Quick Hit: Yanks Set New Team Strikeout Record

From the “Small Morale Victories” department, the Yankees did set a new team record in last night’s game as their playoff chances were whittled down to the smallest possible speck of existence.  The 11 combined strikeouts by the pitching staff gave them 1,319 on the year, breaking the previous team record that was set 2 seasons ago.

That 1,319 total is good for 4th most in MLB this season, and the 551 that have come from the bullpen is the most in MLB by over 30.  The Yanks have 3 relief pitchers in the top 20 in K rate this year: Dellin Betances at 4 (39.6%), David Robertson at 10 (37.0%), and Shawn Kelley at 20 (30.7%).  That’s really impressive.  But it’s not just the relievers.  They’ve gotten plenty of punchouts from their starters as well.  Masahiro Tanaka still boasts a 26.3% K rate, Shane Greene has struck out over 1 batter per inning, CC Sabathia was doing the same before he got hurt, and Brandon McCarthy, David Phelps, and Michael Pineda have all turned in some very good strikeout nights.…

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Yankeemetrics: Jeter farewell edition

Derek Jeter's career is unmatched in baseball history.

Derek Jeter’s career is unmatched in baseball history.

As Derek Jeter‘s incredible career comes to an end, let’s celebrate the amazing accomplishments of the soon-to-be Hall of Famer with a list of my 10 favorite stats from Jeter’s 20 seasons with the New York Yankees. Special thanks to the Baseball-Reference.com Play Index and the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia for many of these notes.

1. Jeter is the only player in major-league baseball history with at least 3,000 hits, 350 stolen bases, 250 homers and 1,300 RBI. Nada, no one else has done it.

2. Jeter and Hank Aaron are the only two players in MLB history with 16-or-more seasons of at least 150 hits, 20 doubles and 10 homers.

3. Arguably Jeter’s most iconic hit was his 3,000th, a home run off David Price on July 9, 2011. The only other player to reach the 3,000-hit milestone with a homer was Wade Boggs on August 7, 1999.

4. He is one of two players all-time with at least 3,460 hits for one franchise and none with any other team, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.…

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Quick Hit: Betances’ Race For Strikeout History

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All Star, Yankee record holder, all-time great? Courtesy of Getty Images

Last night, Dellin Betances became the new Yankee record holder for most strikeouts in a single season by a relief pitcher with 132.  He passed Mo to do it after entering the night tied with him at 130, and considering that Betances needed 87.2 innings to set the new record compared to the 107.2 Mo needed in 1996, I think it’s safe to say that it’s quite the accomplishment.

With the Yankee record now in his possession and 11 games remaining in the season, the focus shifts to where Betances will end up on MLB’s all-time single-season reliever strikeout list.  The 132 currently puts him tied for 15th with Duane Ward of the ’91 Blue Jays, and looking ahead he’s got a pretty good shot to crack the top 10.

The all-time record is held by Dick Radatz, who struck out 181 batters in 157.0 relief innings pitched for the 1964 Red Sox.  …

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Here Are Some Offensive Numbers To Get You Psyched For Tonight’s Game

Offered up without commentary:

– The Yankees have been shut out 5 times in the last 16 games.

– They have been shut out 10 times this season.

– They have scored 42 runs in their 14 September games.

– They’ve scored 6 runs in their last 5 games.

– They’ve been held to 2 runs or fewer 9 times in the last 3 weeks.

– They’ve been held to 3 runs or fewer in 73 of 149 games this season, a shade under 50%.

– Their record in those game is 18-55.

– They’ve been held to 4 runs or fewer in 96 of 149 games.  That’s almost two-thirds of the season.

– Interesting enough, they’ve also held opponents to 3 or fewer runs 73 times this season.  They’re 56-17 in those games.

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The 2014 Yankees and the lack of a superstar

Photo credit: Getty Images

Photo credit: Getty Images

Even in the leanest of lean times, there is one thing that you could always count on with the New York Yankees: an everyday star player who was considered among the elite in the league.

Last year’s team may have been one of the worst in recent memory, but it still had Robinson Cano, who finished fifth in the MVP voting and ranked third in the AL in Wins Above Replacement (7.6).

But that guarantee of stardom is a pipe dream this season.

For the first time in nearly 25 years, the Yankees will not have a player with more than 5.0 WAR, a mark that is considered the threshold for a “Superstar” player. Entering this week Brett Gardner leads the team with 4.4 WAR and its unlikely he’ll be able to add half a win in the final 13 games.

The last non-strike season in which the Yankees did not have a 5-WAR player was 1991, when Steve Sax led the team with 4.1 WAR.…

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Quick Hit: Can I Start Calling Them The B-Team Now?

If you’ve been hung up on the horrific offense, you might not have noticed this positive trend that Sweeny touched on last night.  The bullpen has been lights out for the last week.  20.2 scoreless innings is damn good and 7.2 of those innings have been pitched by the bargain bin collection of Huff, Whitley, Rogers, Hill, and Outman.  Add in another 3 from Shawn Kelley in 4 appearances and that’s more than half of that 20.2-inning scoreless streak being attributed to the 2nd, 3rd, and maybe 4th levels of the relief corps.

They don’t fill you with the level of confidence that comes with Betances and D-Rob, but give a tip of the cap to this crew.  They’re doing the job and doing it well when their name gets called.

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Quick Hit: Pineda Can’t Buy Run Support Right Now

Michael Pineda has made 9 starts this year.  He’s pitched exactly 50 innings in those 9 starts and allowed 11 runs (10 earned) in those 50 innings.  His consistency in limiting opposing lineups to 2 runs or fewer was noted by Katie earlier this morning, and his overall performance has re-inspired hope that he can become a strong #2 starter at the top of future rotations.

The only problem with Pineda’s performance this season, and it’s not even his problem really, is that it hasn’t led to very many Yankee victories.  Pineda has a 3-4 record and the team is 3-6 in his starts, mainly because the offense refuses to score runs for him.  In the 50 innings he’s pitched, the Yankees have scored 16 runs.  That number is bad enough as a standalone, but when you consider that 10 of them have come in 2 games and none have been scored in the last 2 it gets even worse.  …

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Quick Hit: Dellin Dealin’ For A Team Record

It’s going to get swallowed up in the underwhelming offensive production, second straight missed postseason, and JeterMania this month, but Dellin Betances deserves some ink for the Yankee record he’s chasing.  I wasn’t even aware he was that close until this morning.  Via Chad Jennings:

“Dellin Betances struck out two batters in a scoreless eighth inning. He now has 122 strikeouts in 81 innings this season and has a good chance to be the Yankees season leader in strikeouts while pitching the entire season out of the bullpen. He’s tied Goose Gossage for the second-most reliever strikeouts in a season (Gossage did it in 134.1 innings in 1978). The record is 130 set by Mariano Rivera in 107.2 innings 1996.”

That’s a hell of an accomplishment for Betances in his rookie season.  To be among the 2 best relievers in Yankee history, the best reliever in baseball history, and to be primed to beat both of their records in the reliever strikeout department.  …

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Yankeemetrics: August 25-28 (Royals, Tigers)

The Yankees had a lot to celebrate in Wednesday's win. (Photo: Rick Osentoski/USA Today Sports)

The Yankees had a lot to celebrate in Wednesday’s win. (Photo: Rick Osentoski/USA Today Sports)

Big Game Mike
The Yankees started off their seven-game road trip with an impressive 8-1 win in Kansas City, a game that was a makeup from a rainout in June. Michael Pineda had yet another brilliant outing, allowing just one run on five hits in his third start since coming off the DL.

He is the third American League pitcher in the last 100 years to allow two runs or fewer and five hits or fewer in each of his first seven starts of the season. The others are White Sox pitcher Cisco Carlos in 1967 and Angels pitcher Jered Weaver in 2006.

Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits, including the 1,000th hit of his career, earning our obscure Yankeemetric of the Week:

He is the 11th major-league player from Oregon with at least 1,000 career hits, but just the second one of those to reach the milestone in a Yankee uniform.…

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