Game Thread | Game 49 | Yankees vs. Mariners | Friday, May 27, 2011

Did you know the Yankees are only 1-5 in Friday games thus far in 2011? Obviously that’s incredibly random and will eventually even out, but it’s certainly made the start of the weekends a bit more anxiety-inducing than they might otherwise have been during the first two months of the season.

I’m going to borrow from my Series Preview from this morning and re-post the “Hot and Cold” players here for your convenience:

Here’s who’s hot coming into this series (per wOBA over the last 14 days):

Russell Martin – .421 (What a beast)
Alex Rodriguez – .418 (Seems to be doing it mostly with singles, but as long as he’s getting on base I won’t complain)
Curtis Granderson – .413 (The man)
Jorge Posada – .385 (Surprise!)

Brendan Ryan – .493 (Honestly, I don’t even know who this is)
Miguel Olivo – .430 (I feel like Olivo is another in a long line of scrub catchers who inexplicably demolish Yankee pitching)
Adam Kennedy – .382 (What?)

And here’s who’s been cold:

Nick Swisher – .253 (He needs to stop appearing on the “cold” list)
Derek Jeter – .264 (Ditto)
Robinson Cano – .300 (Seems to be slowly coming out of his latest funk)

Chone Figgins – .118 (Compiled over 53 PAs, talk about ice-cold)
Michael Saunders – .139
Ichiro Suzuki – .187 (Doesn’t matter; he’s bound to come up with a timely hit or two against the Yanks)

The Yankee offense as a whole has been the second-best in the AL over the last two weeks (.340 wOBA, though way behind Boston’s absurd .381 during that time period), while the Mariners have been even worse than they are on the season, hitting at a .277 wOBA clip.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, the Mariners’ pitching staff has been lights-out during the last two weeks, posting a 1.80 ERA/2.84 FIP/3.14 xFIP as a unit (1.55/2.50/2.95 from the starters; 2.78/4.14/3.90 from the bullpen); while the Yankees have managed a 3.78/3.98/3.87 aggregate line (4.43/4.23/3.81 by the starters; 2.38/3.43/4.01 by the bullpen).

Clearly, run-scoring is going to be at a premium this weekend at Safeco Field. That’s not to say that the Yankees can’t score runs and take this series, but going against two of the best pitchers in the American League along with one of the top-performing bullpens of late could make this a very tough series.

117 thoughts on “Game Thread | Game 49 | Yankees vs. Mariners | Friday, May 27, 2011

  1. lets hope for a new start out here..swisher and posada back to back tonight.. anything other than oh fer looking up..until one of them turns it aroung i would never have them in the same lineup

    • Then you can’t expect either one to turn things around. You need to get regular work, against live pitchers, during game action to turn things around. You don’t break out of bad pitches by sitting on the bench cheering. Besides Swisher is still a much better option with the bat than Dickerson, and Jones isn’t a huge improvement over Posada day in day out.

        • Might as well just cut him… It would be a total waste to just have Posada on the bench, he deserves to keep being put in the lineup against righties if you keep him on the team.

          • i’m not going to battle with you all night, but why does he deserve to play..he is a DH, that is he is a half of a DH..on a 25 man roster..swisher has had his average drop what 25 points in a week..chris you can not have two guys like that on a major league roster..

          • His numbers are trending up, and if he gets a hit in his next AB his OBP will finally go above .300, and we have no one on the team better at the moment.

            I would like to see Jorge Vazquez maybe get some ABs as the DH vs lefties, but he is going to be majorly exposed by good pitchers, and righties will eat his lunch.

            He has almost no value at all off the bench, and taking up a roster spot for no reason other than nostalgia is not how you run a business.

    • One thing about throwing that hard, if someone connects it goes further than a league average fastball.

      • Depending on how he holds up I think Teixeira has a chance to get close to if not pass Mickey Mantle for most HRs by a switch hitter.

        • he has 289 now, if he end the season with 310, 8 more years 30 per does it .mantle 536

          • I think he needs a 40 HR season or two to get it done, but he certainly has an outside chance. I don’t think I would put money on it, but it’s not out of the realm of possibilities.

            I think CC has a much better chance at 300 wins, and I personally think he will get to that mark if he stays with the Yankees (which he will).

  2. Ichiro looks like this is the season he is finally starting to show some age. Career lows pretty much across the board.

    • Yeah. Not bottomed out like Posada or Swisher, but not very Ichirovian.

      • Swisher’s has nothing to do with age though, he should rebound even if it takes until next year. Ichiro looks like he is finally losing a step he may not get back. We could see a slow steady decline he doesn’t recover from at this point. It’s easy to forget how old Ichiro is, I tend to still think of him as a younger guy. Probably because he came over after playing for years in Japan, just imagine what he could’ve done record wise if he started out in the MLB.

        • I agree. Swisher is likely to rebound, although his season numbers will probably be lower than usual.

          • That probably has to be the most frustrating part to a major leaguer. Even if you tear up the rest of the year, the overall numbers you post aren’t going to be where you want.

          • I remember Ken Singleton talking about that on a TV broadcast once. He said it took some focus to ignore your stats and focus on what you were doing now.

          • Good example is Teixeira last year. He struggled bad early on and dropped from 39 HRs in 09 to 33, and his BA free fell, even with a decent rest of the year.

  3. Smoak has been an RBI machine early on this season, his numbers have dropped some since pitchers can pretty much focus on only him but he’s got a lot of talent. Very talented switch hitter.

  4. Very slick move by Martin! He threw that glove up high to indicate strikeout fastball and had AJ throw the curve. That’s a veteran catcher for you!

    • Gotta give Martin a lot of credit for calming down, not just Burnett, but all of our pitchers during rough patches. He really seems to be a rock mentally for the pitching staff. He shows that with Burnett, and his work with Noesi in that extra inning game was magical really.

  5. It’s such a nice added bonus having a catcher actually worth his salt on the base paths. Right now in fact Martin is on pace for a 20-10 season.

  6. Good job of letting the young guy work his own way into trouble so far. You go up hacking at someone with this kind of stuff and you can put yourself in a hole before you even see what he has.

    • Pineda doesn’t look comfortable. I haven’t seen him before, so it may just be the way he works. But he doesn’t seem “cool” the way, say, Pedro Martinez used to look cool.

      • Kind of hard to compare any rookie to Pedro Martinez haha.

        He looks fine on the mound to me, his stuff is just really moving on him right now. But he doesn’t look rattled or anything, in fact in the first I thought he looked real confident even after the HR.

        IF he is bothered at all it may just be because no team has really worked him yet. Seems like most teams have been swinging, and missing early and often on him.

        • You’re right, he doesn’t look rattled. I just noticed that he has an air of discomfort about him. Correlation with pitching skill is pretty much zero.

  7. Phil is so focused on his velocity, he still hasn’t learned that location is 10x as important.

    • He lost more than 5 mph on his stuff suddenly and for no apparent reason. If it were me, that’s the first thing I’d look at when I got back.

      • He pitched for us in 08 averaging 88-90 on his fastball, this isn’t the first time he has “lost velocity”. He needs to realize he needs to pitch, not throw, it’s something he has never wraped his head around. It’s also something that will hold him back longterm.

        • What was his average last year? And was it different the first half of the year when he was pitching well?

          Location’s most important, but when you lose velocity like that, something’s wrong, and it’s important to know if it’s back or not. You have to be a very different kind of pitcher throwing 86 than you do throwing 92.

          • He averaged 89.3 MPH this season, that’s only 3 MPH off the 91 MPH average he posted in 2007 and 2008, I think he is much closer to 91 going forward than he will be the 92.5 he posted last year, and the 93.6 he averaged in his bullpen season of 09.

            I think he had built up some extra velocity in the pen, he shouldn’t have dropped all the way down to 89, but I don’t think he will be 92-93 going forward.

  8. Kimberly Jones gets more beautiful with age. Those eyes, that hair. Real woman beautiful!

    David Robertson and his wife Erin are doing a wonderful thing with their website to benefit the victims of the tornados Jones mentioned called, but they need to set up a PayPal button for instant donations. The website has been “under construction” for the last few days. Time for whoever is running that site to get on the ball so people can donate online which would mean a ton more money raised.

    • You might actually want to shoot an email in their direction with that information. I’m sure they have tech people, but they may not know, and it can’t hurt.

      On Kim I actually think she’s butt ugly, but different strokes for different folks haha.

  9. pen will get four innings this pace, same for seattle

    • Looks that way, but with Burnett you can never tell. Sometimes he throws back to back 9 pitch innings after back to back 20 pitch innings.

  10. Curtis batting behind Gardner would be a great way to start every game.

    Ichiro needs to hit 315 to be a good offensive player-no walks and no power. He’s still fun to watch in RF, tho’.

    • I know I’ve brought it up before, but I think you open yourself up to a major weakness to lefty relievers in that situation. As soon as the lineup turns over you can bring in a LOOGY for Gardner, Curtis and Teixeira and turn Tex away from the short porch. I guess though it’s worth a try is Granderson keep hitting lefties.

    • I agree completely on the breaking ball, he seems to have better control with it than he does the fastball. I’ll definitely take AJ with a better curve than fastball than the other way around.

  11. Not a good matchup tonight for Posada with a pitcher who has one of the best fastballs in baseball. However he isn’t a very good matchup for anyone, let alone the bench we have to replace Jorge in the lineup.

    • very true, chaves was a hugh loss..the guy was hitting well .any idea when he is due back

      • I don’t think there is a known time table. I read where he didn’t actually break his foot, and that it turned out to be a strain in the foot. So he could be back sooner than he was suppose to be.

        Weird twist to that story though, apparently he was born with a break in each of his feet and that was what they saw on the X-Ray. They re-did the X-ray after he told them and saw that he still only had the two, one in each (healed obviously), and realized they misdiagnosed.

  12. Chris with all posada’s pride when does he see himself as done and says i quit..

    • He won’t. No great player will, I think he will try and find a team for next year. He may not find anyone, but I wouldn’t doubt he’ll look.

      • your right i said that also.he will play next year..but Chris no great player knows when he is done? and retires?

        • I’ve never seen it.

          I take that back, one did, and that was DiMaggio. Although I guess you can debate the exact reasoning behind him retiring, he clearly knew he wasn’t what he was.

          For the most part though all great athletes get forced into retirement.

          Hell if you watch MMA at all, Randy Couture thought he could still beat Lyot Machida and actually asked for the fight thinking that.

          • Lou Gehrig comes to mind. But there are very few people like Gehrig.

            Sand Koufax was a different case. He was still great, he just wanted to retire.

          • Gehrig didn’t retire on his own, he had a disease take all his strength away and forced him into an early retirement.

            Koufax also retired due to injury. He had suffered through major shoulder pain his entire last season, and thought about retirement before the season. He said when he called it quits that he would rather retire a year early with something left, than retire a year late and cripple himself.

          • Gehrig’s last season was 39, and he died in 41. He had no choice but to hang up the spikes.

            In fact I heard a story told by a teammate where he saw Gehrig in the clubhouse, shortly before he announced he was sick, and he jumped on his back from behind and Lou crumpled to the floor. He said he couldn’t help feel something was extremely wrong, because Lou was the strongest man he had ever known.

          • O’Neil said Thursday that he tried to come back for one more season but he warmed up on the beach for a few weeks and it “didn’t go well”.

            Mussina did have something left in the tank, but I think he knew he wasn’t going to be close to his 20 win self the following year and got out while on top of his game. However Mussina has always been nothing but class, he is truly in a spot by himself in that regard.

        • Mike Schmidt is another one that comes to mind. And for that matter, Edgar Martinez.

  13. If you’d have told me a run would score on a wild pitch in this game, I wouldn’t have been surprised, but I’d have bet it would be with Burnett pitching.

    • I don’t know, I would’ve believed it could be either before the game. Pineda has really great stuff and that can lead to wild pitches very easily.

  14. ichiro GETTING OLD? 59 hits this year..4th in the AL.SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL HIM

    • .281/.338/.320 with a wOBA of only .297

      .255/.310/.321 with a wOBA of only .285

      The top one is Ichiro and the bottom one is Derek Jeter.

      At 37 he is getting old, and these numbers are career lows.

      • For comparison Brett Gardner is hitting .270/.348/.416 with a wOBA of .334 with 8 steals and 3 HRs.

        Ichiro has 11 steals and 0 HRs.

      • i would love to have him old and all and those #s 59 hits..great glove and arm..does anyone on the yanks have 59 hits..your fast chris take a peek

        • I personally wouldn’t want him, he has a low OBP, with no power, if he isn’t hitting above .300 he isn’t exactly a great value.

          As of May 27th Cano has 51, Granderson has 51, and Jeter has 50.

          It’s a real small sample size but Ichiro also has a negative defensive rating this season.

          He also has a 0.0 WAR, so he is worth no wins above a replacement player this season. Brett Gardner has a 1.5 WAR.

          • Also about those 59 hits, he has done it in 223 plate appearances. For comparison Jeter has 50 in 216 PA’s, Cano has 51 in 198 PA’s, and Granderson has 51 in 206 PA’s.

          • The only Yankee starter with a worst WAR than Ichiro at this point is Swisher. Nick has a -0.1 WAR, but if he hits 25+ HRs this season he probably provides more value than Suzuki does this season.

          • well he has two now 23 more to go..but he did get a hit..lets hope he can get hot..

          • thanks for the stats, interesting..if you needed to drive in a run today..ichiro..or jeter..swisher posada gardner..

    • His fastball velocity is down this year, that probably is playing a role in why his breaking ball isn’t as effective.

      2007- 93.2 MPH
      2008- 92.0 MPH
      2009- 93.4 MPH
      2010- 93.2 MPH
      2011- 91.9 MPH

      He was hitting 95 and 96 a lot more often last year, I wonder if he just hasn’t built up the arm strength this year for some reason or if something is wrong.

  15. “thanks for the stats, interesting..if you needed to drive in a run today..ichiro..or jeter..swisher posada gardner..”

    Can I pick none of the above haha. If my life depended on needing a hit with 2 outs I’d take Gardner, he’s by far and away the hottest. Hitting .317 over the last 15 days, but if I needed someone to get a sac fly… I’d either go with Swisher or Gardner, and probably still leading towards Gardner because he is hotter. Swisher has shown an ability to drive the ball this year, hitting more line drives than ever before. According to all his peripheral numbers he should be doing better than he is.

  16. As most of you know, I like Joe Girardi’s bullpen management, generally. He’s good at keeping workloads down (kind of, maybe not so much this year), but his insistence on defined roles–and stupidly defined roles at that–is ridiculous. Taking out Burnett wasn’t a bad idea, but putting Ayala in after Logan was. Robertson needs to be pitching there, not a low strikeout guy. Annoying.

    • The only thing I can say that might explain his thinking is the fact that Robertson is apparently really “shaken up” over this whole Tornado thing. Maybe he didn’t want to use D-Rob tonight because he just back, and he feels his head simply isn’t in the ballpark tonight.

      Just spit-balling an idea here, no way to know if that played a role or not.

    • it was o.k. but after walked the hitter to make it first and second..out, no way he stays in

      • Ayala has been pretty good this season, I can see having confidence in him. Especially if you have already decided that Robertson won’t be pitching tonight. However if Robertson is in play with no worries about his mental fatigue, he should have gone to him.

  17. I don’t know about you guys but I can’t hear the last name “Wright” without thinking of Jarrett Wright, thanks a lot Jamey.

  18. With Aardsma on the DL if we get to the 9th down we will probably see Brandon League close out the game.

    Can anyone believe that the Mariners traded Brandon Morrow for Brandon League straight up? I really wish we had thrown Joba at the Mariners.

    • League last season- 79.0 IP, 6.38 K/9, 3.08 BB/9 with a 3.42 ERA/3.91 FIP/3.52 xFIP.

      League in 2011- 20.0 IP, 6.30 K/9, 1.80 BB/9 with a 5.85 ERA/3.06 FIP/3.55 xFIP relieving.

      Morrow in 2011- 39.0 IP, 11.08 K/9, 3.92 BB/9 with a 4.38 ERA/2.24 FIP/3.14 xFIP starting.

      Morrow last season- 146.1 IP, 10.95 K/9, 4.06 BB/9 with a 4.49 ERA/3.16 FIP/3.48 xFIP

  19. Nunez seems to get a bit ahead of himself sometimes, overlooking the little details.

  20. League has a great split to go along with some real heat, he gives up runs though.

    • Yeah I’d like to see Jeter batting lower in the order at this point. I’m even willing to concede the LOOGY weakness that batting Gardner, Granderson, and Teixeira will leave. At least then you have the two hottest hitters on the team coming up first and second.