Sunday Notes and Commentary

-Unlike many Yankee fans, players and columnists, there was no feigned outrage in my house over Josh Rupe throwing up and in at Russell Martin last night. I had no big issue with the move, just the execution of it. If you want to brush a guy back, you have to keep it away from his head. But I understand what Buck was trying to do. The O’s have become accustomed to getting clobbered by the Yanks year after year, so Buck is trying to get his guys to show some pride out there. Is it the best way to handle it? No, winning solves all. But he’s trying to get a bad team to stop accepting losing. Once upon a time, Buck did the same thing with a Yankee team that was in the dumps in the early 1990s, and I don’t remember much hand wringing from the Yankee faithful or clubhouse back then. Actually, fans loved him for it.

-Stat of the day. For Reds pitcher Edinson Vozquez, 35.3% of his fly balls have left the ballpark.

-Still early, but Run scoring is down again across baseball this year. 4.31 runs per game is even lower than last year, which was down from the prior season. Unless of course you’re the Yankees, who are averaging 6.05 runs per game, and with 103 runs scored are 2nd in the AL behind Texas (104).

-Just in case you missed it, here’s that Brad Bergensen play again from last night.

-Just for fun, I wanted to look at the pitcher(s) with the highest ground ball rate in the majors and compare it to Derek Jeter’s, which is by far the highest in the game for any hitter. Here it is, courtesy of Fangraphs:

Name Team BABIP GB/FB LD% GB%
Derek Jeter Yankees .234 5.75 14.3 % 73.0 %
Name Team BABIP GB/FB LD% GB%
Charlie Morton Pirates .247 3.35 12.9 % 67.1 %
Tim Lincecum Giants .272 3.47 15.2 % 65.8 %
Brett Anderson Athletics .313 3.71 17.5 % 65.0 %

-THT’s Max Marchi with a very interesting piece on hitter’s tendencies. Turns out Mark Teixeira is one of the most consistent hitters in baseball at hitting balls where they are pitched (HWP). But that cuts both ways. It also goes a long way to explaining why managers typically employ the shift against him. If you pitch him inside, you can predictably induce him to pull the ball and adjust your defense accordingly. There’s no secrets to a hitter like Tex, he makes his living hitting mistakes.

-The hottest hitting catching prospect in the Yankee farm system isn’t named Montero. Austin Romine is 8 for his last 17 with 3 HRs and 10 RBIs in his last 4 games.

-Joel Sherman with a thoroughly unpersuasive argument for a 3 game Wild Card  series. It includes beginning the season in March, 30 man rosters and doubleheaders every Sunday in July. All for the purpose of giving the Wild Card teams an extra 2 games. In his attempt to “be fair” to the Wild Card teams, never once does he address the unfairness of having the division winner sit and rust for 5 days while we sort out the wild card situation. If anything, Joel’s argument illustrates just how difficult it is to expand the playoffs and not be playing games in November, which nobody wants. Here’s the main piece of info fans need to know about expanded playoffs. The TV companies have no desire for another round of playoffs, but would love a play-in game. That meshes perfectly with Bud Selig’s position of expanding the playoffs and not playing games in November.

-The Gustavo Molina era is rapidly coming to an end.

0 thoughts on “Sunday Notes and Commentary

  1. Seeing Big Tim Timmy Jim’s GB% paired with his strikeout rate shows just how unfair it is to have to face him.

    • “How would you like to make an out? On the ground, or at the plate?”

  2. Moshe Mandel

    So its ok to throw at people as long as you are sending a message that you don’t like losing? I don’t get that at all. If it was provoked in some manner, I sort of get policing the game. But as a message to your own team? How is that just?

    • No, it’s OK to brush a guy back who’s teeing off on your pitchers. That’s part of the game, getting hitters to take less aggressive swings. It was just poorly executed, and he wound up hitting him. Pitchers miss their spots all the time, that’s why there are walks and HRs in baseball.

      But when you throw inside, you accept the risk you might hit somebody. That’s what I have no issue with. Pitchers aren’t perfect, yet you still want your players to not let themselves be treated as punching bags. Buck is trying to change the culture in that clubhouse, and I have no problem with it.

      Frankly, I find the outrage over the incident to be a bit much. If a Yankee pitcher did the same thing, many of the fans crying foul would be applauding. It’s all about who’s ox is being gored. Those who call for retaliation have no moral high ground whatsoever.

      I accept ‘chin music’ as being part of the game, along with the risks that go with it. I’d rather have my pitchers stand a guy up and miss once in a while than take the Torre approach of being “above that” while Manny and Ortiz beat your brains in.

      • I have no issue with pitching inside. But when you give up 2 homers to a guy, and then you decide to throw near him in a 13-3 game, that’s not tough or a culture. That’s cowardice.

        • “I have no issue with pitching inside”

          “But when you give up 2 homers to a guy, and then you decide to throw near him”

          These two statements contradict each other.

          • Not at all. I have no issue with the concept of pitching inside. But when you suddenly decide that it is imperative to pitch inside to a guy who you gave up 2 homers to, I find that to be fishy and distasteful. It reeks of retaliation.

          • http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=310423101

            Rupe didn’t give up any HRs to Martin, Bergensen and Berken did. He wasn’t retaliating for a previous AB he was still ticked off about.

            You assume there was intent behind the HBP, I don’t. I can’t read minds like everyone else seems to be able to do. So given his statements after the game, I have to accept he was trying to stand him up, and simply missed. I can’t prove anything else.

          • BKLYN

            I find it very difficult for a professional baseball pitcher to lose control of a pitch so badly that it would end up behind the batter and hear his head, unless there was intent to hit the batter.

          • BKLYN, you’re talking about a difference of a few inches between a guy’s chin and his head. You find it “hard to believe” a pitcher can miss a target from 60′ 6″ away? If that’s true, then why do pitchers walk batters? Why don;t they just throw strike 3 over and over again?

          • BKLYN

            I find it very difficult for a professional baseball pitcher to lose control of a pitch so badly that it would end up behind the batter and hear his head, unless there was intent to hit the batter.

            Yes, its only a few inches between a guy’s chin and his head/behind his head, but if your throwing at his chin, then your either throwing at him or pitching inside around his head.

            With that said, I can see an occasional pitch getting away from a pitcher, but.. rarely does a pitch end up behind a batter..

  3. BKLYN

    Once upon a time, Buck did the same thing with a Yankee team that was in the dumps in the early 1990s, and I don’t remember much hand wringing from the Yankee faithful or clubhouse back then. Actually, fans loved him for it.

    I think the media environment and outlets for people to express their opinions are much different today than when Buck was managing the Yankees.

    Also, I think the whole point is that the pitch ended up near Martin’s head and behind him.

    Yankee fans have had to live with all the hate when a Yankee player does something along the same lines; e.g. Joba pitching near Yuk’s head; Arod yelling yelling HA! when rounding the bases on a pop fly. You may not remember many Yankee fans making a big deal of it when we were on the giving side of it, but baseball in general as a whole did (ESPN, yankee haters, etc), so I see nothing wrong when Yankee fans or the Yankees get upset when it happens to them.

  4. Arno

    I don’t understand why they can’t just eliminate some of the travel days from the 7 game series. Teams don’t get travel days in the regular season so why have them in the post season. I’m not saying they should play a 7 game series in back to back days but normally that would get stretched out to 10 days. Eliminate one or two travel days and you have plenty to spare for whatever the wild card series will be.

    • It’s the playoffs. More media and its national media. You need a day to set things up. Don’t forget these aren’t the regular guys, so they have to move in their own people, stuff and announcers in order to do a game.