A Final Comparison to Positional Averages

These numbers are accurate as of the start of yesterday’s game because I wrote this last night (as I type, Jesus Montero is batting in the top of the 8th). If you remember all the way back to early August, I wrote a post comparing the Yankee hitters to their counterparts at the various positions around the league. Almost two months later, let’s see how each player ended up relative to his peers. Catcher Russell Martin: .237/.324/.408 Average AL Catcher: .239/.305/.392 Positional Adjustments: 99/106/104 We all know that batting average is Satan so I’m not too concerned that Martin was Continue reading A Final Comparison to Positional Averages

Garcia to start Game 3 of ALDS

Speculate no longer, friends, after last night’s unbelievably amazing conclusion loss, manager Joe Girardi confirmed that Freddy Garcia will be starting Game 3 of the ALDS Monday in Detroit. The move was pretty much a no-brainer given the way Garcia has pitched this season (and lately) relative to the other candidates, and now it’s official. Garcia will likely be opposed by Max Scherzer for the Tigers, which should prove a rather interesting contrast in styles.

Girardi also announced the A.J. Burnett will be pitching out of the bullpen in the postseason. Continue reading Garcia to start Game 3 of ALDS

Yanks end regular season swept on road for first time all year following Rays' dramatic late-inning comeback to clinch Wild Card

The Yankees capped off the 2011 regular season by getting swept on the road for the first time all year — and swept for only the third time all season — as the Tampa Bay Rays came storming back from a 7-0 deficit to win 8-7 in extra innings. The loss was the Yankees’ fourth in a row, and dropped their record in extra-inning games to a fluky 4-12 on the season. Additionally, the sweep was Tampa’s second-ever sweep of the Yankees, both of which came at Tropicana Field, and it was the first time the Yanks had been swept Continue reading Yanks end regular season swept on road for first time all year following Rays' dramatic late-inning comeback to clinch Wild Card

Game 162: Yankees 7, Rays 8 (12 Innings)

The last day of regular season baseball provided plenty of excitement for AL East fans.  The Yankees bashedtheir way to a big lead, but the Rays suddenly remembered they were playing for the postseason and used a six run inning to get back in the game.  As Tampa and the Yankees battled through extra innings, the Red Sox and Orioles waited out a rain delay.  In a matter of minutes the Wild Card outlook changed, as the Jonathan Papelbon blew a 3-2 lead in the ninth inning and gave the Orioles a walk-off win.  Just moments later the Rays wrapped up the game in Tampa, as they beat the Yankees 8-7 and clinched a trip to the postseason.

Curtis Granderson got the Yankee bats started with a single to center.  An error by Ben Zobrist allowed Robinson Cano to reach and Granderson to score as the Yankees took a 1-0 lead.  The Bombers seemed prepared to crush the Rays hopes of postseason play in the second inning, when Eduardo Nunez doubled to center with one out.  Brandon Laird singled to left and Jeter worked a walk to load the bases.  Granderson popped out, but Mark Teixeira followed with a big grand slam to put New York ahead 5-0.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Game 162: Yankees 7, Rays 8 (12 Innings)

Is this heaven?

That. Was. Awesome. Forget your rooting interest for a minute (unless that happens to be the Red Sox or Braves, anyway) and consider what we saw tonight:

  • Craig Kimbrel blew a save to get the Phillies-Braves game into extra innings
  • Tampa Bay fell behind the Yankees by a score of 7-0.
  • Both the Rays and Orioles were down to their last strike, falling behind by a run.
  • The Braves lost to the Phillies after the Cardinals beat the Astros, after leading the wild card race by 9.5 games at one point, the worst such collapse in the wild card era. And now, that will probably go down as the shortest lived record ever.
  • Dan Johnson hit a home run for Tampa Bay to tie the game and save the Rays’ season. Entering the at bat, Johnson’s wRC+ was -7!!!
  • Jonathan Papelbon looked great to start the 9th inning, before giving up a two out double to Chris Davis. He rebounded by blowing a couple of fastballs past Nolan Reimold, before Reimold hit a double of his own to tie the game.
  • Scott Proctor pitched 2.2 scoreless innings. I swear he did!
  • Robert Andino flared a shot to left field, Carl Crawford charged, slid, and because it’s just been that kind of season, couldn’t hold on to the ball. Reimold crossed home plate, and the Orioles put the Red Sox on the bubble.
  • Moments later, Scott Proctor finally got around to being Scott Proctor, and gave up a walk off home run to Evan Longoria, winning the wild card for the Rays.
  • This was the absolute best night of non-playoff baseball I can ever remember. I seriously can’t remember anything like this. Heck, it might be even better than anything I’ve ever seen in the playoffs. Just insane!
  • And oh by the way…for the second straight year, the Boston Red Sox will not be participating in the MLB postseason. As a wise man once said, “you celebrate in April, we’ll dance in October.”

God I love baseball! Continue reading Is this heaven?

Yankees to face Detroit in ALDS

Depending on how engrossed you are in the amazing display of baseball currently going on up and down the Eastern time zone, you may not have noticed that Texas defeated Anaheim tonight. That win clinches the American League’s second best record for them, meaning that, no matter the outcome of these games, the Yankees will be facing the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS. Game 1 Friday night will feature the American League’s two best pitchers this year, with C.C. Sabathia squaring off against Justin Verlander. Because baseball just hasn’t been awesome enough this week.
Continue reading Yankees to face Detroit in ALDS

So this is it

The Yankees might be heading to the playoffs once again, guaranteeing us at least another five days of baseball, but tonight is the last day of the regular season, which is worth considering in its own way. The playoffs and the regular season are about as different as can be, of course, with the everyday, leisurely pace and “oh well, get ’em tomorrow” attitude of April to September replaced by the thrill and stress of a short series, when it can feel as though every inning, every at bat, even every pitch.

I’m as big a fan of playoff baseball as you’ll find anywhere, but the regular season is really what baseball is all about. It’s where the charm of following a team lies, and where we experience the ups and downs that 162 games brings with it. Remember when Jorge Posada took himself out of the lineup against the Red Sox, and the losing streak that seemed like it would never end? How long ago does that feel like? How about when David Robertson was the 6th inning guy, most often seen warming up in futility? When Joba Chamberlain wasn’t hurt?

It’s been a season of ups, downs, and memorable moments, and hopefully it will be capped off by claiming the franchise’s 28th World Series championship. But no matter what happens after tonight, it’s been a memorable, fun, unbelievable season. And it’s been a pleasure sharing the ride with all of you.

Go Yankees! Continue reading So this is it