-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:
|Derek Jeter||Yankees||.234||5.75||14.3 %||73.0 %|
|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.