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

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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Two years ago with Pettitte

The Orioles of 2010 were not a good team. Not like today. But they had a decent offense. Brian Roberts was playing well. Luke Scott was having a career year. Matt Wieters was developing into a major league catcher and hitter and Nick Markakis and Adam Jones were good young players. Plus, Buck Showalter had taken over and the Orioles were playing good baseball and ESPN was calling the team the “Flying Showalters.” All but Scott were in the starting lineup against Andy Pettitte two years ago. Like today, no one knew what to expect from Pettitte coming back after being out since July 18, 2010. Pettitte had a brilliant first half and even made the All Star team that season with an 11-2 mark. So his injury really hurt…just like it did this season.

The first inning got off to a bumpy start. Pettitte was staked to a 1-0 lead as the Orioles’ starter, Chris Tillman was very wild that day.…

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With Moore walks than hits, Yankees win, 6-4

Matt Moore looked nasty in the first two innings. He struck out the side in the first and worked around a one out walk to Nick Swisher. Moore recorded his fourth strikeout in the bottom of the second and worked around hitting Andruw Jones with a pitch. But, it was clear that his command was erratic and it would catch up with him in the bottom of the third. Moore started off that inning by walking Eduardo Nunez. Nunez then stole second base and scored on a single by Derek Jeter. Jeter took second on the throw home. Nick Swisher sacrificed (whuh?) to the pitcher and Jeter went to third. Alex Rodriguez then singled to center to score Jeter. Matt Moore further unraveled after that.

First, he uncorked a wild pitch and A-Rod went to second. Moore then walked Robinson Cano and on the fourth ball, A-Rod stole third. Russell Martin then capped off the five-run inning with a three-run homer to right that landed in the second row.…

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The Yankees are set up nicely

Hiroki Kuroda is that pitcher mentioned in the first paragraph. There are two nice things about his place on the mound today. The first is that he has been very good at home. He is 9-5 at the ballpark in the Bronx with a 2.38 ERA and a WHIP of only 0.950. His strikeout to walk rate at home is a very impressive 3.9 to one. That will due nicely. Combine that with the fact that he is not only pitching at home, but is pitching during the day. Kuroda has made six day game starts and is 4-1 in those starts with a minuscule ERA of  0.84 and a WHIP of 0.891. His strikeout to walk ratio in those day games is 6.80. Very nice.

The only dark cloud to this rosy picture is that his one loss in the daytime was to these same Tampa Bay Rays on the second day of the season. And that game was at home.…

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Hughes impressive, Yankees win, 2-0

This is not the same Red Sox lineup that has kept the Yankee Universe up nights over the past few years. David Ortiz is hurt, Dustin Pedroia was on paternity leave, Jacoby Ellsbury is a shell of the player he was last year, and of course, Kevin Youkilis has moved on to Chicago. But even so, Hughes was impressive. It was not until the eighth inning that Hughes allowed a lead off batter in an inning to get on base. He retired the side in order in the first three innings with only a couple dozen pitches thrown. He consistently got ahead of hitters and hit his spots most of the night.

Doubront was not as efficient as Hughes and as his wont, he was often frustrated with the strike zone being called by the home plate umpire. But he matched Hughes zero for zero in the first three innings. Only an Alex Rodriguez single in the first and an Andruw Jones walk in the second messed up Doubront’s scorecard.…

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