Former ESPN researcher; forever baseball and Yankees fan. Now living in northern Vermont and the color of the front door of our house is Yankee blue. Also write about college football and basketball and the NFL. Bleed Huskies blue (that's UConn, of course).

Author Archives: Katie Sharp

Yankeemetrics: August 15-17 (Rays)

Derek Jeter had the game-winning hit on Saturday. (Photo: Steve Nesius/AP Photo)

Derek Jeter had the game-winning hit on Saturday. (Photo: Steve Nesius/AP Photo)

Yankees got Cobb-ered
There are not many things you can predict about baseball except this one: You can’t win if you don’t score any runs. The Yankees proved that statement to be true in a 5-0 loss to the Rays on Friday night.

It was their fifth straight loss in the season series against Tampa Bay, their longest single-season losing streak vs the Rays in franchise history.

It was also their fifth straight loss overall, with a total of just seven runs scored in the five losses. The last time they had a five-game stretch with five losses and no more than seven total runs was in May 1995.

Derek Jeter had two hits for his 1,007th career multi-hit game, breaking a tie with the Braves’ Hank Aaron for the third-most multi-hit games with one team. The only players with more are the Cardinals’ Stan Musial (1,059) and the Tigers’ Ty Cobb (1,211), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.…

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The Yankees path to the postseason

Will the Yankees be celebrating a playoff berth at the end of the season? (Photo: AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Will the Yankees be celebrating a playoff berth at the end of the season? (Photo: AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Following the Yankees latest devastating loss on Wednesday night, which dropped them to a season-high eight games back in the AL East and four games back of the second Wild Card position, the likelihood of the team playing baseball in October appears bleak.

Entering Friday, the Yankees have a 8.0 percent chance of making the playoffs according to projections at Fangraphs.com, their lowest playoff odds of the season.

The computers might say the Yankees are a longshot to be playing baseball in October, but in reality a postseason berth for a team in the Yankees current position is not without precedent.

Though Fangraphs does not have historical postseason probabilities, its odds are an adaption of the coolstandings.com playoff odds. Fortunately we do have historical data from that website, so we can look at teams that were in a similar position to the Yankees odds-wise and that eventually made the playoffs.…

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Yankeemetrics: August 11-13 (Orioles)

Michael Pineda pitched well in his first start since April 23, but the Yankees still lost. (Photo: New York Daily News)

Michael Pineda pitched well in his first start since April 23, but the Yankees still lost. (Photo: New York Daily News)

Nightmare in Charm City, Part I
A 3-1 lead is never safe, especially when you are facing the team that leads the majors in home runs and your team leads the league in home runs allowed. That’s the lesson learned after Monday’s 11-3 loss to the Orioles.

Brett Gardner had his usual hot start, hitting a triple in his first at-bat. That was his third triple leading off a game this season, becoming the first Yankee to do that in a single season since Roy White in 1974.

The Yankees scored two runs in the second inning on an error-filled play that simply has to be watched, or heard, to appreciate it. The Orioles ended up committing three errors in the game, which normally would mean a win for the Yankees – except this is not a normal season.

The only other game the Yankees have lost in Baltimore when the Orioles made at least three errors came more than 50 years ago on September 21, 1961.…

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Yankees historically bad clutch hitting

This is a familiar shot for the Yankees this season. (Photo: Mark Bonifacio/New York Daily News)

This is a familiar scene for the Yankees this season. (Photo: Mark Bonifacio/New York Daily News)

It’s a minor miracle that my television set has survived the entire season so far, given the numerous times I wanted to throw hard objects at the screen in frustration after watching yet another Yankee ground out to end an inning with a couple men on base.

Though is there is little evidence that “clutch” hitting is a repeatable skill, what has already happened in the past is real and cannot be undone. And what the Yankees have done in pressure situations so far this season is nearing historic, record-setting lows.

To measure the performance of the team’s bats in various situations, I used a stat found on baseball-reference.com called Split OPS+ (adjusted OPS relative to the league’s OPS in the split). A 100 is league average, and each point up or down is one percentage point above or below league average.

There are a couple advantages to using this statistic:

1) OPS is a better measurement to use than batting average, since a walk can be just as valuable as a hit in these situations and a homer is definitely more valuable than a single.…

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Can Greene be money again vs Orioles?

Shane Greene faces perhaps the biggest test of his young career tonight when he takes the mound against the division-leading Orioles.

Not only is winning this game crucial to the Yankees razor-thin playoff chances, but the O’s are the first team who will see him a second time as a starter (he has pitched against the Red Sox twice, though one game was a relief outing where he faced only five batters).

Greene has made six starts and has mixed results so far, with three excellent outings and three mediocre outings. One of those outstanding starts was a month ago in Baltimore, the same place he’ll be pitching tonight.

What can we learn from the differences in his pitching performances during his good starts versus his bad starts, and can he neutralize the strong Oriole bats again tonight?

Stay grounded
The biggest takeaway from looking at his good/bad splits is that he needs to keep the ball on the ground to be successful.…

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Yankeemetrics: August 8-10 (Indians)

Derek Jeter passed Honus Wagner for sixth place on the all-time hits list on Saturday. (Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Derek Jeter passed Honus Wagner for sixth place on the all-time hits list on Saturday. (Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Grand Beltran
The Yankees opened their weekend series against the Indians with a 10-6 win on Friday night. Carlos Beltran drove in half of the Yankee runs with an RBI single and a grand slam.

It was his 11th career grand slam and first since 2012. The only switch-hitter in major-league history with more grand slams than Beltran is Eddie Murray (19).

Beltran, who hit five of those with the Mets, became the third player to hit a four-run homer with the Mets and Yankees. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he joined Darryl Strawberry and Robin Ventura in this exclusive club.

He also recorded his 15th career game with five or more RBIs, tying Eddie Murray and Lance Berkman for the fourth-most such games among MLB switch hitters.

Dellin Betances pitched the ninth inning, striking out two of the five batters he faced.…

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Yankeemetrics: August 4-7 (Tigers)

The Yankees are 5-0 with Brandon McCarthy on the mound this season. (Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The Yankees are 5-0 with Brandon McCarthy on the mound this season. (Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

One down, two to go
The Yankees faced the first of three straight Cy Young winners on Monday night vs the Tigers and somehow emerged with a 2-1 win against the reigning winner Max Scherzer in the series opener.

Brett Gardner entered the game 0-for-14 in his career vs Scherzer, but that didn’t faze the red-hot Gardner, who got two hits in three at-bats against Scherzer and scored the game-winning run.

Brandon McCarthy went 5 2/3 innings and allowing only one run (unearned), improving to 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA in five starts since joining the team in mid-July. He now has more wins in those five starts as a Yankee than he did in his 18 starts with the Diamondbacks earlier this season.

Prior to McCarthy, the last Yankee to go at least five innings in each of his first five starts in pinstripes – with the team winning each game – was Joe Cowley (10 straight) in 1984.…

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What to Watch For: Verlander vs Yankees

The Yankees will try to beat another former Cy Young winner tonight. (Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Image

The Yankees will try to beat another former Cy Young winner tonight. (Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The Yankees will make history tonight even before they swing a bat, when Justin Verlander takes the mound in the bottom of the first inning.

According to the Elias Sports Bureua, this is the first time in major-league history a team has faced the last three Cy Young Award winners (Max Scherzer, David Price, Verlander) in three straight games.

There is one caveat: tonight’s starter may have the name “Verlander” on the back of his jersey, but he is a shell of the pitcher that won the award in 2011. With a 4.66 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, he is on pace to have his worst season since 2008 when he led the league in losses and finished with a 4.84 ERA.

Cy who?
Verlander’s fastball velocity has declined every season since 2011 and opponents have increasingly been hitting his heater harder and harder each year.…

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Can Jeter reach another milestone vs David Price?

Derek Jeter hits a home run off David Price for his 3,000th career hit on July 9, 2011. (Photo: MLB)

Derek Jeter hits a home run off David Price for his 3,000th career hit on July 9, 2011. (Photo: MLB)

How fitting is it that as Derek Jeter approaches yet another milestone – he is three hits away from tying Honus Wagner for sixth place on the all-time list – the pitcher on the mound tonight in the Bronx will be David Price?

Whether by ironic fate or mere coincidence, Jeter has had his share of memorable at-bats against the former Cy Young Award winner.

Most fans remember that Jeter’s epic 3,000th hit – a home run on July 9, 2011 – came at the expense of the lefty ace, but that is not the only time Price has been at the center of a Jeter highlight reel. Here are some of the other milestone hits by Jeter during their matchups:

•  Jeter tied Lou Gehrig for the most career hits at the old Yankee Stadium on September 14, 2008 when he hit a solo homer in the fifth inning off the rookie Price (who was making his major-league debut).…

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