ALDS Preview: Oakland v. Detroit

Lineup

There’s a perception out there that the Tigers have an overwhelming offensive advantage in this series. While Detroit will pump out some serious power in the form of Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Alex Avila it’s hardly an offensive mismatch. Consider the following chart from Beaneball.org:

Position A 2013 TAv Tiger 2013 TAv Winner
Catcher Vogt .250 Avila .246 A’s
First Barton .297 Fielder .290 A’s
Second Sogard .264 Infante .277 Tigers
Short Lowrie .289 Iglesias .260 A’s
Third Donaldson .321 Cabrera .365 Tigers
Left Cespedes .275 Peralta .286 Tigers
Center Crisp .291 Jackson .271 A’s
Right Reddick .259 Hunter .285 Tigers
DH Moss .325 Martinez .274 A’s

I mean, I’m not making the case that the A’s are offensively superior to the Tigers. From a talent perspective a few things can counter what the 2013 season numbers tell us. A healthy Miggy counts for a lot. Victor Martinez rounding back into form counts for a lot. Prince’s performance can swing the series. What I am saying is that at worst the Tigers have a definite, but not overwhelming offensive edge. Add in the fact that the A’s will attack Detroit’s righty dominant starters with a slew of left handed bats and this is a really close match up to call. Continue reading ALDS Preview: Oakland v. Detroit

2011 ALDS Postmortem

Following last year’s loss to the Rangers in the ALCS, I did a wrap-up that looked at the contributions of the individual players of both teams. After fully digesting the Yankees’ unbearably awful offensive (and pitching) showing in that series, I was compelled to find out just how bad the bats were in comparison with every other playoff series the Yankees had participated in since 1995 (the answer is sixth-worst out of 31). For this post, I’ll be combining those two ideas, as we look at the individual performances and also update the overall offense and pitching tables to reflect Continue reading 2011 ALDS Postmortem

How the Yankees have fared in playoff series that have gone the distance since 1995

The Yankees’ lopsided 10-1 victory in Detroit on Tuesday night ensured that the Bombers would have the opportunity to return home to the Bronx to finish the Tigers off in a winner-takes-all Game 5 of the 2011 American League Division Series. The victory was the Yankees’ second-ever road win in an ALDS Game 4 to force a Game 5 at home — the first was against Oakland in 2001. The last time the Yankees played an ALDS that went the distance was in 2005, when they lost to the Angels in Los Angeles. The Yankees have played five previous ALDS Continue reading How the Yankees have fared in playoff series that have gone the distance since 1995

A Deeper Look at Duensing

In 2009, Brian Duensing had a respectable debut. He pitched in 24 games, starting nine of them. All told in ’09, he threw 84 regular season innings to a 3.64 ERA, 4.13 FIP, and 4.77 xFIP. The xFIP is a bit high because Duensing didn’t strike many guys out (5.68 per nine), but he did display decent control (3.32 BB/9), and kept the ball in the park (0.75 HR/9). He got guys to ground out 45.5% of the time and stranded 74.9% of the batters who faced him. 2009 saw Duensing work with a fastball-slider combination, while mixing in a Continue reading A Deeper Look at Duensing

Andy via PFX

Yesterday, I went to work at 4 PM. By the time I got out, the Yankees had already defeated the Minnesota Twins 5-2 to take a two games to none lead in the American League Division Series. (Sidebar: anyone need SAT tutoring?) What I wanted to see most was Andy Pettitte. He had one good start after coming off of the disabled list and two shaky ones. While we were all confident in Pettitte’s ability and experience, we couldn’t help but feel a bit of trepidation as he took the hill in Game Two. After all, how did we know Continue reading Andy via PFX

Yankees fight back yet again, beat Twins 5-2 to take 2-0 ALDS lead

The Minnesota Twins really might want to think about letting the Yankees score first one of these postseason games. The Yankees beat the Twins 5-2 in Minnesota to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the 2010 American League Division Series, marking not only their eighth straight win against the Twins in postseason play, but their eighth straight come-from-behind win against the Twins in postseason play. Andy Pettitte was everything the Yankees could’ve asked for and then some, throwing seven innings of five-hit, two-run ball, and only using 88 pitches to do it. Talk about efficiency. On the other side of Continue reading Yankees fight back yet again, beat Twins 5-2 to take 2-0 ALDS lead

To continue winning Yankees will need more of the same from Tex, Swish and Cano

Last night Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher went a combined 4-14 (.286), with three RBI. Tex had two extra-base hits and scored two runs as well, doing all his damage after the 6th inning. Cano knocked in the Yankees’ first run of the game, while Swisher picked up a key base hit moments before Tex decided the Earth needed one more satellite in its orbit. As an added bonus, they had only a single strikeout between them. The combined effort looms large before tonight’s game. Last season all three of these guys vanished in the playoffs. Tex managed Continue reading To continue winning Yankees will need more of the same from Tex, Swish and Cano

Sticking With The Starter

Of all the moves that a manager makes throughout a game, the one that I think can be attributed most to ‘feel’ rather than pure statistical data is the decision on when to pull the starter. Often, the pitcher’s stuff will give clues that he is losing effectiveness, and it is up to the manager to gauge whether he can count on the pitcher to get a few more outs without losing effectiveness. It is a difficult decision that is ripe for criticism when it backfires, particularly because managers will often ignore the signals from the pitcher due to the Continue reading Sticking With The Starter

Looking for More Game Two Magic

The 2009 post-season run by the Yankees was obviously fantastic. They swept the Twins ALDS, beat the Angels 4-2 in the ALCS, and then beat the Phillies 4-2 in the World Series. Somehow, it didn’t hit me until last night while watching Game One of the ALDS versus the Twins (moving to the bottom of the seventh as I type this): each Game Two in the playoffs last year had something special. ALDS Game Two We all remember this one. The David Robertson escape act. The A-Rod homer against Nathan to tie the game in the ninth. Mark Teixeira’s walk Continue reading Looking for More Game Two Magic