Orioles put up 7 in the seventh, avoid sweep

Through six innings this game looked like a sure win for the Yankees. The Bombers were up three nothing with Andy Pettitte looking strong on the mound. It all came undone in the seventh inning.

Pettitte’s pitch count was low through six, making it a no-brainer to bring him out for the seventh. Unfortunately Andy faced two hitters and recorded zero outs that inning. After allowing two runner to reach base, Joe Girardi decided to relieve Pettitte with Shawn Kelley. Kelly promptly gave up a homer to J.J. Hardy. That made it 4-3 O’s, and it was the ball game.

Things, however, actually got worse. Boone Logan relieved Kelley and also recorded zero outs. For those keeping score at home, Pettitte, Kelley and Logan all faced two hitters in the inning without recording a single out. Joba Chamberlain relieved the ineffective Logan and promptly gave up a three run homer to Adam Jones. That made it 7-3 O’s, and pretty much shut the door on this one.… Click here to read the rest

Game Thread: Sunday, September 1st, Orioles versus Yankees

Now we’re talking! The Yankees have won the first two against the Orioles and moved in front of them in the standings. Even better, the Bombers currently sit just 3.5 games out of a Wild Card spot. ESPN still has their playoff odds at under 15%, but things are getting interesting! But the team will have to keep winning. Andy Pettitte takes the mound today in the Bronx, while the O’s will counter with Wei-Yin Chen. Use this as your game thread. Enjoy!… Click here to read the rest

Pettitte’s “Floating” Release Point

After Andy Pettitte‘s start on 4/29, the left-hander complained about release point issues. He explained that problems in his release point and the inefficiency of his cutter were causing him to struggle. After Sunday’s start on 5/5, Pettitte ran into the same issues. He had this to say after the game.

“It’s a struggle,” Pettitte said. “The issue is everything. Everything I’ve got to do as a starting pitcher, I’m not able to do right now. … My release point is floating around a little bit. … It’s been a long, long time since I haven’t had a feeling for my pitches.”

Yesterday, Brad covered his cutter, and today I want to take a look at his release points.

Instead, I’d like to just present Pettitte’s release points from his six 2013 starts.

You may need to refresh the page if it isn’t working initially, not sure why this is happening. As you can see, they are color differentiated by date.… Click here to read the rest

Cutter Problems Killing Andy Lately

Pettitte vs OAK

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

After allowing just 7 ER in his first 4 starts of the season, and going at least 6 innings in each of those starts, Andy Pettitte has struggled mightily in his last 2 outings, the second of which came yesterday Sunday against Oakland.  In 9.1 IP over both starts, Pettitte has allowed 10 ER on 14 H and 5 BB, with just 5 K to show for his effort.  According to Andy, his cutter has been the source of his struggles in the last week.  He just hasn’t had any kind of control over the pitch let alone command, and a quick look at the pitch location plot is proof of that:

Pettitte Cutter Location Last 2 Starts

That’s pretty brutal right there.  Either in the good middle part of the hitting zone or so far off the edges of the zone that it doesn’t even warrant a swing.  The cutter is Andy’s groundball pitch, the one he uses to keep his pitch count down and get quick outs when he needs them.  … Click here to read the rest

Staying Realistic On Pettitte

Andy Pettitte‘s performance in 2012 was short and sweet. For a 39 year old pitcher turning 40, short was expected, but the 2.87 ERA and 3.48 FIP were a shocker after a year on the retirement shelf.

The lefty has continued his success in his 3 starts so far, giving the Yankees 22.1 innings, allowing just 5 earned runs. Since returning from retirement, Pettitte has now pitched 97.2 innings and he’s looked less like a number three pitcher in the rotation, and more like a 1b. His 2.67 ERA over the last 2 years has been stunning, and the Yankees have to be thrilled with the results.

With the injury weaknesses and back of the rotation struggles this April, Pettitte has stood out and carried the team with dominate performances over three games. His importance in the early part of 2013 continues to be key for the team, but there are some signs that the south paw’s results could be due for some regression.… Click here to read the rest

The Shallow Depths

Though the season hasn’t even started, the Yankees have already had their depth tested in two positions. Curtis Granderson‘s injury has opened up a spot in the outfield, and the catching situation has been much maligned since the Yankees declined to re-sign Russell Martin and passed on signing A.J. Pierzynski. And with Derek Jeter‘s ankle injury, we’ll see the infield depth tested as Eduardo Nunez and/or Jayson Nix get some time at short to spell the Captain.  On the other hand, the pitching seems to be fairly deep.

The bullpen is well-stocked and some pitchers (think Clay Rapada and Cody Eppley) will not last the year on the 25-man roster. Likewise, though not quite as widely, the starting rotation is considered to be an area of strength. It’s certainly a talented rotation featuring CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Hiroki Kuroda. But is it as deep as we think?

Phil Hughes has already suffered an injury.… Click here to read the rest

Can Pettitte Continue His Success In 2013?

It’s been nearly a year since Andy Pettitte unretired. As shocking as his return to baseball was, no one expected him to pitch like did. Through 12 starts in 2012, Pettitte finished the season with a 22.8 K%, a 6.9 BB%, and a 3.48 FIP. Though his fluke injury limited him to only 75.1 innings, he held a 2.87 ERA, and continued to post numbers in the range of CC Sabathia. The left-hander will be 41 years old this season, and with only 12 major league starts under his belt since the end of 2010 season, his ability to succeed is one of the few remaining questions in this year’s rotation. 

(Mel Evans/AP)

Pettitte’s 2012 consisted of a relatively high number of strikeouts and ground balls based on his career numbers. From 2010 to 2012, his K% jumped 4 points, and his ground ball rate increased by nearly 13%. So how did he achieve these results?

Despite a slight loss in velocity, Pettitte’s fastballs had better movement in 2012.… Click here to read the rest

Projecting Andy Pettitte

Count me among the Yankee fans who were thrilled when Andy Pettitte came back in 2012. One of the low points of my Yankee fan career was watching Pettitte put on an Astros uniform from 2004 through 2006. I was certain Pettitte was one of the Yankees who would play his entire career in pinstripes. I never blamed him for leaving. I was thrilled when he came back.

For similar reasons I was shocked when Andy temporarily retired after 2010. He had something left in the tank. It just didn’t make sense for him to call it quits. Andy came back in 2012, and showed that he could still pitch, that only his ability to stay healthy would keep him in check. Now that he’s signed up for 2013, at the age of 41, what does Andy have left?

The answer is that it is unclear. Using just the eye test, Andy looks as dominant as ever. He put up an impressive slash line of 2.87/3.48/3.27 in 2012.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees Finding Undervalued Pieces In Old Players

In Moneyball, Billy Beane uses a number of advanced statistics to find undervalued players on the market. His rival, the New York Yankees, don’t need Sabermetrics, since they have wagons full of cash. While that’s partially true, (the part about all the money) the Yankees were one of the first organizations to implement advanced statistics, well before the story took place in 2002. Now that the Yankees have a budget, we’re starting to see them take a step forward in finding undervalued players.

Most recently, the Yankees have signed Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Kevin Youkilis, and Ichiro Suzuki. The average age of these players is 39 years old, and for a team that just finished 2012 with the oldest average age in baseball, fans are worried about regression. That doesn’t bother Brian Cashman.

Two months ago, I took a look at the age of teams in comparison to their overall fWAR. While teams like the Nationals represented a young team that played well, older teams were much more likely to outperform younger teams.… Click here to read the rest