The Yankees have certainly heard of Gonzalez, however, and the Orioles’ righty is no stranger to big moments at Yankee Stadium. He made two starts there this season, and both times he set a career high for strikeouts in a game. The first was an eight strikeout performance back on July 30th, a game in which Gonzalez allowed three home runs but still came out as the winning pitcher in a 5-4 decision. The second was on August 31st,a marvelous performance in which Gonzalez shut out the Yankees for seven innings while striking out nine Bombers and walking just one.
To make matters worse, Gonzalez absolutely dominated the middle of the order batters the Yankees will be counting on to bring the thunder tonight. Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson, and Mark Teixeira are a combined 0-21 against him with 12 strikeouts and zero walks. Swisher has been particularly bad, going 0-6 and striking out five times. Alex Rodriguez has yet to face him this season, but also has yet to pick up a hit against a right-handed pitcher in this series.… Click here to read the rest
(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)
I ended my last A-Rod post with the following statement:
“Maybe the best move to start is to see how the opposing team approaches A-Rod and hope that he finds his power swing. If he doesn’t, though, it might be time to go back to the drawing board and bump him down.”
4 days and 2 ALDS games have passed since then, and in case you hadn’t noticed, Alex Rodriguez is still swinging a limp, lifeless bat. It’s not quite “dogs and cats living together” levels of hysteria in Yankeeland over this situation, but the overwhelming majority of people out there think it’s time for A-Rod to be removed from the 3rd spot in the batting order, and I’m becoming more and more inclined to agree with them. As Mike Eder pointed out earlier today, playoff performance and statistics always need to be looked at in the proper context, that context being one of constant small sample size and lack of reasonable conclusions that can be drawn for them.… Click here to read the rest
Last week, I talked a bit about David Robertson reverting back to his curveball in September. It wasn’t a huge jump, but at a 22% selection on his breaking pitch, it was a big improvement over his 84% cutter rate in August.
What I left out of my last article was how effective his curveball looked in September. It’s a huge reason he became a top reliever over the past few years, and he threw it with a 21% whiff rate in that final month of the season. Couple that with an absolute inability for hitters to make contact with the it, a 5.8% in play rate, and you get an extremely dominant pitch. But I don’t remember it ever looking like it did on Monday night against the Orioles.
That’s one of the best curveballs I’ve ever seen. Not only is the vertical sink at nearly 12 inches (the league average is 5.3), but the pitch remains at a strong 80 mph with good movement away from Reynolds.… Click here to read the rest
AL MVP: Mike Trout (7/8)
On the heels of EJ’s scathing take-down of the Miguel Cabrera contingent, it should come as no surprise that Mike Trout would hoist our imaginary hardware. For those of you that may have (luckily) missed the month long tit for tat on this subject, Trout led the American League in the following categories: runs, stolen bases, wOBA, WPA, VORP, TAv, OPS+, wRC+, oWAR, bWAR, fWAR, and WARP. While none of us really know what many of those supposed acronyms even mean, this is obviously fairly impressive, if not outright Ruthian (or Bondsian, sans the asterisk). And this is a bit misleading, as Trout actually led the entirety of Major League Baseball in all of these categories.
Sadly, he was unable to pitch well enough for the Angels to make the postseason, nor was he even capable of ‘pitcher whispering’ to cure Ervin Santana’s gopheritis or Dan Haren’s balky back … meaning he is rather unlikely to take home the actual hardware.… Click here to read the rest