Game Thread | Game 134 | Yankees at Red Sox | Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Yankees look to secure their first series win against Boston in 2011 — which would also be their first against the Red Sox since May 2010 — as Phil Hughes faces Josh Beckett tonight. Russell Martin is apparently still a bit banged up, so Francisco Cervelli will try to be the focal point of the proceedings for the second straight evening. Brett Gardner LF Derek Jeter SS Curtis Granderson CF Mark Teixeira 1B Robinson Cano 2B Nick Swisher RF Eric Chavez DH Eduardo Nunez 3B Francisco Cervelli C

Brett Gardner, infield-fly-ball machine

This isn’t meant as a knock on Brett Gardner, who, on the whole, has had a wonderful season in many respects. His speed and outfield defense are game-changing, and I absolutely love what he brings to the table. Which is why I was a tad surprised to find that Gardner actually leads all of MLB in IFFB% with a 21.4% rate. This made me curious about his monthly batted ball splits, which inspired the following graph (click to enlarge): Here’s hoping to an increase in GB%, decrease in FB% and substantial decrease in IFFB% for Brett in September.

Live Game Chat Tonight at 7:00

Attention all Yankee fans! We will be doing yet another live game chat tomorrow night with our friends from Fire Brand of the American League. The chat will start at precicely 7:00 p.m.  Help Jason, Brien, and the gang reverse the live game chat hex I’ve put on the Yankees by participating tonight!

Continue reading Live Game Chat Tonight at 7:00

Catching notes: Cervelli’s scuffle and JESUS JUEVES!

There’s big news in the land of Yankee catchers. Let’s start with the small stuff… So, Francisco Cervelli hit a massive home run last night against John Lackey and the Red Sox. It didn’t just go off the field of play, it went out of the stadium. Frankie Blue Eyes, he of the .072 career IsoP, put one onto the streets of Boston. Lackey, he of the showing-up-his-fielders ilk, did not take kindly to this. The next time Cervelli came to the plate, Lackey hit the young catcher in the shoulder with a pitch. The benches cleared. Larry Rothschild was Continue reading Catching notes: Cervelli’s scuffle and JESUS JUEVES!

Baseball’s Current Crop of Second Basemen Is Really Cleaning Up

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog). When the Yankees beat the Orioles on Monday night, Robinson Cano was batting in the cleanup spot. Then, in the team’s victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday, Dustin Pedroia was batting fourth in the opposition lineup. Why is that significant? Because of the position both men play. Since 1919, only 7,096 lineups have featured a second baseman in the cleanup slot (or just above 2%). However, this year, that ratio has tripled, which signals the relative level of strength throughout the position in the current game. Cleanup Hitters by Position, Since 1919 and Continue reading Baseball’s Current Crop of Second Basemen Is Really Cleaning Up

Bringing the heat

Almost three weeks after suffering his fourth straight defeat against Boston, CC Sabathia delivered in kind on Tuesday night, throwing a season-high 128 pitches over six innings, striking out 10 and limiting the Red Sox to only two runs. Following his messy August 6 start I took an in-depth look at the way he’d been pitching Boston on the season, and came away with several conclusions, one being that he didn’t appear to be challenging the Sox with his fastball as much as he might ordinarily be doing, throwing it for strikes less frequently than his season average while also Continue reading Bringing the heat

Can’t anyone here hit right-handed pitching?

With September call ups right around the corner and the deadline for getting postseason eligible players in the organization upon us, it’s always a good time to take stock of any holes on the teams that are likely to make the playoffs, and the Yankees are no exception. But honestly, other than some injury issues, there aren’t a lot of holes to fill on this roster right now. The rotation has been solid, and whatever worries anyone may have about them they’re not things that can be addressed now, the bullpen is deep, and will likely add either Bartolo Colon or Phil Hughes once the tournament begins, and the lineup is among the best in baseball.

(click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading Can’t anyone here hit right-handed pitching?

Montero up tomorrow

According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post, Jesus Montero will come up tomorrow when rosters expand (though Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances will not). Sherman says Montero will have opportunities to “play and specifically hit,” which suggests to me he’ll be taking away some DH ABs from Posada. With a big September, it’s possible he’ll be the playoff DH, though that’s probably unlikely. At any rate, hooray. Continue reading Montero up tomorrow

Looking At Short Season Statistics

I’m back! My summer in the woods was fantastic, as always. I will now be writing regularly for the blog yet again. While I am away every summer, I always miss short-season baseball. I’m now presented with a nice, robust sample of number for two full Yankee teams to analyze. These statistics can be useful, but because the two short-season leagues that Yankee prospects play in are unique in many different ways, they need to be approached with some caution. Let’s take Mason Williams, for example. Williams was no-doubt the Yankees breakout prospect this season. He hit .351/.399/.478 with 13% Continue reading Looking At Short Season Statistics