William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.

Author Archives: William Tasker

No runs in six, Pettitte wins, 6-3

All things considered, Liam Hendriks did not pitch that bad of a game for the Twins until the seventh inning. His manager, Ron Gardenhire, probably exposed Hendriks for one inning too many. After six innings, he had allowed four runs on six hits with four strikeouts and only one walk.  Three of the runs were allowed in the top of the first. In that inning, Hendriks allowed a walk to Derek Jeter to start the game. Ichiro Suzuki hit a ball off the wall in right for a double and Jeter went to third. Jeter then scored on a Robinson Cano ground out. The big blow, however, was when Nick Swisher hit a booming homer to right-center that banged off the facing up the upper deck out there.

Hendriks later served up Curtis Granderson‘s fortieth homer of the season–a solo job–in the fourth that was hit even deeper than Swisher’s bomb. Granderson’s back-to-back forty-homer seasons are the first time that has happened for the Yankees since Jason Giambi did it in 2002 and 2003.…

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This week in Yankees baseball

The reality is that the Yankees simply need to win to get in. Unlike season’s past, the wild card is not a good option. The Yankees have to win the division. And that means seriously beating up on these weak teams to finish off the season. It starts tonight in Minnesota. The ballpark up there is good for the Yankees’ pitchers but bad for the Yankees’ batters. It’s tough to hit a homer there. And tonight will bring the second start for Andy Pettitte. Pettitte can neutralize Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau to a degree and also the lefty swinging Denard Span and Ryan Doumit. Pettitte will need to be extra careful with Josh Willingham, who has had a terrific offensive season.

The Twins will pitch Liam Hendriks tonight. Hendriks won his first game of his career in his last outing. It took him eighteen career starts to get there. His career ERA is just below six and he only strikes out five and a half batters per nine.…

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Who is the 2012 Yankees’ MVP?

Let’s start with the pitching. There really is not a starter that has run away from the pack. C.C. Sabathia, despite missing two stints on the disabled list, still leads the team’s pitchers in fWAR. But has he had a better season really than Hiroki Kuroda? His season is better than Phil Hughes and certainly Ivan Nova. But it hasn’t been a typical Sabathia season. If it was, he would be the team’s MVP hands down. What about the relief pitchers?

Rafael Soriano could probably make a case. His 42 saves after Mariano Rivera got hurt have been invaluable and is a good reason why the Yankees won those 42 games. But how do you valuate a relief pitcher? Is his 64 innings as valuable as Kuroda’s 200+? That doesn’t feel right. He does have a WPA of over three, which leads the team. And his three to one strikeout to walk ratio is nice. But his actual fWAR is 1.5 and David Robertson‘s is 1.6.…

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Sabathia brilliant. Soriano blows save. Martin homers to win it.

Sabathia pitched the kind of game the Yankees have been hoping for weeks. And it could not have come at a better time. He threw eight shutout innings and gave up only three hits and two walks and struck out eleven batters. He was at 113 pitches after his eighth inning and Joe Girardi did not let him go out in the ninth to complete the shutout. Girardi’s decision is defensible in that Sabathia had to work out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the eighth to preserve the 1-0 score.

Instead, Rafael Soriano was asked to go after another save and this time could not get it done. With one out, Moss pinch hit for Chris Carter and golfed a low slider out of the park. Soriano was not at his best and the batter before Moss, Yoenis Cespedes, hit a deep drive to center to the biggest part of the park. And Soriano would put two more base runners on after Moss’s homer before escaping without further damage.…

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