Tuesday Morning Musings On The Day Of The AL Wild Card Game

The Yankees will play their first postseason game since October 18, 2012 tonight, hosting the Houston Astros at The Stadium in the American League Wild Card game.  For an organization with the Yankees’ history that has failed to reach the postseason the previous 2 years, I feel like that should be a bigger deal, but the Yankees have seemingly been written off heading into this game.  They staggered to the finish of the regular season, losing 6 of 7 and needing a Houston loss to secure the home field advantage for this game.  Then they got hit with the weight of yesterday’s announcement by CC Sabathia that he will be entering rehab for alcohol abuse immediately and will not be pitching in the postseason.

It’s not the happy place I remember it being when the Bombers were in the dance, but it is the postseason in Yankeeland and that’s always a good thing in my book.  With the game a little less than 14 hours away as of me writing this sentence, let’s talk about some stuff heading into the game.…

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A guest post: Do the Yankees always collapse in September?

[Editor’s note: This is a guest post from longtime IIATMS reader, Professor Longnose. If you’d like to write a guest post, feel free to email me at sgotsulias at gmail dot com. -SG]

Aren’t You Glad Girardi Rested the Yankee Players All Season So They Could Collapse in September the Way They Always Do??

I don’t know how many times I said that after a loss recently, but I said it often enough that I wondered if I was being unfair. The Yankees certainly had a September to forget this year, and I’m pretty sure I remember them doing it last year, too, but my memory is as short as most fans. Does Girardi always manage them to a limp finish? Fortunately, we have the data to take a look.

Here is a fairly complicated chart doing a fairly simple thing: comparing the Yankees winning percentage from the beginning of the season through August 31 with their winning percentage from September 1 through the end of the regular season for every year of Girardi’s managerial reign.…

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Random thoughts about life, baseball, moons and dugout kerfuffles

Good morning everyone. It’s random thoughts time (because I cannot come up with anything else to write about today)!

Ready, set, go!

  • The Yankees won three out of four against the White Sox and their magic number is actually down to two so they could clinch a playoff spot if they beat the Red Sox tonight and either A’s beat Angels or Mariners beat Astros.
  • Nice!
  • I still think it’s funny that there are people in Yankeeland who think the Yankees still have a chance to win the division.
  • Have they not seen how Toronto has been playing since the trade deadline?
  • They’re unconscious. (Toronto, not those fans.)
  • And it’s perfectly okay that the Yankees aren’t winning the division.
  • Would I have liked to have seen them win it? Of course.
  • With regards to winning a division, how about those Mets?
  • I’m happy for my friends who are Mets fans.
  • But not that happy…
  • Let’s talk about Saturday, shall we?
  • I attended a charity event that’s held every year in my town and saw some former players.
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A year ago tonight…


Me holding dad’s hand

[Throughout the course of the day, you may see a lot of stuff on social media about Derek Jeter’s last at bat at Yankee Stadium because if you can believe it, it happened a year ago tonight.]

A year ago tonight, I was with my father in his hospital room, watching the Yankee game. I made it a point to be with him that night because I figured who better to watch Derek Jeter’s last home game with than my dad. He was the one who introduced to baseball when I was a little girl, and he was the one who turned me into the rabid Yankee fan I am today. Dad wasn’t feeling well that day and had a fever, but he was able to see Jeter’s double in the first inning. He even pointed at the TV as Jeter made it to second base. He fell asleep sometime in the second inning and didn’t wake up again until about 30 minutes after Jeter’s walk off, but I held his hand almost the entire time.…

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The four stages of baseball grief

After the events of last night, I felt it was important that we explore the stages of baseball grief together. (All four stages were stolen from the five stages of grief.) Of course, different people will have different reactions while going through baseball grief. Some baseball fans tend to wear their baseball emotions on their sleeves, while others tend to grief over baseball in private. But most of us will experience all four of these stages at some point, and I wanted to let you know that you are not alone, and that we can all get through this rough time together.

Stage 1: Denial and Isolation

The first most common reaction to your team not being able to pass the team ahead of them in the standings is usually denial. A lot of Yankee fans are going through denial right now. I even witnessed it last night when I was looking at my Twitter feed and seeing the reactions to how David Price was performing against the Yankees.…

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Quick Hit: Now It’s Tanaka Time

The Yankees face the Rays in a very important rubber match tonight.  The Yankees will be sending 21-year-old Luis Severino to the mound to start the game, fresh off his first real bad MLB outing against the Blue Jays over the weekend and with a potential quasi-calf issue.  The Rays will be sending their ace and noted Yankee dominator Chris Archer to the mound.  Advantage Rays.

While the Yanks won’t have that ace advantage tonight, they will have it when Masahiro Tanaka toes the rubber next, most likely on Friday against the Mets.  This would line him up to make a start against the Blue Jays in next week’s crucial final series, and it would require him to make both starts on regular rest.  That’s something the Yankees have gone out of their way to avoid as much as possible this season, but as Mike Axisa clearly and correctly explained this morning at RAB, the time for that arm protection is over.  …

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As The Rotation Turns

It’s been a challenging year for the Yankee starting rotation.  From injury scares to innings limits to uneven performance to forearm strains to unforeseen promotions to undeserved demotions and everything in between.  Yesterday was another chapter in that saga both on and off the field, as Michael Pineda looked terrible in the 2nd inning of his start against the Orioles before rebounding to complete 6 innings and the team announced that Nathan Eovaldi will be out for the next 2 weeks with what’s been called “elbow inflammation”.  Guys getting hurt and missing a few weeks?  That’s basically par for the course for the Yankees this year.

Roll it back to the first month of the season and look what they’ve gone through.  Masahiro Tanaka made 4 starts in April and then went to the DL for a month with right arm problems.  The “he should have had TJS!!” crowd went into overdrive, but Pineda pitched like an ace and helped get the rest of the rotation through that month, highlighting his time at the top of the rotation with a brilliant 16-K performance against the Orioles in May.…

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Stephen Drew Playing His Way Into 2016 Plans?

Courtesy: Anthony Gruppuso USA Today

I know mostly everyone reading already vomited after glancing at the title, but if Stephen Drew has a strong September, the possibility exists of him returning again in 2016 if he agrees to another 1-year contract.

Drew has been a huge target of hate from Yankees fans, but the reality is he has put together a quality second half of the season thus far and there are worse things in the world than a No. 9 hitter who hits 20 home runs and plays solid defense.

This is not just about Drew’s insanely hot recent stretch.  He has actually been a quality player since June 1st, hitting .251/.323/.483 with 12 home runs and a 120 wRC+ since thene. Over the last two weeks, Drew’s slash line is an incredible .351/.429/.568. If Drew has a good September that would be four consecutive months of good baseball from him, which after his first two months and 2014 season nobody would have ever thought possible.  …

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Does Ben Gamel Have A Future With The Yankees?

Courtesy of Butch Comegys/The Times Tribune

The Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders won last tonight to lock up their first International League North division title since 2010.  It’s a cool accomplishment for those younger players, and in some way it’s a testament to the quality of the Yankees’ upper-level organizational depth and talent.  This is a team that, at some point during this season, had Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Bryan Mitchell, Mason Williams, Ramon Flores, Rob Refsnyder, and Jacob Lindgren playing for it, along with the slew of other relief arms that have ridden the roster shuttle this year.

The name left out of that group that may have been the biggest part of this division title is Ben Gamel.  The 23-year-old outfielder, picked in the 10th round of the 2010 draft, had a monster year in his first Triple-A season and was the one consistent roster presence on a team of change.  …

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