Nightly Links: Recap, Campos, Thomson

The Yankees beat the Orioles tonight 6-4 in extra innings with a struggling Sabathia on the mound and a depleted bullpen backing him up.

Sabathia’s Second Chance
After a rough first start in Tampa, and a long game that depleted the bullpen last night, it was important that CC Sabathia have a long and strong start tonight. Despite a quick first inning, the big lefty looked rusty from the start, sitting 89-91 with his fastball. By the second inning, Sabathia started showing signs of weak fastball control. Combined with an unfortunate linedrive to hand by Robet Andino which could have easily been a double play, it took CC 40 pithes to get through the second inning where he gave up 2 runs. The big lefty continued to work through his pitching troubles the rest of the night, and was able to push through 6 inning thanks to a quick 4th and 6th inning. His final line on the night was 6.0 inning, 8 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, and 8 strikeouts.… Click here to read the rest

Game Six: Bring Out Your Brooms

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Behind their ace CC Sabathia, the Yankees are looking for the road sweep of the Baltimore Orioles tonight. A win would put the team at .500 entering their home opener, a somewhat successful result for a road trip, and a dramatic improvement over their 0-3 start. Facing the O’s last year, Sabathia had a 1.69 ERA and 9.00 K/9 over 16.0 innings. Pitching for Baltimore is right hander Jake Arrieta. The 26 year old faced the Yankees 3 times last year, and held the team to a 4.24 ERA through 17.0 innings despite an abysmal 6.0 BB/9.

LHP CC Sabathia v. RHP Jake Arrieta
Yankees Orioles
Derek Jeter SS Nolan Reimold LF
Curtis Granderson CF J.J. Hardy SS
Robinson Cano 2B Nick Markakis RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B Adam Jones CF
Mark Teixeira 1B Matt Wieters C
Nick Swisher RF Mark Reynolds 3B
Raul Ibanez DH Ronny Paulino DH
Russell Martin C Wilson Betemit 1B
Brett Gardner LF Robert Andino 2B

The game starts at 7:05 PM EST on YES.… Click here to read the rest

Starter’s Guide to Pitchers Making Their Major League Debut

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog; follow me on Twitter at@williamnyy23).

Last decade, the Yankees were the victim of a frustrating phenomenon. Whenever a pitcher would make his major league debut against them, the team’s offense would go into a shell. From 2000 to 2010, starters breaking into the big leagues against the Bronx Bombers posted an ERA of 2.32 in 66 innings, versus an ERA of 5.40 in nearly 1,900 innings against the rest of baseball. Since then, however, the Yankees have had more luck against first timers, winning the last two games, including last night’s extra inning victory over the Orioles.

Two games do not represent a reversal any more than 11 games represent a trend (for a more comprehensive look at the Yankees’ performance against pitchers faced for the first time, click here). Nonetheless, it’s still interesting to examine how pitchers have reacted to drawing the fabled Yankees for their opening assignment.… Click here to read the rest

Reconsidering Greinke

The Brewers announced late last night that they and their ace pitcher, Zack Greinke, had broken off talks of extending Greinke past the 2012 season. In the final year of a four-year contract he signed with the Kansas City Royals back in 2009, Greinke would likely be the best right handed pitcher on the market next off-season, and while Brewers general manager Doug Melvin believes talks may resume at some point in the future recent events have made a free agent bidding war ever more likely.

There was, of course, the Matt Cain contract extension during Spring Training which set the bar for top of the rotation starters to come. Cain signed on for another five years at a total value of $112.5 million. While Greinke has been far less consistent than Cain since re-entering the big leagues in 2007, he is arguably the more talented pitcher, and nothing Cain has ever done measures up with Greinke’s 2009 season. The Joey Votto and Ian Kinsler and Brandon Phillips extensions of the past couple of weeks have further driven inflationary currents in the Major League players market.… Click here to read the rest

The Ever Changing Ivan Nova And His New Fastball

Rob Carr/Getty Images North America

When Ivan Nova took the mound on Monday night it was hard to expect that a pitcher who struggled so mightily in Spring Training would be so successful. Right out of the gate, Nova looked like a different pitcher than he did a year ago. While we had seen a lot of his transformation by the end of last year, there were still some new tricks he had yet to show us. I decided to look at PITCHF/x to get a more in depth take on some unfamiliar pitches.

When it comes to Nova’s fastball, his four-seam sat at 92.4 mph last year, but on Monday night, the big righty came out with some of the highest velocity we’ve seen from a Yankee starter this year. Sitting 93.3 mph on his four-seam, Nova hit 96 mph in the first inning of the game. To have such a velocity spike in the first game of the year is very rare, but Nova has done so many unpredictable things, I am curious to see what he’s up to.… Click here to read the rest

Too early to worry about Teixeira

Teixeira has battled slow starts in April his entire career. He has hit twenty less homers in April than in any other month on the calendar. Historically, Mark Teixeira has a .767 OPS if you combine all his Aprils. His lowest other month is .899. Unfortunately, the first baseman has been through this before. His history was somewhat forgotten because last season, Teixeira had an OPS of .941 in April. It was his best month of the season (though he hit ten homers in May). Perhaps you can build a case of concern in that Teixeira had an OPS of .790 in the second half of last season and hasn’t started this season well. You could logically build a case that Teixeira’s OPS has declined for in each of his seasons in New York after beginning his Yankee career at .948 in 2009.

You could also tie it to the same dip in offense in all of the major leagues from 2009.… Click here to read the rest

Phelps impresses in extended outing

David Phelps pitched a stellar 2.1 innings in relief of the extra-erratic (five wild pitches?!) Freddy Garcia last night. He didn’t allow a baserunner and struck out four Oriole hitters, using mostly his fastball. It was definitely impressive and let me dream that he’ll be used in some more higher leverage spots. Before we get into the pitch f/x of Phelps’ outing, let’s think about his potential usage.

As the long-man, it seems that Phelps will be used sparingly, as most long men are. This makes sense as they’re usually reserved for blowouts or short outings. Given the team’s bullpen construction, though, with Cory Wade as the only “middle inning” righty, the Yankees may be forced to do some odd matchups. Perhaps, then, it would make more sense to use Phelps as an option before Wade, Boone Logan, or Clay Rapada. Phelps has been a starter for his entire minor league career, so he’s certainly familiar with facing lefties and righties, and through 2010 had shown no platoon split.… Click here to read the rest