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

Next day, same story. Yanks lose, 7-4

There was a lot of debate on Twitter tonight on the outing of Ivan Nova. His final line worked out to a quality start. And the point in his favor is that the third inning could have ended with no runs scored instead of the three that tied the game. Nova struck out Sean Rodriguez to start the inning. Elliot Johnson then singled and stole second. Nova then walked Desmond Jennings but induced Carlos Pena to pop up to short right to get Nova within an out of getting out of the inning. But he could not shut the door totally as B.J. Upton singled to left. Dewayne Wise charged the ball aggressively and threw a strike to home and the throw beat Johnson there. The throw short-hopped Russell Martin and in the collision that followed, Martin did not have a strong enough grip on the ball to hold on. The umpire called Johnson out until he saw the ball on the ground and reversed himself.…

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Bullpen blows it in seventh. Rays beat Yanks, 4-3

The Yankees could not have been happier at Freddy Garcia’s outing. He pitched five and a third innings and gave up five hits and no walks while striking out four. B.J. Upton took Garcia deep in the third and Carlos Pena took Garcia deep for a solo homer to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Pena’s solo drive tied the game at two. Cody Eppley relieved Garcia to keep the score tied, 2-2, heading into the top of the seventh.

The Yankees scored their two runs in the first inning. Derek Jeter led off the game with a line drive double to the gap in right-center. After Curtis Granderson struck out, the Yankees caught a break at the expense of an old friend. The Rays were greatly shifted around to the left against a right-handed hitting Mark Teixeira. Teixeira caught one weakly and sent it toward the right field line. Hideki Matsui, greatly misplaced by playing right field, charged over toward the ball but overran it and never touched it.…

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The Yankee Stadium thing

All three versions of Yankee Stadium have had a short right-field porch. But since the new version opened in 2009, the criticism has mounted and this new park does seem to allow the ball to travel further. Where a 100 score is considered neutral for park factor, Yankee Stadium III is currently rated at 106, a figure that does favor batters. But is the Yankees’ success dependent upon the configurations of their home ballpark? Hardly.

The figures show that the Yankees are more apt to hit a homer at home. But it is not a factor as big as people would lead you to believe. At home, the Yankees’ batters hit homers in 5.2 percent of their at bats. On the road, that figure goes down to 4.1 percent. That seems somewhat significant. But it doesn’t necessarily lead to more runs. The Yankees have scored 186 runs at home in 40 games and 183 in 37 games on the road. There is no major breakdown in the team’s OPS on the road (compare that with the Rockies).…

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Two two-run homers are all Phil Hughes needed. Yanks win, 4-2

The story for this game is Phil Hughes. Early in the game, he kept his fastball down to get ahead in the count and then threw it higher in the zone to produce harmless pop-ups or fly balls or finished the batter off with a strikeout. Hughes pitched a full eight innings and allowed only six hits (three of them in the first inning) and one walk. He struck out eight.

Gavin Floyd struggled his entire outing. Though those two homers were the only runs the Yankees could use to score runs, Floyd really labored. He only lasted five and a third innings and threw 122 pitches. His troubles began right away and in the bottom of the first inning, the Yankees loaded the bases with no outs on Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson singles and a Mark Teixeira walk. But the bases loaded thing bit the Yankees again as Robinson Cano put the ball in play to the only place that would not score a run: Back to the pitcher.…

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Kuroda brilliant. Yankees beat the White Sox, 4-0

Granderson started the scoring for the Yankees in the first inning with a blast to right into the second deck. The Yankees scored again in the second inning. Nick Swisher led off the inning with a single. But then Raul Ibanez popped out and Russell Martin struck out. But then Dewayne Wise jumped on a Peavy fastball and drove it into the gap in right-center. Nick Swisher chugged all the way around from first to score.

The game settled into a pitcher’s duel after Wise’s double. But it was Wise again who again provided some fireworks when he hit a solo shot with one out in the fifth inning. Wise’s homer landed half way up the second deck in right field. Peavy then hit Derek Jeter (0-3) with a pitch but no further damaged resulted.

Robinson Cano rounded out the scoring with a solo shot of his own that landed in just about the same spot as Wise’s homer. The homer was Cano’s eleventh in the month of June.…

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AL East competition helping Yankees

The Baltimore Orioles are starting to fall under the weight of reality as some of their weaknesses are being exposed. They are currently at 12-12 for the month of June and have been outscored by 24 runs this month. The Rays still have some of the fear factor, but losing Evan Longoria leaves too many holes in the lineup. They are now 11-14 in the month of June and have also been outscored this month.

The Red Sox are perhaps another story. Their bullpen has been far better than expected and continue to get surprising work from Franklin Morales as a starting pitcher. They now have a decent rotation and have given up more than twenty runs less in June than they have in the previous two months (granted, with a few more games to play this month). But they are 14-11 this month despite outscoring their opponents by 34 runs in June.

But the Red Sox are not without their own flaws.…

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