their fourth straight at home. Not that I expected the Yankees to actually beat Jon Lester, because they’ve shown time and again that they just can’t hit him (this was the second straight start of Lester’s against the Yankees that he took a no-hitter into the sixth), but because their pitching has basically taken them out of each of the last four games before they even had a chance to compete. Of these last four losses, the only game they’ve even held a lead was the CC SabathiaDavid Price start, and you usually like your chances with your ace on the hill and a 2-0 lead.

You’re going to hear a lot about how the Yankees are pulling a 2004 all over again or a classic New York Metropolitans-style collapse if the Red Sox complete the sweep tonight, which they likely will what with getting to face Dustin Moseley instead of Phil Hughes.… Click here to read the rest

Quicks splits heading into the playoffs

Managerial decisions heading into October are often predicated on a player’s splits from that year, so I wanted to do a post on some of the more notable splits of prominent Yankees.  Should help shed some light on why Girardi will go in one direction or another, and recap how players have performed in situational spots this year.

Phil HughesHome/Away troubles have been well documented. ERA goes from 4.84 at home to 3.52 on the road, much of the Yankee stadium woes the result of HRs. Hasn’t faced the Twins all that much, logging 7.1 career innings in 3 appearances (1 start). Phil should start on the road, but with the Yanks headed for a WC berth, that would make him the Game 2 starter (CC goes 1 and 5). If healthy Andy will likely get the call for Game 2, but it will be interesting to see how Girardi plays this one. I always want a player, especially a young player, put in the best spot to be successful.… Click here to read the rest

Updating playoff rotation permutations

There was plenty of news coming out of the Yankees camp last night surrounding rotation shifts.  As Chad Jennings of LoHud noted this morning, we have a pretty good guess of how the rotation shakes out for the remainder of the year:

Saturday, September 25 v. BOS: Ivan Nova

Sunday, September 26 v. BOS: Dustin Moseley (formerly Phil Hughes)

Monday, September 27 @ TOR: AJ Burnett (normal rest)

Tuesday, September 28 @ TOR: not announced (formerly Sabathia)

Wednesday, September 29 @ TOR: Phil Hughes (7 days rest)

Thursday, September 30: off day

Friday, October 1 @ BOS: CC Sabathia (7 days rest)

Saturday, October 2 @BOS: either AJ Burnett or Andy Pettitte

Sunday, October 3 @ BOS: either AJ Burnett or Andy Pettitte

If Burnett pitches on Saturday, he will be on normal rest.  Pitching on Sunday gives him an extra day, which he doesn’t particularly need given his recent rain-shortened outings.  If Pettitte goes on Saturday, he’ll be on seven days rest.  … Click here to read the rest

Despite season-high six home runs, late Yankee rally falls short in 10-8 loss to Boston

It only took until the 154th game of the season for Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira to finally go deep in the same game for the first time this year. And if that weren’t enough, both sluggers hit two home runs apiece, which is probably the first time they’ve done that in two years as teammates.

The Yankees ultimately hit a season-high six home runs — including a solo shot and two-run bomb from Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher, respectively — but couldn’t quite dig out of the 10-1 hole they found themselves in as their impressive comeback finally fizzled out, losing to the Red Sox 10-8.

That the Yankees even brought the tying run to the plate in the person of Robinson Cano despite being down nine runs after 5 1/2 innings is pretty insane, not to mention the fact that one would expect a six-home run game would result in a win. Unfortunately Andy Pettitte‘s second start since returning from the DL was pretty brutal, as he gave up seven runs (six earned) on a season-high 10 hits in only 3 1/3 innings, the big blow coming on a three-run home run by Jed Lowrie that broke the scoreless tie in the second.… Click here to read the rest

What's the better natural advantage?

The response to my Cito Culver post earlier this week put an interesting question in my head. Here are the comments:

Richard Deegan: It’s about having people on the ground and getting into all corners, especially “home” (well, at least NY) turf. That’s how the Cards got The Man, while the Pirates dozed.
Legwork!!!

Tripp: I think the Braves are also real good at plucking players out of the Georgia area.

The Yankees certainly seemed to believe that they had a better read on Culver, who was projected as a second roundish pick, than other teams. He is from upstate New York, a cold-weather area without a whole lot of showcases and scouts. Culver’s proximity to Yankee HQ meant that the team could get a lot of good looks at him, while most other teams may only have looked at him once or twice. So, the Yankees were better informed (thanks in part to their large scouting investment) on draft day.… Click here to read the rest