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

On Using These Off-Days To Plan For The Near Future And Improve The Roster

The Yankees had their first scheduled off-day since April 30th yesterday, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.  At the end of a stretch that saw them play 30 games in 31 days, they were playing baseball like a tired team that needed a rest.  The bats had gone cold, the bullpen had been worked hard, and there wasn’t much energy to their losses during their 1-5 week last week.  Despite that long stretch and rough finish, they still wake up today in first place in the division, with a respectably positive run differential (+15), and with another scheduled off-day on the horizon before they head home for the weekend.

The Yankees are still in a good spot, and they’re going to hopefully get some more pitching help back in the weeks to come.  I’m confident that 2 days off this week will help bring some life back to those old legs and cold bats.  But to make the most out of this now friendly off-day schedule, I think the Yankees need to do more than rest.  …

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Monday Evening News And Notes: 5/18/15

You know the drill.  Here’s the latest:

Masahiro Tanaka threw his latest bullpen session this morning at Nationals Park.  29 pitches, no reported issues, and it sounds like he’s ready to start his official MiL rehab.  The team has yet to announce any formal plans, but both Double-A Trenton and Triple-A SWB are at home later in the week.  Assuming Tanaka feels fine tomorrow, I bet he’ll be lined up to pitch for one of those teams on Thursday or Friday.

– Sounds like everything is OK with Mark Teixeira‘s toe.  X-rays were negative and both he and Joe sounded optimistic that he would be able to play on Tuesday.  Here’s hoping.  The offense really can’t afford to have him start breaking down right now.

Chase Whitley had his follow-up right elbow exam today with the team doctor and the decision was made to have him undergo TJS to repair the tear in his UCL.  The surgery is scheduled for tomorrow and will be performed by Dr.…

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Monday Morning Food For Thought: Offense Living And Dying With The Top Of The Order

Last Tuesday I wrote this post about the Yankees using the simple “get ‘em on, get ‘em in” formula with the top 4 spots in their batting order to fuel their recent hot streak.  They were coming off an 11-5 thumping of the Rays the night before in a game that saw the team hit 5 home runs and the top 4 spots in the order combine for 9 hits, 8 R scored, and 7 RBI.

Since that game, the Yankees have fallen on hard offensive times.  They’ve scored 11 runs in their last 6 games and gone 1-5 in those games.  5 of those 11 runs came in their only win during that stretch on Saturday afternoon, leaving the other 6 to be lightly dusted across the 5 losses.  This level of semi-extended offensive ineptitude is a call back to the last few seasons, something nobody wants to revisit.  While there are plenty of logical explanations for this regression: small sample size bias, bad luck, tired team desperately in need of an off-day, my biggest takeaway from these 6 games and the handful before them is just how top-heavy the Yankee lineup has become and just how little chance they have of winning when those top 4 spots aren’t producing.…

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Game 39 Recap: Royals 6 Yankees 0

Capuano vs KC

Welcome back, or something. Courtesy of the AP

Today was getaway day, the first one the Yankees have had in quite some time.  They played like it, which is not a good thing when you consider how crappy they’ve been for the better part of this week.  Chris Capuano returned to the rotation today, and his return was not a good one.  It didn’t help that the offense no-showed for at least the 3rd or 4th time since Big Mike’s 16-K game and once again the Yanks went down quietly heading into a much-needed rest day.

Capuano threw 76 pitches in his last rehab outing and he said he felt good enough to throw 100 coming into today, but talk is cheap when you’re talking about facing a contact-heavy team like the Royals and it didn’t take them long to figure him out.  He needed 18 pitches to get through the 1st inning, surrendered a solo home run to Salvador Perez in the 2nd, and then seemed to settle down in a 1-2-3 3rd.  …

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Game 38: Bust This Slump

It’s been a mostly ugly week for the Yankees.  They’ve lost close games and they’ve lost blowouts on their way to 4 straight losses, and it sure would be nice to see the offense wake up tonight and carry the team to a victory to break out of this little slump.  It might take that with CC Sabathia on the mound because you just never know with him these days.  Here’s the Brett Gardner-less lineup that will be behind him tonight:

1) Jacoby Ellsbury- CF
2) Chris Young- LF
3) Alex Rodriguez- DH
4) Mark Teixeira- 1B
5) Carlos Beltran- RF
6) Chase Headley- 3B
7) Jose Pirela- 2B
8) Stephen Drew- SS
9) John Ryan Murphy- C

This is your game thread if you’re not oot and aboot this evening.  As always, go Yankees!

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Game 37 Quick Recap: KC 12 NYY 1

If he had the goods to strike out 16 Orioles his last time out, Michael Pineda should have been good for at least 9 or 10 Royals last night in the series opener.  At least he should have been good for that if he had the same filthy slider he was sporting last Sunday, but that slider was strangely absent from his arsenal and Pineda ended up following his best start of the season with his worst.  Because the Yankees have decided to take this week off from hitting, it added up to a very 1-sided loss.

Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain got the scoring started for KC in the bottom of the 1st with a pair of back-to-back doubles.  They teamed up again for the second Royals run in the 3rd when Moustakas tripled and Cain hit a sac fly to bring him home.  Pineda was able to keep KC at 2 through 5 innings, but he really had to battle to do it.  …

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Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 5/15/15

It’s a good thing the Rangers pulled it out the other night in Game 7.  Not because I no longer have to live with the personal disappointment and shame of knowing I missed my last opportunity to watch them this season, but because now I get the chance to wash my Rangers shirt before the next series.  I went no wash for the first 2 rounds and that made for some moderate funkiness during the last few games of the Caps series.  Fresh wash tonight, clean start for the ECF tomorrow.  Now onto the links!

– On Monday, Andrew Mearns of Pinstripe Alley mused on the need for Jorge Posada to get over himself.  I would have loved to see the version of this that came out today after the rest of Jorge’s nonsense this week.

– On Wednesday, Katie Sharp of RAB dug into Carlos Beltran’s offensive turnaround this month to see how legitimate it’s been.

– El duque of It Is High… declared the Rob Refsnyder countdown clock officially started, and who am I to argue with him?…

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Game 36 Quick Recap: TB 6 NYY 1

The less said about this game the better.  Chase Whitley didn’t look good and didn’t last long, leaving in the 2nd inning with what now sounds like a serious elbow injury.  Esmil Rogers replaced him and promptly gave up a 3-run homer to make it 4-0 Tampa and all but turn out the lights.

The lineup did next to nothing against a guy named Erasmo Ramirez.  When I say I’ve never heard of this dude, I’m not kidding.  He pitched 5 shutout innings and then handed it over to another dude I’ve never heard of for another 4.  They combined for 5 hits allowed and 8 strikeouts, the lone bad mark a super garbage time solo shot by A-Rod in the top of the 9th.  You can’t put enough lipstick on that pig.

It was a bad game and a really bad end to the series.  No doubt about that.  The offense went away, the decision making could have been better, and the relief pitching could have too.  …

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Game 35 Recap: Rays 3 Yankees 2

Teix Out vs TB

Out. Courtesy of the AP

When you get 7 innings and 3 ER from your 5th starter, you should win the game.  When you get that starting pitching performance and have your offense going up against the guy who came into last night leading the AL in Hard Contact %, you should definitely win the game.  The Yankees didn’t win the game last night, falling for the second straight time for the first time in a long time.

The start of the game was eerily similar to the other night.  Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner get on to set the table, heart of the order singles them in.  Just like that, 2-0 Yanks.  And just like the other night, they never scored again.  They had plenty of opportunities.  They left a runner at third with 1 out in the 2nd, ended up stranding 2 in the 5th on a bad decision to send Mark Teixeira home on a single, and had at least 1 man on base in 7 of the 9 innings.  …

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