Born in Dover, Delaware and raised in Danbury, Connecticut, Brad now resides in Wisconsin, where he regularly goes out of his way to remind Brewers fans that their team will never be as good as the Yankees. When he’s not writing for IIATMS, he likes to spend his time incorporating “Seinfeld” quotes into everyday conversation, critiquing WWE storylines, and drinking enough beer to be good at darts.

Author Archives: Brad Vietrogoski

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 4/24/15

I know the Subway Series is this weekend and the city is all abuzz about it because both teams are hot right now, but I want to take a quick break from that for a second to talk a little Rangers hockey.  I love what I’ve seen from them so far in this opening series with Pittsburgh, love it.  And I love it because they haven’t even really played that well.  I’d say Pittsburgh has probably outplayed the Rangers for 60-70% of the series thus far, and they’re still down 3-1.  At home, with a chance to close out tonight and get a little rest, and with their best playoff hockey presumably ahead of them is a great place to be.  I’ll be beer drinking and live tweeting that game tonight, so if you’re a Ranger fan, feel free to join me.  Now onto the links!

– On Tuesday, Daniel Burch of The Greedy Pinstripes looked at what the 2017 Opening Day roster might look like if the Yankees built strictly from within and filled spots with their own prospects.

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Game 16 Quick Recap: NYY 2 DET 1

Tanaka vs DET

Bada boom, realest guy in the room. Courtesy of the AP

Getaway Thursday game suck.  Normally I have a hard enough time following games that I’m not watching and trying to write a competent recap based on that.  When the game is happening while I’m at work, forget about it.  The stadium could have been swallowed into a sinkhole in the 3rd inning and I wouldn’t have known about it until about an hour ago.  From what I gather, Masahiro Tanaka was pretty damn good again today, and some timely late runs helped secure a pretty impressive road series victory for the Bronx Bombers.

It wasn’t an especially hot start for Tanaka either.  He gave up a double to lead off the game, walked Miguel Cabrera, and let the double come around to score a quick run on a Victor Martinez sac fly.  After that he was cash money.  Tanaka retired 8 in a row into the 4th before giving up a double to J.D.

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Quick Hit: The Surprisingly Stout Lineup

Yesterday Dom touched on the solid all-around start for the pitching staff through the first 2+ weeks of the season, and noted that the group as a whole was outperforming some of its less-than-stellar individual performances.  A comment was made that the offense needed to “step up” to match the pitching staff’s strong start, which I found a bit strange considering that the offense had been performing very well in multiple key areas.  Then last night’s all-out assault on David Price happened and I thought I’d take a look at just exactly how well the Yankee lineup had been stepping up after a pretty lame first week.

As with Dom’s post yesterday, all stats here are courtesy of FanGraphs and rankings are MLB-wide:

  • T-1st in Home Runs (21)
  • 2nd in ISO (.187)
  • T-3rd in Runs (83)
  • 4th in Walk Rate (10.5%)
  • T-7th in OBP (.332)
  • T-8th in SLG (.433)
  • 8th in wRC+ (109)
  • 8th in WAR (2.6)
  • T-9th in Doubles (27)

Remember that all of that is coming with a low batting average, LD rate, and BABIP, which are things I expect to normalize and increase as the season continues and sample sizes grow.  …

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Game 15 Recap: Yankees 13 Tigers 4

Teix HR vs DET

Mark Teixeira and a masked man in a Robinson Cano jersey celebrate Teix’s 7th inning home run. Courtesy of the AP

It was a beautiful night for baseball in Detroit tonight.  Temps in the 30s, a brisk wind blowing through the stadium, and bountiful snow flurries.  Exactly the type of picturesque evening you think of when you think about America’s national pastime.

Unless you were David Price and Adam Warren, the 2 starting pitchers for the Yankees and Tigers.  Price picked up where he left off last year, giving up 6 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and a hit batsman in the top of the 1st to put his team in an early hole.  Warren almost dug them out with a 4-run bottom half.  He walked 4 of the first 5 batters he faced in the game, including 1 to bring in the first Detroit run, which was the real problem.  Stupid people will tell you Didi Gregorius should have made better plays defensively.  …

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About Last Night: Two-Pitch Eovaldi Thrives

First off, yes, I know this is complete gimmick infringement on my part for using Stacey’s series title.  I’m sure she’s OK with it.  Second, and more importantly, I wanted to talk about a possible trend that’s developing after Nathan Eovaldi‘s strong third start.  Eovaldi put a dangerous Detroit lineup in a diaper last night, consistently making big pitches when he needed them to snuff out potential rallies.  He surrendered a lone run in his 7 innings of work, making last night easily Eovaldi’s best start in pinstripes.

What was interesting about those big pitches he threw last night was the fact that almost all of them were fastballs and sliders and not a single one of them were splitters.  After working on that pitch during the spring and using it 12 times in his first start against Boston (according to Brooks Baseball), Eovaldi has now thrown only 2 splits in his last 2 starts.  What was a more balanced pitch mix approach at the beginning of the season has become less so with each start since.  …

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Game 14 Recap: Yankees 5 Tigers 2

I guess the third time through the order is the charm for most of the Yankee rotation.  Tanaka was money his last start, CC was really sharp last night, and Nathan Eovaldi turned in a beauty tonight in his third trip to the bump as a pinstriper, pitching the Yankees to a 5-2 victory over the Tigers and knotting this series up at a game apiece.

He got his first support run before he even took the mound.  Brett Gardner walked with 1 out in the top of the 1st and came around to score on a Mark Teixeira double.  And not just any double, this was an opposite-field double to from the right side of the plate.

That was all Eovaldi would get for most of the night, but he made it stand up with a stellar fastball/slider combination.  Once again, some timely double plays helped his efforts, but he settled in as he got to the middle innings and started to really assert himself in the 4th and 5th when he started striking guys out with the slider.  …

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Game 13 Recap: Tigers 2 Yankees 1

Sabathia vs DET

Deserved better. Courtesy of the AP

Things were looking up for the Yankees as they headed to Detroit for a 4-game series.  They had swept division rival Tampa Bay, gotten back to .500 in the process, and they looked like they were starting to come together offensively after a sluggish start.  But as Matt pointed out in his post yesterday, that was happening against a pretty mediocre and pitching-weak AL East.  A solid showing against a really good Tigers team would be a much better sign that things really were coming together for New York.

And of course, right on cue the Yankee lineup shows up and drops a stinkbomb on everything.  THey were pathetic against Alfedo Simon last night, wasting a spectacular start by CC Sabathia and ending the team’s first winning streak of the year at 3.

Sabathia was good from the start, facing the minimum through 3 and pitching his first 6 innings scoreless.  He gave up 3 hits and 1 walks in those 6 innings, but never got into any real trouble thanks to timely ground balls and (for once) stellar defense behind him.  …

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The Potential Barry Bonds Effect On A-Rod’s Hot Start

A-Rod HR vs TB

Gone. Courtesy of Getty Images

When it came out in late January that Alex Rodriguez had been working out with Barry Bonds in California in preparation for his return, the report was met with a reaction of mostly bad steroid jokes and indifference from writers and fans alike.  When Bonds piped up recently in support of A-Rod, saying that MLB and its fans should celebrate him reaching and passing Willie Mays‘ mark of 660 home runs, that story was met with a similar reaction.  Today, coming off a red hot week that has earned him a boatload of mostly begrudging praise and may earn him AL Player of the Week honors, it may be time to stop ignoring the A-Rod-Bonds offseason connection.

After yesterday afternoon’s series finale in Tampa, A-Rod is hitting a robust .316/.447/.711 in 47 plate appearances.  He ranks inside the top 10 in MLB in R (10), HR (4), RBI (11), and SLG, and inside the top 5 in BB rate (19.1%) and ISO (.395).  …

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Game 12 Recap: Yankees 5 Rays 3

Pineda vs TB

Not the best Big Mike we’ve ever seen, but good enough to win. Courtesy of the AP

The Yankees locked up their first series win of 2015 with the shutout-blowout (showout?) victory over the Rays on Saturday night.  They had a chance to lock up their first sweep of the young season and get themselves back up to .500 this afternoon.  Michael Pineda got the ball for the occasion, hoping to follow the path Masahiro Tanaka set last night with his dominant outing.

It didn’t get off the kind of start Pineda or Yankee fans were hoping for.  He walked the first batter of the 1st inning and gave up a 2-run home run to the next one, Steven Souza, to put the Yanks in a quick hole.  But he worked out of the inning without further damage, thanks in part to another gunned down base stealer by John Ryn Murphy, and settled down through the 4th.  He gave up some hits here and there, but mostly kept the Tampa lineup at bay.  …

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