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

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.…

Read more

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.…

Read more

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.…

Read more

Robinson Cano’s 2012 season

Both our eyes and the fielding statistics show us that Cano is having a great season in the field. He has become a terrific second baseman. Among second basemen, only Dustin Pedroia and Dustin Ackley rate higher than Cano in the field. Add his fielding to everything else and Cano is by far the most valuable second baseman in baseball. In the American League, he is two wins better than his nearest competitor, Dustin Pedroia. Being the best at your position is a big bonus.

How does Cano rank among all American League batters in several key statistics? Let’s take a look. He is seventh in the American League in wOBA and wRC+. He is seventh in runs created. Cano is seventh in OPS. He is ninth in ISO and sixth in slugging percentage. So, as you can see, he is in the top ten in just about all the key offensive statistics. Add that fact to his outstanding fielding and being the best player at his position in baseball and you have a pretty good argument as to why, in a Trout-free world, Robinson Cano would be the most valuable American League player.…

Read more

Top of the eighth – Warning: second guessing inside

Now, it is just one man’s opinion, but Mr. Joe Girardi seems to be managing tighter than my budget. It is as if he has listened to these three themes all season and now believes they are a problem. By the top of the eight, the Yankees had already gone zero for ten or something with runners in scoring position. And they left ten men on base for the evening. Sure, these kinds of things happen to teams all the time, but this particular New York team is scrutinized more than any other. And because of David Phelps, who pitched well for five-plus innings, but only five-plus, the Yankees had once again to dig into their constant stream of scrap heap relievers. And because the Yankees could not plate a runner in scoring position all night, those five runs culled exclusively from homers just did not seem to be enough.

All of that sets up the top of the eighth inning.…

Read more