Sounds about right

Curtis Granderson had an historic game for the Yankees last night. He became the first player to hit three home runs in a game at the new Yankee Stadium, the first Yankee to hit three home runs at home since Alex Rodriguez did it against the Angels back in 2005, and his 14 total bases were the most for any Yankee in a single game since Joe DiMaggio in 1950. So when I wander over to the New York Post sports section this morning, who graces their headline?

Bobby Valentine. Continue reading Sounds about right

It’s Time To Trade David Robertson

David Robertson is becoming a Yankee fan favorite. In the minds of the fans, he’s handsome, charitable, and always missing bats. In the minds of his opponents, he’s clever, got filthy stuff, and always missing bats. In my mind, he’s unsustainable. In 2011, David Robertson led the American League in ERA, K/9, was second in FIP, but also second in LOB%. For better or for worse, he appears to be the same pitcher in 2012 as he was last year. Robertson’s one weakness stems from his inability to keep men off base. His 89.8% left on base percentage and .289 Continue reading It’s Time To Trade David Robertson

One pitch makes all the difference

At one point last night, Phil Hughes actually had a pretty solid start going. After giving up four runs in the first inning, thanks in no small part to an Eduardo Nunez error, Hughes settled in and had more or less no trouble handling the Twins’ lineup from the second inning through the fifth. Even to open the sixth, a leadoff walk to Justin Morneau isn’t totally inexcusable, given the way Morneau has been hitting the ball in this series and, really, for the entire life span of the new Yankee Stadium. Ryan Doumit‘s subsequent at bat, however, is another story.

Here’s the strikezone plot for that at bat:

That light blue square with a “2” beside is a 1-0 changeup at the belt that Doumit pulled deep to right-center for a home run that cut the Yankees’ lead to 7-6. Believe it or not, there’s actually some positives to take away from that pitch. First of all, Hughes had the confidence in his changeup to throw it in a fastball count. Because of that, he actually had Doumit way out in front of the pitch, exactly what he was trying to do.

On the other hand, you just can’t make a location mistake like that. That’s a pitch that has to come across at the knees, at least, tailing down and away from the left handed hitting Doumit. By leaving the pitch up at the belt, Hughes left Doumit with the ability to adjust and use his upper body to pull the pitch in the air instead of swinging over top of it or hitting it meekly into the ground.

It feels like nitpicking to jump on Hughes for this, but at the same time, there’s a fairly meaningful difference between the 7-4 lead Hughes entered the inning with and the 7-6 lead he left the team with after three batters in the sixth inning. Especially when every start is being called an “audition” to remain in the starting rotation, and Hughes is already pitching from behind Ivan Nova in that competition. Continue reading One pitch makes all the difference

Fenway Park and the Yankees

Whether it be a scheduling accident or by some grand design, what other team should help the Boston Red Sox celebrate the 100th birthday of Fenway Park than the New York Yankees? And today’s three o’clock game and the festivities before should be fun to watch. There will be special uniforms and caps. There will be all sorts of things going on. But most of all, the century of Fenway baseball has the Yankees and Red Sox written all over it. What has always been fascinating is how different Fenway is from whatever version of Yankee Stadium we’ve had. Both teams have always been assembled in part to take advantage of their home parks which means a polar opposite for both teams.

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Continue reading Fenway Park and the Yankees

PITCHF/x Scouting Report: Clay Buchholz

This afternoon the Yankees will make the trip to Fenway to celebrate 100 years of the historical stadium. The Red Sox will send right handed pitcher Clay Buchholz to the mound. Aside from his health, Buchholz has always been somewhat “lucky”, showing mediocre advanced stats, but an impressive ERA. In 2009 he posted a 4.21 ERA behind a 4.69 FIP, .279 BABIP, and 76.7% LOB in 92.0 innings. In 2010 the numbers were particularly glaring, a 2.33 ERA in 173.2 innings with a 3.61 FIP, .261 BABIP, 79.0% LOB, and 5.6 HR/FB%. Last year was all too similar, a 3.48 Continue reading PITCHF/x Scouting Report: Clay Buchholz

Granderson blasts Yankees to 7-6 win over Twins

If you thought Curtis Granderson wasn’t going to be able to repeat his 2011 performance in 2012, he’s done his best to disabuse you of that notion in the first two weeks of the season. Tonight was another matter altogether, however, as Granderson went 5-5 on the night, and hit home runs in each of his first three plate appearances.

The night didn’t start off in quite such a promising fashion, however, as the Twins jumped all over Yankees’ starter Phil Hughes for four runs in the top of the first. Eduardo Nunez committed a throwing error that, had it resulted in an out instead, would have sat the Twins down with only one hit, but instead Hughes walked Justin Morneau with two outs before allowing a single to Ryan Doumit and a double to Danny Valencia to clear the bases. The Yankees’ offense would promptly get back three of those runs in the bottom of the inning, however, on Granderson’s home run followed by a two run homer from Mark Teixeira, the first of the season for the Yankees’ first baseman. The Yankees would keep the scoring binge going in the second, as Eduardo Nunez doubled to make up for that throwing error in the first and was subsequently brought around to score on a single from Derek Jeter. Granderson would add his second home run of the night immediately after, and the Yankees suddenly had a 6-4 lead.

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