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

Game 12 Recap: Yankees 5 Rays 3

Pineda vs TB

Not the best Big Mike we’ve ever seen, but good enough to win. Courtesy of the AP

The Yankees locked up their first series win of 2015 with the shutout-blowout (showout?) victory over the Rays on Saturday night.  They had a chance to lock up their first sweep of the young season and get themselves back up to .500 this afternoon.  Michael Pineda got the ball for the occasion, hoping to follow the path Masahiro Tanaka set last night with his dominant outing.

It didn’t get off the kind of start Pineda or Yankee fans were hoping for.  He walked the first batter of the 1st inning and gave up a 2-run home run to the next one, Steven Souza, to put the Yanks in a quick hole.  But he worked out of the inning without further damage, thanks in part to another gunned down base stealer by John Ryn Murphy, and settled down through the 4th.  He gave up some hits here and there, but mostly kept the Tampa lineup at bay.  …

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Game 11 Quick Recap: NYY 9 TB 0

Young GS vs TB

Hold that, Tampa Bay. Courtesy of the AP

Jake Odorizzi looked really good in his first 2 starts of the season.  Masahiro Tanaka not so much.  Based on recent history, you could guess how this game was going to go last night, but as the old saying goes, that’s why they play the game.

Tanaka was masterful last night.  Absolutely spectacular.  He gave up a base hit to Tampa leadoff hitter David DeJesus to start the bottom of the 1st, then proceeded to sit down the next 15 batters he faced.  He didn’t walk a batter, he struck out 6 in that stretch, and when he did give up his second and final hit of the night (a double to lead off the bottom of the 6th), he erased it with 2 more strikeouts.  He was working his fastball more, throwing it a bit harder than he did in his first 2 starts, and he looked much more like the Tanaka that we saw in the first half of last season.…

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Game 10 Quick Recap: NYY 5 TB 4

A-Rod HR vs TB

Luscious. Courtesy of the AP

All A-Rod, all the time.  He was the alpha and the omega for the Yankees in their series-opening win against the Rays last night.  We’re going just bullet points to recap it for the suckers like me who missed all the action.

– Final line for A-Rod: 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.  He had 60% of the Yankee hits and 80% of their RBI.

– The first homer came in the top of the 2nd off Tampa starter Nathan Karns.  Karns threw a meatball and A-Rod absolutely obliterated it into the left-center field seats.  It measured at 477 feet. Yowza.

– The second came in the 6th, when Ernesto Frieri tried to put A-Rod away with a 94 MPH heater.  He didn’t and A-Rod lined it into deep left, just inside the foul pole.

– He even came up with the game-winning hit, driving in Brett Gardner with a go-ahead RBI single in the 8th.  …

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Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 4/17/15

My old man is retiring today.  Well retiring from the regular Monday-Friday grind to move on to a more relaxed and enjoyable work schedule.  He’s worked for Pepsi ever since we moved from Delaware to Connecticut when I was 5, and today is his last official day at the office.

I work with a lot of older dudes at my company, guys who have been here for 25-30-35+ years and are well into their 60s, and they’re the most stereotypical company “lifers” you could imagine.  Bitter, beaten down, crotchety guys who only sound happy when they’re talking about “the old days” way back when.  A lot of those guys are friends of mine, so I don’t mean this as a criticism of them, but I think it’s pretty cool that my dad is getting out early, getting out ahead of that bitterness that seeps in when you’ve worked at one place for that long.  He put his time in, he’s going out when he wants, and he’s moving on to do the things he wants to do.  …

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Game 9 Recap: Orioles 7 Yankees 5

A-Rod HR vs BAL

Team MVP. Courtesy of the AP

Well that sucked.  The Yankees looked like they had a little mojo going after the wins on Sunday and Monday night, then they stumbled in game 2 of this series on Tuesday, and fell back on their faces last night with a bummer of a 7-5 loss to the O’s.  They had a lead going to the bullpen and the bullpen coughed it up.  The Yanks are now 3-6 on the season and have yet to win more than 1 game in a series.

Nathan Eovaldi was the brightest spot of the night for the Yanks in his second start of the young season.  After looking very much like the pitcher who struggled to finish off hitters and keep guys off base last year in his debut, Eovaldi was much sharper the second time around and showed some of that swing-and-miss potential in his offspeed stuff that had been sorely lacking.

He did give up 8 hits in 5 innings of work, and Baltimore got an early run off him in the 1st on 3 base hits and another in the 4th on a Manny Machado leadoff home run.  …

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Quick Hit: Joe’s Early Decisions

I don’t want this to come off like I’m criticizing the manager or trying to play Monday morning quarterback with his decisions, because that’s not my intention.  Just like it’s far too early to make too much of the players’ performance, 8 games is hardly a sizable enough sample to start nitpicking the managerial decisions and blaming the manager for losses.  There have been a few moves that I’ve found particularly puzzling in these first 8 games, however, and I feel like I need to at least get them out of my head and onto the blog for the sake of discussion.

It all really started with the 19-inning game on Friday.  Since then, it seems like it’s been a nonstop rotation of rest days for multiple guys at a time and a very strict use of the platoon rule.  I understand Friday night was a whale of a game to play in this early in the season and I fully respect Joe’s desire to make sure his age 30 and up veteran core gets enough time to recover.  …

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Quick Hit: How About Chris Martin?

Chris Martin vs BOS

Courtesy of Getty Images

It was barely a footnote in last night’s loss, but Chris Martin came out of the bullpen to relieve CC Sabathia and turned in a solid outing.  Clean inning of work, couple strikeouts, an efficient 11 pitches, it was the type of inning we’d usually expect from Dellin Betances but have yet to see in his setup role.  With those struggles being the main bullpen headline thus far, I think it’s worth giving a quick shout out to Martin for the excellent job he’s done in middle relief.

After last night’s appearance, Martin has now pitched 4.2 innings in 5 games.  He’s given up 2 earned runs on 2 hits, all accumulated in his shaky 4th appearance against Boston over the weekend, and struck out 6 while walking only 1.  Not too shabby for a 28-year-old late bloomer who just got his first taste of big league ball last year in pitcher-unfriendly Colorado.  He’s shown the ability to throw his fastball with velocity (mid-90s 4-seamer) and movement around the strike zone, and he’s used his good command to pound that strike zone and work from ahead in the count consistently.…

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Game 8 Quick Recap: Orioles 4 Yankees 3

Teix K vs BAL

Classic strikeout face. Courtesy of the AP

If you’ve been reading my stuff since AB4AR, then you know my theory on winning streaks.  They don’t really start until you reach 3.  2 of anything in a row is not a streak.  That’s just good small sample size luck.  The Yankees had a chance to start their first true winning streak of 2015 tonight in the second game of their first road series,

CC Sabathia was back on the mound for his second start, and his outing was another frustrating and familiar one.  He gave up the long ball (solo homer by Adam Jones in the 1st), he struggled to throw his fastball for much velocity or consistent command, and his lack of mobility came back to bite him on some bad defensive plays.  The Orioles put up 3 runs on 5 hits against him over the 4 first innings.

To his credit, CC did settle down and work through the next 3 innings unscathed.  …

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Early Analysis Of Pineda’s Changeup

The final line of 5 earned runs and 9 hits against in 6+ innings didn’t look great to the naked eye, but if you watched the game last night you probably thought Michael Pineda pitched much better than his line indicated.  He was locating his fastball and slider well, showing great command of each, getting a ton of swings and misses, and he even mixed in another solid batch of changeups.

After 2 starts, one thing that stands out with Pineda compared to last year is his use of the changeup early.  I ID’d it as one of the things to watch for in his first start and he didn’t disappoint, using it 12 times and getting some empty swings on it.  Last night he broke the pitch out 14 times against the Oriole lineup, and once again it was a very effective and useful pitch for him.  The sample sizes are still very small this early, but the statistical implications of the 26 changeups Pineda has thrown are very inspiring.…

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