Born in Dover, Delaware and raised in Danbury, Connecticut, Brad now resides in Wisconsin, where he regularly goes out of his way to remind Brewers fans that their team will never be as good as the Yankees. When he’s not writing for IIATMS, he likes to spend his time incorporating “Seinfeld” quotes into everyday conversation, critiquing WWE storylines, and drinking enough beer to be good at darts.

Author Archives: Brad Vietrogoski

Thursday Morning Food For Thought: CC’s Struggles With The Batting Order Are Mind Bottling

Sabathia vs TOR 2015

Courtesy of the AP

Besides the loss and the continued command struggles, the 2 stories to come out of CC Sabathia‘s latest start were the glaring lack of run support he’s received and the incredibly difficult time he had dealing with the bottom of the Toronto order.  The run support isn’t something CC has control over, so I’m not going to waste time and keystrokes discussing that.  How opposing hitters do against him is something he can control, to a degree, and last night was bizarro world in terms of effectiveness.

Against the top 4 spots in the lineup last night, 4 spots inhabited by 2 guys hitting at or around .300 and 2 of the most dangerous right-handed power hitters in the American League, Sabathia fared very well.  Those spots went a combined 1-12 against him with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts.  Against the bottom 5, however, it was a different story.  That group went a combined 8-15 with 2 XBH and 2 K, including a 3-3 showing by someone named Chris Colabello and the Russell Martin home run.…

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Game 28 Recap: Blue Jays 5 Yankees 1

The Yankees got themselves back on the path of victory on Tuesday night thanks in large part to a lights out pitching performance by Michael Pineda.  I’m no longer greedy enough to ask for something identical from CC Sabathia, but something like a “too dimly lit to read” pitching performance from him would have been nice.  It definitely would have gone a long way in helping to secure the Yankees’ 6th straight series victory.  Instead we got more of what’s become the new normal for CC and a disappointing L to send the team to Baltimore for the weekend.

Sabathia’s troubles started early.  A bunt single and a double by the first 2 Toronto batters put them in business in the bottom of the 2nd, and a misplaced slider to Ezequiel Carrera turned into a 2-run single and a lead that Toronto would never relinquish.  They tacked on another run in the 4th on a leadoff single by Russell Martin, a balk, and a Chris Colabello ribbie single on another poorly-located slider, and another in the 6th on a solo home run by Martin.  …

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Quick Hit: The Soft Roster Underbelly

Petit HBP vs TOR

I know, Gregorio. It pains us to watch you play too. Courtesy of Getty Images

I got Axisa’d on this yesterday, but with the way the last few games have gone down I did want to touch on the back end of the roster topic while it was still relatively fresh.

The Yankees have definitely over-achieved in these first 27 games.  I don’t think you’d find too many people who would say they honestly believed the Yankees would be 17-10 with a +32 run differential right now.  They’ve done it by finding a pretty good balance between above-average starting pitching, elite late-game relief pitching, solid team defense, and a return to the “power and patience” approach that served their offense so well for years with just enough speed mixed in.  Top to bottom, they’re a pretty good ballclub right now even without Tanaka.

What the last few games showed us, especially in the late innings, is that they are also still a ballclub that could use some upgrading at the back end of the roster.  …

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Game 27 Recap: Yankees 6 Blue Jays 3

A-Rod-Teix High Five vs TOR

Yeah, teammates!! Courtesy of the AP

As crummy as Monday night’s result was, the great thing about baseball is that you almost always get the chance to make up for a bad one the next day.  The Yankees did just that last night, putting the Blue Jays in a chokehold and letting up for just a second to trick them into thinking they had a chance before putting them to sleep.

It was really a story of 2 very different games last night, an outstanding 8-inning one in which the Yankees schooled Toronto in almost every facet of the game and a pretty crappy 1-inning one in which they had to scramble to get through it.  The 8-inning one was anchored by Michael Pineda, who turned in arguably his best Yankee start to date.  He pitched 8 shutout innings and only allowed 6 baserunners during that time.  He never had more than 1 runner on base in any inning, he recorded 10 ground ball outs, and he struck out 6 while only walking 1.  …

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Game 26 Recap: Blue Jays 3 Yankees 1

Betances vs TOR

It’s not your fault, Dellin. Courtesy of the AP

You can’t win ‘em all.  We all know that saying.  Knowing that and knowing that the Yanks are still in first place after last night’s loss should be enough to make this game not a big deal.  But when you’re losing because the 23-25th guys on your roster on playing in situations where they probably shouldn’t be playing, that’s frustrating.  That’s what happened last night and it was a waste of a gem start by Chase Whitley.

Whitley absolutely locked down the Toronto lineup over 7 innings.  They picked up base hits here and there, but never sustained anything through the first 5.  He had his command going, attacked the strike zone, and kept the Jays hitters guessing.  He struck out Jose Bautista twice in a row the first 2 times he faced him, which is never something you expect to happen with Whitley.

The only real trouble came in the 6th when Devon Travis singled and Josh Donaldson doubled to start off the inning and set up the heart of the order.  …

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Quick Hit: Some Slow And Steady Progress From Didi

The start to Didi Gregorius‘ Yankee career was not a good one.  Seemingly pressing at the plate and in the field, Gregorius came out of the gate 7-37 in his first 11 games with 0 extra-base hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts, and 2 GIDPs.  He made multiple errors in the field and a few other plays that were close to being errors, and most troubling was the negative mental effect the early struggles seemed to have on him.  Didi made multiple baserunning mistakes in the first few games, the types of mistakes typically associated with a player “not having his head in the game.”  As expected, the criticism and comparisons back to Jeter came calling from fans and writers alike.

Fast forward over the next 11 games and things have looked quite different for Didi.  He’s 9-35 over that span with 2 XBH, 5 BB, and 5 K.  While he hasn’t been smacking the crap out of the ball by any means, he’s looked much more comfortable and patient at the plate.  …

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Game 25 Recap: Yankees 8 Red Sox 5

Teix HR vs BOS

Chicks dig the mustaches. And the long ball. (Courtesy of the AP)

It’s been quite the last 2 weeks and change for the New York Yankees.  They’ve ascended to the top of the AL East, they had won 12 of their last 15 games heading into last night’s series finale in Boston, and they had a chance to finish off their first sweep in Boston since the famous 5-game beatdown in 2006.  They got out to a hot start last night and looked like they were going to cruise to a lopsided victory.  Boston did enough to make them sweat it out, however, and sweat it out they did en route to a much-harder-than-it-needed-to-be win.

As they seem to do regularly these days, the Yankees got the scoring started early.  Jacoby Ellsbury singled to start things off in the top of the 1st, and just as the SNB crew was finishing up describing Joe Kelly‘s fastball as if it were Bob Gibson‘s, Mark Teixeira launched a 2-out, 2-run home run the other way (!!) to put the Yanks up 2-0.  …

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Game 24 Quick Recap: NYY 4 BOS 2

Hey, another series win.  How about that?  The Yankees kept on keeping on yesterday afternoon in game 2 of this weekend series in Boston, using strong pitching and just enough offense to take another from the Red Sox and set up the chance for a sweep in primetime tonight.

Brett Gardner carried the offensive load for most of the game.  He doubled in the first run in the top of the 3rd to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead, and when Boston tied the game shortly after he put his team back ahead with a line drive, 2-out, 2-run single to left in the 5th to make it 3-1.

3 runs was enough for Nathan Eovaldi, who looked pretty good again as he continues to get molded into a complete pitcher.  He didn’t rack up a ton of strikeouts, but he used his fastball well to get strikes and mixed offspeed stuff well to generate a lot of weak contact.  …

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Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 5/1/15

We’ve got Yanks-Sox this Sunday, so it seems like another obvious live tweet opportunity.  But first I have to make it to Sunday night.  The double whammy of the Bucks getting mollywhopped and the Rangers blowing Game 1 against the Caps in the final seconds took a lot out of me last night, and the rest of the playoff schedule, the Derby, and the fight on Saturday night could be enough to do me in.  I’ve lost a lot of heat off my drinking/partying fastball in the last 12-18 months, like Sabathia levels of heat loss.  I’m still trying to find my way as a partier with diminished stuff, so if I’m not around on Sunday night, you know why.  If I am, it should be a fun time and another Yankee victory.  3-0 on the season.  Now onto the links!

– On Monday, Matt Appel of Pinstripe Alley ranked the 25-man roster after the first 3 weeks.  There are some egregious mis-rankings in the bottom 10-12, but the top 10 is solid.…

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