Let it be

Generally, we like to do a few things. We like to hear narratives and we like to categorize/classify things. In 2011, we live in an age where narratives can change in 140 characters or fewer and in no time at all. Because of that age of immediacy, we’re also apt to blow things out of proportion. Perhaps the fleeting nature of our collective attention span or the fleeting nature of new media, but we always feel the need to pump something up. Maybe we figure that it’ll be forgotten soon enough, so we might as well milk it for all Continue reading Let it be

Yankees have the Game 5 starter they wanted

I’ve never been much of a believer in Ivan Nova. The most bullish I’ve ever been on him was this past spring, when I was pretty confident he could be a pretty could back of the rotation starter, but that melted a little bit as the season went on, the strikeouts never came, and Nova seemed to embody the type of living-on-a-prayer pitcher that will drive you crazy. The low point was probably his start in Seattle, when he kept putting Mariners on base and seemed to let 1,001 runs score via groundball outs.

So needless to say, I wasn’t too broken up when he was sent down to Triple-A when Phil Hughes returned from the DL. Aside from the fact that he had options remaining, he just seemed like the obvious choice with the way Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia were pitching at the time. And thanks to a doubleheader against Baltimore at the end of the month, he didn’t have to stay down too long. And since his return, he’s been nothing short of a revelation, pitching 72.2 innings while allowing just 26 earned runs and striking out 47. What’s more, while the big knock on Nova coming into the season was that he struggled to go deep into the ballgame, in those 11 starts since returning to the big club, he’s finished at least 7 innings in seven of them.

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2011 ALDS Game 5 Preview | Ivan Nova vs. Doug Fister, the sequel

Matt already previewed Ivan Nova and Doug Fister, tonight’s do-or-die ALDS Game 5 starters, in his preview piece last weekend, so rather than rehash all that, let’s recap what these two pitchers did last Saturday night: Ivan Nova 6.1IP, 2ER (though they were inherited runners Luis Ayala was unable to strand), 4H, 4BB, 5K, 101 pitches, 3.34 FIP. First-pitch strikes to 15 of 25 batters faced. 15 called strikes, 12 swinging strikes, 20 foul balls, 15 in-play strikes. 6 ground balls, 7 fly balls. Below is a chart of Nova’s pitch selection on October 1 compared to on the entire Continue reading 2011 ALDS Game 5 Preview | Ivan Nova vs. Doug Fister, the sequel

Sabathia available for Game 5

Just a quick note from George King, who reports that C.C. Sabathia will be available to pitch out of the bullpen if need be tomorrow night. That’s to be expected in a series deciding game, but as I said this morning, I don’t really expect to see Sabathia, even if there’s trouble. After all, you’ve already got David Robertson and Mariano Rivera in that bullpen, and both are well rested. All things considered, I’d call on the guys who are used to pitching in relief before the starting pitcher, at least when the relievers in question happen to be two of the best in baseball. Besides, if C.C. doesn’t pitch, he’ll be lined up to pitch Game 1 of the ALCS on normal rest, which is nice. Not that you can worry about that too much before you actually win the ALDS, of course, but again, the Yankees relief corp isn’t exactly chopped liver. Continue reading Sabathia available for Game 5

How the Yankees have fared in playoff series that have gone the distance since 1995

The Yankees’ lopsided 10-1 victory in Detroit on Tuesday night ensured that the Bombers would have the opportunity to return home to the Bronx to finish the Tigers off in a winner-takes-all Game 5 of the 2011 American League Division Series. The victory was the Yankees’ second-ever road win in an ALDS Game 4 to force a Game 5 at home — the first was against Oakland in 2001. The last time the Yankees played an ALDS that went the distance was in 2005, when they lost to the Angels in Los Angeles. The Yankees have played five previous ALDS Continue reading How the Yankees have fared in playoff series that have gone the distance since 1995

Crazy thought of the day: Bat Jorge 3rd

While a lot of our focus over the past few days has been focused on players who aren’t performing well in the ALDS, one guy who is performing well is Jorge Posada. Facing a steady diet of right-handed pitchers and refusing to give away at bats, Jorge has made himself the toughest out in the Yankees’ lineup this past week, currently rocking a .400/.600/.600 line for the series. He’s even got a triple. A triple! If that’s not proof that the baseball gods are smiling upon Jorgie right now, I don’t know what is.

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Game of Inches

6 inches. The pitcher who couldn’t throw a strike threw a fastball down the middle, and the ball took off into the cold Detroit night sky. The merry-go-round of baserunners started to move, while the reliever warming in the bullpen continued to throw. The ex-Tigers’ star patrolling center field froze for an instant, as many centerfielders do on low liners hit right at them. In that instant of hesitation, a race between fielder and ball began, a race for the game, the season, and the baseball fate of the man on the mound. A race that was decided by no Continue reading Game of Inches

Arizona Fall League Update

While the Yankees extended their season with a trip to the playoffs, some of the Yankees’ prospects are putting in some time in the Arizona Fall League now.  Pitchers Dan Burawa, Preston Claiborne, David Phelps and Chase Whitley join Corban Joseph, Ronnier Mustelier and Rob Segedin on the Phoenix Desert Dogs. Phoenix beat the Mesa  Solar Sox 12-8 in their first game yesterday. The Yankees did their part in getting the victory, as Joseph had a three-run homer, going 1-4 with two runs scored.  Mustelier was 2-5 with a triple and a RBI and Segedin was 1-4 with two runs scored. Continue reading Arizona Fall League Update

One more on A-Rod

There was a funny moment in last night’s game when, after Alex Rodriguez collected his first hit of the ALDS, Tigers’ first baseman Miguel Cabrera gestured to the Yankees’ dugout to ask them if they wanted to keep the monumental ball. It was just some good-natured ribbing from Miggy, but it was only funny because it had a grain of truth to it.

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