The collapse is nigh

A.J. Burnett took the mound in a big game (sort of) against the Red Sox…and he was fantastic. Well, fantastic enough. A.J. did allow two home runs to Jacoby Ellsbury, the only member of the Red Sox who seems interested in playing next month, but other than that Burnett didn’t allow anything. On the whole Burnett’s line reads like something respectable; 7.2 IP, 2 runs and 5 hits allowed with 6 strikeouts and 2 walks. David Robertson got the final four outs of the game, striking out 3, naturally, and the Yankees decisively took the first half of the twin-billing from Boston.

Now, with Tampa Bay winning today, the Yankees can officially close out Boston’s spectacular September collapse, as a win will drop Boston into a tie with Tampa Bay in the wild card standings. Ivan Nova will be facing John Lackey, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, and Jesus Montero are all in the starting lineup, and Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera are available out of the bullpen.

Popcorn anyone? Continue reading The collapse is nigh

Game 158-AJ’s last stand

With just 4 more games to play after Game 1 of today’s doubleheader, Yankee fans can take solace in this being Allan James Burnett’s last start of the season, and hopefully the last start he will make in pinstripes. He can’t pitch again in the regular season this year, pitching in Wednesday’s final game in Tampa would mean he’d be going on 2 days rest. CC’s done for the year as well, so that final Tampa game of the season on Wednesday (Undecided vs Price) will probably feature a tag team of call ups going 3 innings a piece. You Continue reading Game 158-AJ’s last stand

Game 158-AJ's last stand

With just 4 more games to play after Game 1 of today’s doubleheader, Yankee fans can take solace in this being Allan James Burnett’s last start of the season, and hopefully the last start he will make in pinstripes. He can’t pitch again in the regular season this year, pitching in Wednesday’s final game in Tampa would mean he’d be going on 2 days rest. CC’s done for the year as well, so that final Tampa game of the season on Wednesday (Undecided vs Price) will probably feature a tag team of call ups going 3 innings a piece. You Continue reading Game 158-AJ's last stand

When worlds collide: SABR meets Hollywood

Last night, my fiancée and I went and saw Moneyball.  As we entered the theater, the first thing I noticed was that place was completely packed — even the neck-breaker section waaaaay down in the front (fortunately we were able to grab some decent seats!).  This was surprising to me as I figured the movie would appeal to certain niche audiences — that is to say, primarily sport fans, with a smaller subset of saber-enthusiasts.  Instead I saw representation from just about nearly every age and gender, all  sitting eagerly for the movie to commence.  Personally, I was really excited Continue reading When worlds collide: SABR meets Hollywood

Just say no to AJ for ALDS roster

Let me make something clear from the outset. I’m not suggesting this as punishment for putting up two of the worst seasons in franchise history, though that clearly has impacted why he won’t get the nod for a Game 3 start in the 2011 ALDS. But with that being the case, it begs a question. Why have him on the roster at all? Let’s recap his 2011 season. AJ Burnett sports the 4th worst ERA in all of baseball among starters who’ve thrown at least 150 innings, and if you change that number to 180 innings he’s dead last. After Continue reading Just say no to AJ for ALDS roster

Game 157: Red Sox 1, Yankees 9

If the Red Sox and Yankees have had one thing in common lately, it is the many questions surrounding their starting rotations.  On Saturday, Boston threw out one of the few bright spots in their rotation, as Jon Lester took the mound against a recently struggling Freddy Garcia.  By the second inning, however, the Yankees bats were putting the hurt on Lester and the Red Sox as they knocked their way to a 9-1 victory, giving the Rays a chance to get closer to the AL Wild Card.

Garcia gave up a leadoff single to Jacoby Ellsbury, who promptly stole second, but sat down the next three batters in order.  He had a 1-2-3 second inning, and the Bombers offense got to work in the bottom.  Robinson Cano grounded a one out single to left and Nick Swisher workd a walk.  A single by Andruw Jones loaded the bases for Jesus Montero, who had a bit of deja vu as his first major league at bat came against Lester with the bases juiced.  This time, however, instead of striking out he hit a sharp single to left, plating the first run of the game.  A single from Russell “I hate the Red Sox” Martin brought two more runs home and Derek Jeter capped off the big inning with a three run homer to right, giving New York a healthy 6-0 lead.

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Postseason Roster Conundrums: Who’s in the Rangers rotation?

C. J. Wilson will make the backend of several Cy Young ballots, so he’s a lock to start Game 1 of the ALDS, no matter who the opponent.  Derek Holland, although he has substantially less experience than most of his Rangers teammates, is probably the other sure addition, as he’s gone 11-4 with a 3.38 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in his last 20 starts.  He’s lost only once since the All-Star Break.

The problem is, both Holland and Wilson are southpaws and the Rangers are likely to face the Yankees or the Rays, both teams which prefer left-handed pitching (they favor lefties more than any other contenders).  Of Holland’s five losses, two have come against the Yankees in New York.  When it comes to pitching on the road, Holland is 0-2 with a 7.82 ERA against the Yanks, 8-1 with a 2.82 ERA against everybody else.

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Girardi says Martin can start every playoff game

I’ve seen a few people touting this quote from Girardi as indicating that the Yankees may not carry a true backup catcher on the postseason roster after all, but I’m not sure Girardi really meant to say that. All he said explicitly was that Russell Martin could “start every game” in the playoffs, which is obviously true. In the ALDS you’ll never play more than two days in a row, and if you make it to the ALCS/World Series the most days you’ll play without an off day is three. So of course your starting catcher should be able to start every game. I think it’s fair to wonder if Girardi implied they won’t be carrying Romine on the roster, but I don’t think he indicated an intention to do so.

Still, I don’t really see how Romine works his way onto a roster that’s already going to have two catchers-by-trade. Jorge Posada has already been confirmed for the roster, and I think it’s safe to say Montero has forced his way into October (and the lineup we saw today against Jon Lester probably figures to be the same one Girardi runs out against shouthpaws in the postseason). So who does Romine replace in the postseason? Chris Dickerson/Greg Golson? I guess Romine would have a much more obvious purpose than those two, but then they’d only have one backup outfielder, limiting their ability to sub in Gardner and Jones off the bench. Eric Chavez? Again, I think Romine might be more useful, but then Eduardo Nunez would be the only backup infielder on the team, and it would make it logistically difficult to deploy Nunez as a pinch runner.

So long story short, I think this is a decision that simply makes itself. With Posada and Montero both punching their tickets to October, there’s just no room to carry a fourth catcher just for his defense off the bench. Continue reading Girardi says Martin can start every playoff game

Game 157-Yanks vs Red Sox

I don’t know about you, but after last night’s Rays loss I’ve all but given up on them. The Sox keep losing, but the Rays just can’t generate enough offense to give that stellar rotation of theirs a chance to win. I was rooting for the Sox to have as much difficulty as possible to make it to October, but it appears I won’t get my wish. A play-in game would have been especially sweet, especially since the Rays seem to have had the Red Sox number in recent years. Yanks face off against the reeling Red Sox who are Continue reading Game 157-Yanks vs Red Sox