I am a journalism student at William Paterson University in New Jersey. I am an aspiring sports journalist who has had a huge passion for the Yankees since birth. Contact or follow me on Twitter at @RAYROBERT9.

Author Archives: Matt Bove

The Subway Series Buzz Returns

For the last few MLB seasons, there had been virtually no buzz when it came to the Subway Series. The Mets were still in their long run of futility and the Yankees had turned into a mediocre and boring team to watch. We have gone from that to the first Subway Series meeting ever between the two teams with both in first place in their respective divisions.

Also, the fact that the series had been dwindled down to four games a year took buzz away. It has returned to six games this year and I don’t know why (maybe because the Yankees are playing NL East teams in interleague), but I’m happy about it. I have never understood the complaints about the Subway Series. I understand why Joe Torre and his players hated it, but from a fan’s perspective these games are tons of fun.

Over a 162 game season it’s interesting to have a few that stand out over the rest.…

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AL East Looks As Expected Thus Far

ALEastStandings420

The 2015 AL East was expected to be totally up for grabs and that’s the way it has looked for the first two weeks of the season.  Obviously with only two weeks gone by there will not be a ton of separation anywhere, but parity has ruled so far in the AL East with everybody divided by only 1.5 games between 7-5 and 6-7. With the Yankees playing a series against everyone in the division to start off the year it has given us a nice look at their division foes.

The best thing the Yankees have going for them is that they clearly have the best pitching in this division and it’s not even very close. The Orioles rank 20th in MLB in team ERA (4.73) and 21st in FIP (4.07), the Red Sox rank 26th in ERA (4.73) and 19th in FIP (3.99), the Rays rank 23rd in ERA (4.56) and 22nd in FIP (4.10) and the Blue Jays rank last in ERA (4.50) and last in FIP (5.06).…

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Breaking Down Mark Teixeira’s Hot Start In 2015

Courtesy: USA TODAY

Courtesy: USA TODAY

Mark Teixeira has had a terrific start to his season and it is absolutely necessary for him to come close sustaining it if the Yankees are going to be contending for the playoffs this season. The question is whether his start is truly sustainable, as he has had some strange quirks so far.

Teixeira has a slash line of .241/.361/.655/1.016 with a .406 wOBA and a 160 wRC+, which would be an MVP caliber stat line if carried out over a full season. Obviously, nobody is expecting for Teixeira to be an MVP candidate, so there will be regression.

The good news is Teixeira’s BABIP is a very low at .200, so he has not gotten lucky at all. His BABIP will probably never be very high anymore because of the shift, but you would still expect to be around .250 at least, which isn’t very good but still 50 points higher than where he is now.

Teixiera has been doing this with extra-base hits and walks, which has to be his formula at this point in his career.…

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One Positive Thing About The Early Yankee Offense

The 2015 New York Yankees offense looked a lot like the 2014 and 2013 versions before yesterday’s 14-run outburst.

However, there was one thing they did well on Sunday that they were actually doing well during their previous games last week — drawing walks.

According to Sweeny Murti, the Yankees have only swung at 40.8 percent of pitches this season (before last night’s game), which is the fewest in the AL. The Yankees are fifth in MLB with a 9.7% walk rate so far this season. This is a far cry from the last two years when they were 17th last year (7.4%) and 16th in 2013 (7.7%).

Looking at the Yankees individual on-base percentages and walk rates were not pretty last year. Carlos Beltran (.301 and 8.2%), Mark Teixeira, (.313 and 11.4%), Brian McCann (.286 and 5.9%), Jacoby Ellsbury (.328 and 7.7%) and Brett Gardner (.327 and 8.8%) all simply did not get on base enough and were below their career averages.…

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Evaluating CC Sabathia’s Start

Courtesy: Cory Sipkin/NY Daily News

Courtesy: Cory Sipkin/NY Daily News

You will be able to tell who actually watched CC Sabathia pitch last night versus who just scouted off the box score because Sabathia pitched much better than allowing five runs over 5.2 innings would indicate.

Whether people like to admit it or not luck plays a huge role in baseball, which is why we have stats now to weed out who is getting lucky and who is not. The Yankees were very lucky to win Tuesday and Sabathia was very unlucky in his start yesterday. That’s baseball.

Sabathia kept the ball on the ground, had good control, struck people out and avoided hard contact, which is really all you can ask a pitcher to do. The vast majority of the time doing those four things will lead to a terrific start.

Even though Sabathia was not throwing hard, his sinker kept the Blue Jays from hitting the ball in the air. His ground ball rate last night was 75 percent, which is excellent and normally a recipe for success with the Yankees infield defense.…

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IIATMS Moment #3: Mr. November

Nov

The 2001 World Series was so much more than just a series of baseball games for the city of New York.

Just months after the worst disaster to ever hit the United States occurred on 9/11, the city was still absolutely reeling. The New York Yankees were providing some comfort and an opportunity for people to get their minds away from it for a few hours a night, as they made their fourth consecutive World Series. The Yankees just weren’t playing for themselves, but for the entire city of New York.

The Yankees were down 2-1 in the series to the Arizona Diamondbacks after being dominated in the first two games in Arizona and winning Game 3 behind a strong pitching performance from Roger Clemens.

Even after the win in Game 3, things looked bleak going up against Curt Schilling after he dominated the Yankees in Game 1. He owned them again in Game 4, as Schilling only allowed one run and three hits over seven innings.…

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IIATMS Top Moment #7: Derek Jeter’s 3000th Hit

Corutesy: Rober Deutsch USA Today

Corutesy: Rober Deutsch USA Today

It’s no secret that Derek Jeter had a certain flare for the dramatic during his Yankees career (it feels so weird to write about Jeter in past tense now). So why would his much hyped 3,000th hit be any different?

Jeter needed two hits going into the July 9, 2011 game against the Rays to get his 3,000th hit. Jeter was struggling throughout much of the 2011 season and was hitting under .270. It was really the first time he actually started to look like his age.

David Price was the Rays’ pitcher that day and even though he’s a lefty it was hard to see Jeter doing much against his 97 MPH fastball at his age. Logic would dictate that if Jeter would have success against Price it would be with his patented inside out swing with singles to right field.

After getting a single to left in the first inning to put him one away, Jeter faced Price again in the third inning and worked the count to 3-2.…

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IIATMS Top Moment #12: 2009 ALDS Game 2

Courtesy: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Courtesy: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez — two Yankees stars who don’t have the best reputation among some fans at the moment — combined to make 2009 ALDS Game 2 one of the most memorable Yankees playoff games ever, even if it was just the Division Series.

Teixeira hit a leadoff walk-off home run in the 11th inning off of Twins reliever Jose Mijares that just bounced off the left field wall and went over it. It was Teixeira’s shining moment of the 2009 postseason, as he had a poor postseason after being a legitimate MVP candidate during his first season with the Yankees. The ball was scorched so hard that it left the park before you could even snap your fingers.

Also, Teixeira set the stage for Rodriguez’s big moment in the bottom of the 9th inning. The Yankees were down 3-1 going into their last licks, and Teixeira opened the inning with a single. Rodriguez came into to the at-bat hitting .159 with one home run and one RBI in the postseason from 2005-2007.…

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Yankees Co-Closers A Possibility?

A few days ago, Joe Girardi discussed the possibility of using Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller interchangeably as closer this season with MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.

“I’m sure we’ll have a lot of meetings about that,” Girardi said. “We’ll decide what’s best. We want to see how they’re both throwing the baseball at the end of Spring Training. There will be just a lot of discussion of how we feel our team is built. Could they be interchangeable? Yeah.”

Even as more and more MLB teams have moved towards using analytics greatly in their decision making, every team still uses the closer traditionally in the ninth inning. The notion in anlaytics is that it is smarter to use your closer –who is your best relief pitcher– whenever the biggest spot is in the game. That could be in the sixth inning with two runners on base in a tie game. They should not be saved for the ninth inning just because. No manager has had the guts to do this yet, because if it didn’t work out the backlash would probably be huge.…

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