About William Tasker

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.

Well, that was ugly. Yanks lose, 8-5

The New York Yankees lost the game and the series to the Toronto Blue Jays despite having their ace on the mound and having the lead twice in the game. C.C. Sabathia got the start and at times looked overpowering and at other times, simply could not stop the bleeding as the Blue Jays nibbled away and then finally hit the smack down to win the game. The Yankees made three uncharacteristic errors in the game that led to four unearned runs or half of the Blue Jays’ total. The Yankees’ makeshift offense had early chances to score more runs and run Toronto starter, J.A. Happ out of the game early and could not get the big hit they needed. In the words of the immortal Shirelles, “Momma said there’d be days like this.”

(click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading Well, that was ugly. Yanks lose, 8-5

Game 130 – The series tiebreaker

The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays complete their three game series this afternoon in the Bronx. Each team has won a game in the series and this will be the tiebreaker. The advantage seems to be with the Yankees as C.C. Sabathia gets the start and has not lost to the Blue Jays in the last five years. He is also coming off a dominant start in his last time out. The Blue Jays counter with J.A. Happ, making this the battle of first initials. Both starters are lefties, so the lineups will feature as many right-handed bats as possible. For example, Colby Rasmus will ride the bench for the Blue Jays today.

The Lineups:

Toronto Blue Jays:

  1. Rajai Davis – LF
  2. Mike McCoy – CF
  3. Edwin Encarnacion – DH
  4. Adam Lind – 1B
  5. Yunel Escobar – SS
  6. Kelly Johnson – 2B
  7. Moises Sierra – RF
  8. Jeff Mathis – C
  9. Adeiny Hechavarria – 3B

J.A. Happ – SP

New York Yankees:

  1. Derek Jeter – SS
  2. Nick Swisher – 1B
  3. Robinson Cano – 2B
  4. Andruw Jones – RF
  5. Curtis Granderson – CF
  6. Steve Pearce – DH
  7. Jayson Nix – 3B
  8. Ichiro Suzuki – LF
  9. Chris Stewart – C

C.C. Sabathia – SP

Not an awe-inspiring lineup, eh?

The game starts at 1:05 and can be seen locally on the YES Network. Continue reading Game 130 – The series tiebreaker

RISP failure or bad luck and good pitching?

Last night’s loss to the struggling Cleveland Indians was a frustrating adventure for those who root for the New York Yankees. After a tough first inning, Hiroki Kuroda delivered a terrific performance that should have been good enough for a win. Except it was not. And the Yankees had several big opportunities to knock out Justin Masterson and it simply did not happen. Folks on Twitter used the #RISPFail hashtag on several occasions. Michael Kay, the Yankees play by play man, talked about “wasted opportunies” at the end of the game and most recaps of the game were critical of the outcome and the performance of the Yankees’ offense. Our own Gabe Lezra, in his terrific game recap last night tried to mitigate those feelings of failure somewhat. But let’s talk specifics. Sometimes failure is just bad luck and good pitching. Let’s look at each of last night’s “failures” a little more closely.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading RISP failure or bad luck and good pitching?

The stretch crawl of 2000

Twelve years ago on this date, the New York Yankees of the 2000 season had a three game lead in the American League East. The team had won three of the last four World Series titles and were the darlings of the baseball world. But the 2000 Yankees were a flawed team. They were definitely flawed offensively and only finished sixth out of fourteen teams in team OPS. Tino Martinez had an off year. Scott Brosius had his worst season as a Yankee and Paul O’Neill, at 37 was nearing the end of his career. And far too many plate appearances went to guys like Clay Bellinger, Jose Vizcaino and Ricky Ledee. And the pitching was no picnic either.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading The stretch crawl of 2000

Nova slammed, Yankees lose, 7-3

Ivan Nova padded his league lead in extra base hits allowed as the Chicago White Sox hit two homers, a double and a triple off of Nova to defeat the New York Yankees, 7-3. For the second straight night, the Yankees took the early lead but failed to put away a struggling starting pitcher. The Yankees had Francisco Liriano on the ropes in the first after Derek Jeter led off the game by hitting the first pitch into the left field seats for his second homer in as many games. The Yankees then loaded the bases with one out on a single and two walks but could only push across one additional run. Nova gave one of the runs back in the second inning, another in the fourth and then gave up a grand slam to old nemesis, Kevin Youkilis. Each team would get one more run and the end result was a four-run loss by the Yankees. The White Sox have won the first two games of this three game series.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Nova slammed, Yankees lose, 7-3

The Yankees’ flagging bullpen

People miss the point about Mariano Rivera‘s season-ending injury. They point to the season Rafael Soriano is having as the Yankees’ closer and feel like the Yankees haven’t missed a beat at that position. And looking at the situation from just that focus would be correct. Soriano has been every bit as terrific as the Yankees could have possibly hoped for from Rivera this season. The thing people miss is that Rivera’s absence shortened the bullpen by one spot. Before the Yankees had a deep set of Soriano, David Robertson and then Rivera. Such a set up allowed Girardi to only use other relievers for just an out or two. With only Soriano and Robertson solid at the top, too many innings have had to be filled by lesser talents.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading The Yankees’ flagging bullpen

Freddy and bullpen crack – Yankees lose, 9-6

Freddy Garcia pitched four very good innings. And then the bottom fell out in the fifth. The New York Yankees’ bullpen could not stop the bleeding and allowed four runs and it was too much for the Yankees’ offense to overcome as the Chicago White Sox defeated the Yankees, 9-6. The Yankees had built a 3-0 lead after the first two innings and after falling behind, 5-3, in the bottom of the fifth as the White Sox got to Garcia, scored three more runs to retake the lead, 5-3. The bullpen could not hold it as the White Sox tied the game with a run in the bottom of the sixth, scored two more in the bottom of the seventh and yet another run in the bottom of the eighth to put the game away. Boone Logan (4-2) took the loss after giving up a two-run homer to Alexei Ramirez in the bottom of the seventh. Brett Myers got the win in relief. The loss combined with another win by the Rays cut the Yankees’ lead in the division to four games.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Freddy and bullpen crack – Yankees lose, 9-6

Game 122 – Freddy back on the South Side

The New York Yankees traveled overnight to Chicago to begin a three game series against the Chicago White Sox. The series has some meaning for both teams as the Yankees try to maintain their cushion in the American League East. The White Sox are a game and a half up on the Tigers and hope to bounce back from a terrible series against the Royals. The pitching match-up is scheduled to pit Freddy Garcia against Gavin Floyd. Garcia used to pitch for the White Sox so he is going home in a way.

There is a hysterical bit on the MLB Network’s Intentional Talk called something like, “An impartial moment with Ken Harrelson.” Harrelson, the White Sox’ broadcaster is famous for his “homerism” where he gets very excited if the Chicago team wins and nearly silent and grudging when the opposing team wins. The bit on IT plays on one of those moments (good or bad) with Harrelson. Hilarious.  The goal of the Yankees this weekend is to make Harrelson as grumpy as possible.

Freddy Garcia is 5-5 against his old team with an ERA of 4.46. Pretty much along the lines of his overall performance. Gavin Floyd is 2-2 against the Yankees in the last five years, but he has a high ERA of 5.98. He is either pretty good against the Yankees or terrible.

The White Sox have a trio of batters in small slumps. Kevin Youkilis has been nursing a sore knee and is four for his last twenty-three. Alex Rios is two for his last thirty and Gordon Beckham is two for his last eighteen. Robinson Cano had a hit last night for the Yankees to break a long streak without a hit.

The Lineups:

New York Yankees:

  1.  Derek Jeter – SS
  2. Nick Swisher – DH
  3. Robinson Cano – 2B
  4. Mark Teixeira – 1B   –   He’s back!
  5. Curtis Granderson – CF
  6. Eric Chavez – 3B
  7. Raul Ibanez – LF
  8. Ichiro Suzuki – RF
  9. Chris Stewart – C

Freddy Garcia – SP

Chicago White Sox:

  1. Dewayne Wise – CF  (remember him?)
  2. Kevin Youkilis – 3B
  3. Adam Dunn – DH
  4. Paul Konerko – 1B
  5. Alex Rios – RF
  6. A.J. Pierzynski – C
  7. Dayan Viciendo – LF
  8. Alexei Ramirez – SS
  9. Gordon Beckham – 2B

Gavin Floyd – SP

Game time is 8:10 and can be seen locally on the YES Network Continue reading Game 122 – Freddy back on the South Side

Michael Pineda busted for DUI

Several sources, including the New York Post, are reporting that Michael Pineda was arrested for drunk driving in Tampa early this morning. You can read the link for all the gory details. Needless to say, Pineda is not having a good year. First, a career-threatening shoulder injury and now this. You have to wonder if this might have been one of the triggers that sent him away from Seattle after showing so much promise last year. Or, to give him the benefit of the doubt, perhaps this was a one-time moment of stupidity. Either way, it is a black eye for the young man and for the Yankees’ organization. Continue reading Michael Pineda busted for DUI