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

Reasons To Be Optimistic Heading Into Cleveland

I don’t know what my deal was yesterday, but I was in a funk all day.  Syanpses weren’t firing upstairs, body felt tired.  Apparently I needed an off-day just as much as some of you more pessimistic readers did and just as much as the Yankees did after their stinkbomb of a weekend against the Blue Jays.  This morning I feel better, and that’s despite waking up at 2 AM and not really falling back asleep.  I’m taking that as a good sign and running with it, just as the Yankees hopefully take their off-day as a chance to hit the rest button and move on from last weekend.  With that now firmly in the rearview, here are some reasons to feel good about the Yankees as they head out to Cleveland to start 16 games in 16 days.

They Can’t Hit Much Worse Than They Have

Everybody knows the numbers by now and how far back some of them went in terms of describing the team’s historical offensive ineptitude over the past 4-5 games.  …

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Monday Afternoon News And Notes: 8/10/15

Rough weekend of games and an off-day today.  Let’s catch up on some other stories.

– If you hadn’t already heard, Greg Bird was named International League Batter of the Week earlier today.  He hit .348 with 5 XBH and 10 RBI last week, and his Triple-A slash line is up to .295/.353/.516.  Would be fun to see him get a September call up.

Via Andy Martino, the Yankees are one of a few teams following Chase Utley as he plays in MiL rehab games.  Martino named the Cubs, Dodgers, and Yankees are the teams “most likely to pursue” Utley if Philly decides to shop him.  Utley has been terrible this year and is clearly in a steep decline.  Not sure he’s the answer at second, even if he comes at a minimal cost.

– Missed this when it was first announced last week, but Mason Williams had his rehab work shut down and had season-ending shoulder surgery on Friday.  …

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Game 110 Quick Recap: TOR 2 NYY 0

The Yankees are slumping right now.  The Blue Jays are scorching hot.  Life is tough, but I’m not willing to throw in the towel like so many seem to be doing.  Sooner or later, this team was going to hit a rough patch again.  Call it coincidental that it happened while their closest competitors in the division race were hitting their hottest hot streak at the same time. Sometimes that’s baseball.

Masahiro Tanaka didn’t pitch a bad game today.  What he did do was throw his typical handful of horribly misplaced pitches, and as they’ve done all season, opposing hitters hit them for home runs.  He hung one to Josh Donaldson in the top of the 1st for the first Toronto run, and he hung another to Jose Bautista in the 4th for the second.  If you hang pitches in hitter-friendly counts and do it against really good power hitters, you’re going to pay.  Other than those 2 at-bats, Tanaka was fine.  …

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Game 109 Quick Recap: TOR 6 NYY 0

I spent the bulk of my late morning and early afternoon sitting in a car dealership following the game on Gamecast and Twitter, so that tells you how many Saturday went.  I really don’t have the energy to write a coherent recap.  Let’s just hit the typical Yankee loss talking points, shall we?

The Lack of Offense- The Yankee have pounded David Price in the recent past, so this game should have been one to right the offensive ship.  Instead they didn’t score anything.  They barely threatened.  3 hits, none for extra bases, and they didn’t capitalize on the 2 times they had 2 runners on base.  The slump is real.  4 runs scored in 4 games.

The One Bad Inning- Ivan Nova was a beast through 5.  He struck out 6, only gave up 2 hits, and his stuff was really popping.  Then he tired in the 6th, loaded the bases on a walk and 2 singles, and served up a hanging curveball to Justin Smoak for the game-ending grand slam.…

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Game 108 Quick Recap: TOR 2 NYY 1 (10 Inn.)

Well so much for figuring out how to hit a knuckleball.  The Yankees were stymied again by R.A. Dickey, scoring 1 meager run against him in 7 innings and then never scoring another one in a frustrating extra-innings loss.

They had plenty of chances to get a big hit too and didn’t do it.  Had 2 on with 2 outs in the 2nd and got nothing.  Had 2 on with 2 outs in the 3rd and got nothing.  Carlos Beltran walked to lead off the 4th and was immediately erased by a GIDP.  A 1-out single in the 7th led to nothing, the runner didn’t even advance.  And then just for good measure, they grounded into 2 more inning-ending double plays after leadoff baserunners in the 8th and 9th.  The only run of the night came on a Mark Teixeira home run to left, his 30th of the season.

Nathan Eovaldi more than did his job in holding the powerful Jays offense down.  …

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Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 8/7/15


With no trade deadline to muck up the plans, we’re back to the regularly scheduled weekly linkaround this week.  Also I’m really excited for this weekend’s series.  It’s going to be so sweet when the Yanks take 2 of 3.  Now onto the links.

– On Tuesday, Mike Axisa of RAB broke down the changes made by Nathan Eovaldi and Brendan Ryan to help their respective games.

– On Wednesday, Wallace Matthews of ESPN NY talked to Garrett Jones about his quick return to the Yankees after the Dustin Ackley injury.

– Nicolas Stellini of BP Bronx updated his top 15 Yankee prospects list.

– On Thursday, el duque of It Is High… touched on the importance for the Yankees to learn something from Wednesday night that can help them against R.A. Dickey this weekend.  They looked ugly against the knuckler the other night.

– Scott Davis of Pinstripe Alley analyzed the changes Carlos Beltran made to his approach that helped turn his season around offensively.…

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Game 107 Recap: Yankees 2 Red Sox 1

Sabathia vs BOS

#TBT. Courtesy of Getty Images

I think I said in the recap of his last good start that we had gotten to the point where you just have to appreciate the good starts from CC Sabathia when he has them because there aren’t a lot of them anymore.  Last night was one of those good starts.  It was vintage Sabathia in the series finale against the Red Sox as he pitched to the little run support that he got and led his club to another series victory.

Whatever CC did between starts, it helped bring something out of him because he was dealing last night.  He came out firing fastballs in the low-mid 90s and he really had good command of his stuff, arguably better than we’ve seen at any point this season.  He struck out 4 and allowed only 2 baserunners, both of them coming in the 2nd inning, in 4 scoreless and seemed to be pitching with the kind of swagger we used to see from his years ago.…

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Quick Hit: Ellsbury Slumping Again

There were plenty of guys up and down the lineup who had trouble with Steven Wright‘s knuckleball last night.  And give credit where credit is due, he threw a lot of good ones.  But nobody had a worse night at the plate than Jacoby Ellsbury.  He took a silver sombrero with 3 strikeouts in his first 3 plate appearances against Wright and had the bad luck GIDP in his last.  He swung and missed at a lot of pitches and didn’t seem like he was picking up the ball at all.

Those struggles were the continuation of a stretch of pretty poor hitting from Ellsbury.  As I mentioned in the recap, he’s 6-38 with 13 strikeouts in his last 10 games and he really hasn’t produced much since coming off the DL 4 weeks ago.  Ellsbury hit just .215/.247/.354 in July and is at .133/.222/.333 in limited August PA.  His post-DL slump has been overshadowed by the incredibly strong performance from the rest of the lineup, but on nights like last night it really sticks out.  …

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Game 106 Recap: Red Sox 2 Yankees 1

Severino vs BOS

Luis Severino makes a plea to the baseball gods for just 1 run of support after completing the 5th inning last night. Courtesy of Getty Images

The hype machine was turned up to 11 for Luis Severino‘s Major League debut last night, and with good reason.  Severino has done everything to earn the quick promotion up the ladder, dominating at every level he’s pitched, and he was getting inserted into the middle of a playoff race to bolster the team’s biggest area of weakness.  The buzz was justified and Severino lived up to it last night, but the bats couldn’t get anything going against a pesky knuckleballer and the Yanks dropped the middle game of the set.

Severino came out firing in the first couple innings.  He featured a mid-high 90s 4-seamer, a low 90s cutter, and a low 90s slider, and just from the pop of the glove you could tell that everything had some extra oomph on it.  …

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