About Brad Vietrogoski

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.

Quick Hit: McCann’s Toe Injury

If you watched last night’s game, you were probably a little uneasy seeing Brian McCann limp around the bases for his game-tying home run and move gingerly in general after taking a foul ball off his left foot in the middle of the game.  It was serious enough for him to get checked out by trainers on the field at one point, but not serious enough for him to come out of the game until the 9th inning.

The early concern was that his left big toe could be broken and there were plans to have McCann X-rayed after he came out.  Instead he had some blood drained from the toe and a fluoroscope taken at Rogers Centre.  That doesn’t sound like an actual medical procedure to me, but I’m not a doctor and it showed no break, so for now the team is calling it a bruised left toe and waiting to see how McCann feels today.

Joe announced after last night’s game ended that McCann would get tonight off, so bare minimum this is something serious enough to keep him out of action for 1 game and get him tagged with the old “day-to-day” label.  Beyond that we don’t know right now, although I imagine we will find out more as today progresses.  It goes without saying that losing McCann for any extended period of time would be a big blow.  He’s been the hottest hitter in the lineup since Opening Day.  Hopefully this is something that keeps him out for a day or 2 and doesn’t linger as the season goes on. Continue reading Quick Hit: McCann’s Toe Injury

Game 6 Recap: Yankees 3 Blue Jays 2

[caption id="attachment_80969" align="aligncenter" width="525"]Yankees Win vs TOR News being spread. Courtesy of the AP[/caption]

The Yankees were a well-rested bunch heading north of the border for the first time this year for a meeting with the divisional rival Blue Jays.  The rainout on Sunday in Detroit made sure of that.  That extra day of rest meant Joe had the option of leaning on his lights out bullpen more if he needed to last night, and Joe didn’t hesitate to do that when the opportunity presented itself.  The bullpen did what they’ve been doing: prevented runs, provided distance, protected leads, and struck guys out, and the Yankees took the first game of the series.

Joe was probably hoping he wouldn’t have to ask a lot of his ‘pen in ace Masahiro Tanaka‘s second start of the year.  Tanaka was pretty good in his first start, but a lack of pinpoint command on the corners and a careful approach with men on base drove his pitch count up and he didn’t get through the 6th inning.  It was more of the same last night, as Tanaka racked up a lot of pitches early and only completed 5.

It started in the bottom of the 1st when he got 2 relatively quick outs before walking Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion on 13 pitches.  The Encarnacion at-bat was especially frustrating because Tanaka started him off with 2 swinging strikes and then never came close to putting him away on the next 4 pitches.  Tanaka survived the inning unscathed and worked around a leadoff walk in the second, but his command problems finally cost him in the 3rd, when a leadoff hit batsman in an 0-2 count turned into 2 Toronto runs on a Josh Donaldson single and Jose Bautista double.  To be fair to Tanaka, it was Jacoby Ellsbury‘s misread that allowed Bautista’s double to be a double.  Not sure what he saw, but it was a bad play and it gave Toronto an extra run.

It took the Yankees a while to match that 2-spot against Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez.  They got a run in the top of the 2nd on a pair of walks and a ribbie groundout by Starlin Castro, but for the most part Sanchez was in control.  He was hitting spots with his fastball, drawing big swings and misses with his curveball, and working around trouble.  The only real mistake he made on the night was a 3-2 fastball to Brian McCann in the 6th that drifted over the middle of the plate.  McCann crushed it for a solo home run to right to tie the game and set the stage for Ellsbury’s redemption.

Also credit the guys in front of him for their stage-setting performance as well.  Chase Headley welcomed Brett Cecil to the game with a leadoff single in the 7th, then Cecil conveniently walked Castro on 4 pitches.  This allowed Didi Gregorius to get down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up, and here came Ellsbury.  He drew a full count against Cecil and went the other way with a 3-2 fastball, getting just enough of it to plop it in between the shortstop and left fielder for the go-ahead single.  It wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done and gave the bullpen the lead.

Oh yeah, the bullpen.  All they did was throw 4 scoreless, hitless innings with 5 strikeouts.  Barbato to Shreve to Betances to Miller.  These guys are good and the Yankees are too.  4-2 in their first 6 games with Big Mike returning to the hill tonight. Continue reading Game 6 Recap: Yankees 3 Blue Jays 2

Quick Hit: Rumbelow Needs TJS

Didn’t get to this last night, but it appears as though we have our first significant arm injury of the year.  As first reported by Chad Jennings, Nick Rumbelow needs Tommy John Surgery in his right elbow and will miss the rest of this season.  The report was picked up by a bunch of other beat guys and later confirmed by GM Brian Cashman.

Rumbelow was in the running for an Opening Day bullpen spot earlier in Spring Training.  He pitched to a 4.02/3.84/3.87 tripleslash in 17 big league appearances last year and figured to factor into the SWB shuttle at some point this season, although the Yankees had been experimenting with stretching him out as a starter after he was reassigned to MiL camp.  He made a relief appearance on Sunday and had to leave the game with an injury.  That injury was to his pitching elbow and it will require TJS.  Major bummer for Rumbelow.

Also a major bummer for the Yankees, who have lost another piece of relief depth.  They’re already without Bryan Mitchell for at least the next 4 months and Aroldis Chapman for the next 24 games.  Now without Rumbelow they’re down to Nick Goody and Branden Pinder as the only righty relievers left on the 40-man roster, along with lefties James Pazos, Jacob Lindgren, and Tyler Olson. Continue reading Quick Hit: Rumbelow Needs TJS

Tuesday Morning Links: 4/12/16

The HR chick at my work is on vacation this week.  Before she left, she printed out a copy of the weather forecast for Riviera Maya for this week and taped it onto her office door as her way of letting everybody know she’ll be out of the office.  It’s the first thing I see when I turn the lights on in my section of the office in the morning and I honestly don’t know if I can make it through that emotional gut punch for the next 3 days.  It’s such a ruthless a-hole move that I can’t decide if I love it or hate it, but I respect the hell out of it.  Now onto the links.

– Last Tuesday, William Juliano of The Captain’s Blog laid out the 3 different scenarios that could play out this season depending on how healthy the Yankees stay.

– On Thursday, Jason Cohen of Pinstripe Alley looked back at the 5 longest home runs hit at the new Yankee Stadium before Carlos Correa’s shot off the restaurant.

– On Friday, Katie Sharp of RAB dished out her first serving of Yankeemetrics this year.  Mmmmmmm, metrics…

– On Monday, Austin Yamada of BP Bronx reviewed the recent bad history (and bad luck) of Yankee 1st round picks.

– David Schoenfield asked if the Twins’ season is already over after their 0-7 start.  I don’t know if it is yet, but it definitely will be when they get done playing the Yankees for the first time.

From the IIATMS team:

– On Wednesday, Stacey broke down Masahiro Tanaka’s Opening Day start.  I feel like we see 6+ innings of good ball today with the extra rest.

– On Thursday, I looked at the pitch location from Michael Pineda’s first start and the high concentration of 2-strike pitches that were located inside the strike zone.  More than anything else, he needs to start correcting that problem.

Have a good day, folks.  Shout out to my fellow cube monkeys out there.  Stay strong.

Continue reading Tuesday Morning Links: 4/12/16

Quick Hit: Don’t Stress About The Rest

I mentioned this briefly in my game recap on Saturday night, but I wanted to go back and revisit Joe’s decision to use Dellin Betances with a 4-run lead in the 8th inning of that game.  There were people asking why he would use Betances in that situation and some early chatter of concern on Twitter about Joe overusing him.  I honestly almost laughed out loud reading some of the comments.

I tweeted this out yesterday morning, but if you’re unfortunate enough to not follow me, I’ll do it again here.  This was Dellin Betances’ workload last week:

Monday- Did not pitch (rainout)
Tuesday- 0.2 IP, 30 pitches
Wednesday- Did not pitch
Thursday- 1.0 IP, 13 pitches
Friday- Did not pitch
Saturday- 1.0 IP, 26 pitches
Sunday- Did not pitch (rainout)

3 appearances, 2.2 innings pitched, 69 pitches thrown.  Now the rainouts certainly helped limit Betances’ usage, but I would be willing to bet that Joe would have given Betances the night off anyway yesterday just in the interest of not using him back-to-back early when he threw 25+ pitches the game before.  Either way, Betances would have gotten another day off before going into today’s scheduled off-day, which Joe surely knew he had available to rest his bullpen.  5 off-days and 3 days of work.  That’s not a very strenuous schedule for the first week of the regular season.  For the sake of comparison, Betances pitched 4.1 innings in 4 appearances and threw 95 pitches over the first week of last season.  None of those appearances were back-to-back either.

The point here is that it is foolish to start getting worked up about Betances’ workload and whether he’s getting enough rest in the first week of the season.  He’s had plenty of rest and Joe hasn’t been working him too hard.  Had Betances not walked the yard and thrown the ball away on Opening Day, he wouldn’t have had to throw so many pitches.  Joe gave him a day off after that outing and he’ll have 2 days off after a 25+ pitch outing on Saturday.  He’s fine. Continue reading Quick Hit: Don’t Stress About The Rest

Game 5 Recap: Yankees 8 Tigers 4

[caption id="attachment_80934" align="aligncenter" width="525"]A-Rod HR vs DET Courtesy of the AP[/caption]

Somehow the Yankees and Tigers managed to forge on in the sub-arctic temperatures this afternoon, though clearly the Yankees were better equipped to win in those inhuman weather conditions.  They jumped out to an early lead, built a big cushion on one key swing, and used that cushion to make it comfortably to the finish.

The early lead came off of Detroit starter Mike Pelfrey, who really didn’t have much today.  Alex Rodriguez drove a 3-2 sinker into deep left field for a solo home run, his first of the year, to get the scoring started in the top of the 1st.  Didi Gregorius singled home Brian McCann with 2 outs in the 2nd to make it 2-0, and then that key swing came in the bottom of the 4th.

McCann got things started with a 1-out walk, back-to-back singles by Carlos Beltran and Starlin Castro loaded the bases, and a Didi sac fly plated McCann again to make it 3-0.  Ronald Torreyes singled on the infield to reload the bases, and the lineup turned over for a third time.  Jacoby Ellsbury was 0-2 on the day coming into his third at-bat, but he got a 1-0 sinker from Pelfrey that didn’t sink and he laced it into the right-center field gap to clear the bases and double the lead to 6-0.  It ended Pelfrey’s day and gave the Yankee pitching staff all the breathing room it would need.

CC Sabathia was the anchor of the staff today, making his first start of 2016 and trying to build off his strong finish to last season.  He sat down the Tigers in order over the first 3 innings and looked like the kind of lower-velocity pitcher we always hoped he’d become.  He was mixing all his pitches well, he was getting ahead in the count locating down in the strike zone, and generating a lot of weak contact that his defense easily handled.

Sabathia did get into trouble in the 4th and 5th, however, and the Tigers got 2 runs back in the 4th on a trio of walks and a 2-run single by James McCann.  CC wasn’t as sharp out of the stretch as he was in the first 3 innings, but he did a good job of limiting the damage to 2 and became the first Yankee starter to successfully navigate the 6th when he went 1-2-3 on the middle of the Tiger order.  Not a bad way for the old workhorse to get his year started.

The brief Tiger rally in the 4th was snuffed out by a monster Beltran home run in the top of the 5th and even a messy 7th inning wasn’t enough to cause anybody to break a sweat.  Joe went for the sure win by using Dellin Betances in the 8th and Andrew Miller in the 9th and they responded as they normally do.  The Yankees evened the series and have their ace on the mound tomorrow night as they look to go 2-2 in series wins. Continue reading Game 5 Recap: Yankees 8 Tigers 4

Game 5: Sabathia vs. Pelfrey (Played On Hoth)

Did you guys know it’s cold in Detroit today?  Well it is.  It’s suuuuuuper cold, so cold that there was ICE on the field this morning.  I know, I can’t believe it either.  Hopefully the Yankees and Tigers are able to survive these conditions and complete this afternoon’s game without getting severe frostbite and having to amputate their fingers and toes.  CC Sabathia will make his first start of the 2016 season and here’s the lineup that will take the field with him:

1) Jacoby Ellsbury– CF
2) Brett Gardner– LF
3) Alex Rodriguez– DH
4) Mark Teixeira– 1B
5) Brian McCann– C
6) Carlos Beltran– RF
7) Starlin Castro– 2B
8) Didi Gregorius– SS
9) Ronald Torreyes– 3B

First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 EST.  Temperature at first pitch should be around -400 degrees, give or take.  This is your game thread.  Let’s go Yankees! Continue reading Game 5: Sabathia vs. Pelfrey (Played On Hoth)

Game 4 Quick Recap: DET 4 NYY 0

First road game of the season, day game after a sorta-night game, short lineup to get some guys an early rest, short bullpen with a young starter pitching in cold weather.  This game had all the makings of a stinker and the Yankees lived up to those low expectations by going down quietly this afternoon in Detroit.  No matter, they didn’t win on Tuesday and they still took that series.  Rest up and come back tomorrow.

Luis Severino probably pitched better than his final results indicated today.  He gave up a run on an Ian Kinsler double and Miguel Cabrera single in the bottom of the 1st, and then got bad lucked to death in the 4th.  Jacoby Ellsbury misplayed a fly ball that would have been the second out of the inning into a single and from there Detroit put 2 more runs on the board on a pair of groundball singles and a groundout.  Could have easily been a 1-2-3 inning and it basically turned into the end of the game.

Reason being the Yankee offense didn’t show up.  It wasn’t fixing to be a high-scoring game with Joe giving A-Rod, Beltran, and Big Mac full days off, but the Yankee lineup managed just 3 hits all day, all of them singles.  Only 2 of those came against Detroit starter Jordan Zimmerman and Jacoby Ellsbury was the only Yankee to reach second base at any point during the game.  The game was never completely out of reach, but the bats never woke up to muster up any kind of a comeback.

That game was a giveaway, and Joe knew that going in.  I just hope he knows what he’s doing tomorrow.  He’s got a short bullpen and he’ll be counting on CC Sabathia for length in the game. Continue reading Game 4 Quick Recap: DET 4 NYY 0

Game 3 Quick Recap: NYY 8 HOU 5

[caption id="attachment_80908" align="aligncenter" width="525"]Teix HR vs HOU 16 Teix working on his Michael Jackson pose. Courtesy of the AP[/caption]

I didn’t watch a second of this game yesterday, and I only followed the last few innings on Twitter and Gameday.  Shame too, because it seemed like this would have been a great game to watch.  The Yankees battled back from 2 early deficits to take a late lead and lock up a home-opening series win with their lockdown late-inning bullpen.

Those early deficits were caused by starter Nathan Eovaldi, who made like Mike Pineda and gave up 5 runs in 5 innings on a couple of long balls and no walks.  Tyler White and Preston Tucker each got ahold of Eovaldi’s splitter and hit it out in the top of the 2nd to make it 3-0, and then White came through with a 2-run single in the 4th to put Houston back up 3.

The Yankees chipped away at those 2 3-run leads over the course of 4 innings.  They got 1 in the 2nd on a Chase Headley sac fly, another in the 3rd on a Jacoby Ellsbury ribbie double, 2 in the 4th on solo homers by Brian McCann and Starlin Castro, and a run in the 5th to tie the game on an Alex Rodriguez base hit.  That set the stage for Mark Teixeira, who hit a 3-run home run off of Ken Giles in the bottom of the 7th to give the Yankees the lead.

That lead was well protected by Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller.  They struck out 5 in 2 scoreless innings and backed up a solid scoreless 2-run performance by Chasen Shreve and Kirby Yates ahead of them.  An excellent team effort by the relief corps to send the Yankees to Detroit above .500. Continue reading Game 3 Quick Recap: NYY 8 HOU 5