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

Perspective about the Yankees’ offense

Rob’s response basically was scolding my comment (probably rightfully so since it was on the snark side) because the Yankees have the second best offense in baseball. And yes, he is technically correct. Of all thirty major league teams this season, the Yankees are second to only the Texas Rangers in team OPS. And yes, the entire season counts as it is a 162 game season. But it can also be said that a lot of that quality was built in the first half of the season. The second half for the Yankees has shown a much weaker offense and September has been particularly brutal. Let’s look at the numbers:

In the first half, the Yankees’ team triple slash line was .262/.336/.459 good for a .796 OPS. In the second half, that triple slash line looks far less impressive: .258/.328/.431 for an OPS of .758.  In September, those same numbers are .237/.326/.385 for an OPS of .711. The Yankees have struck out at a slightly higher rate in the second half and their runs per game has gone from 4.84 in the first half to 4.73 in the second half.…

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Small ball helps Yankees sweep double-header

David Phelps started the nightcap for the Yankees and pitched very well. For the second time in a row, he pitched to Chris Stewart as his catcher and in those two starts has pitched a total of twelve innings while only allowing two runs. Tonight, he pitched six and a two-thirds innings and allowed only three hits. He also walked three and struck out six. The only run he allowed was in the second inning. With one out, Phelps walked J.P. Arencibia, which is pretty darned hard to do as the Blue Jays’ catcher had only walked fourteen times all season prior to that plate appearances. Phelps then walked Kelly Johnson. Phelps had a chance to escape the inning as he struck out Yan Gomes for the second out, but Adeiny Hechavarria singled to drive in Arencibia.

Phelps would not get into trouble again until the seventh inning. With one out, Derek Jeter made a poor throw to first on a grounder by Arencibia.…

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Those dang Orioles

Yesterday’s game for the Orioles was a microcosm of their entire season. It took them eighteen innings, but they were not going to lose that game against the Mariners. And as is their wont, they won because Buck Showalter out-managed the other guy. Erasmo Ramirez pitched the game of his life for the Mariners. Eight innings, six strikeouts, no walks, two hits. Brilliant.  But he had never pitched a complete game in the majors. Heck, this is still his first season in the big leagues. Seattle sent Ramirez out there to pitch the ninth instead of bringing in their closer. The results were as predictable as Old Faithful. Single, single, pitching change, bunt, single…tie game.  The Orioles are now 14-2 in extra inning games.

The sour-grapes, knee-jerk reaction would be to say that those dang Orioles are the luckiest team in baseball. But can you stretch out luck over 150 games? Come on now. Baseball success is always a bit serendipitous.…

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Out with Nix, in with Nunez

Nunez has added some spice to the offense. He has stolen four bases in five attempts and four for four as a starter. He has an .863 OPS in September and suddenly, the Yankees’ lineup has a little spark. And Nunez has not been half bad in the field. He made one glaring error at short that may or may not have cost the Yankees a game. But other than that, he has been clean.  Suddenly, a lineup against left-handed pitchers that does not include Eduardo Nunez seems naked.

The fact is, Jayson Nix will never be anything more than a utility guy. That is no knock on Nix. That is what he is. He follows in a long line of utility guys like Miguel Cairo and others. Teams need guys like him who can play fundamentally sound baseball in a pinch and not hurt the defense when he plays. But any kind of long-term playing time exposes Nix. He is not an every day player and never will be.…

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