Yankees shockingly roll over and die for Pitcher They've Never Seen Before

(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

The most surprising thing ever happened on Monday night, and by most surprising I mean least surprising thing in American history, as the Yankees got completely shut down by a Pitcher They’ve Never Seen Before™ for the approximately 800 millionth time over the last two seasons.

I’m sorry, but there’s just no excuse for a game like this. Bases loaded, no out in the first inning, and the team fails to score. Five total hits off Carlos Carrasco, who came into this game with an ERA above 4.50, and who struck seven Yankees out during his seven scoreless innings. Seriously, what is it about the Indians and pitchers the Yankees have never seen before? This was even worse than the Josh Tomlin game last July, as they at least managed a run off Tomlin! I know the team just won three of four and in doing so obviously won this series, but the double ignominy of the utter predictability of the Yankee bats getting shutdown by a new hurler in addition to losing by a score of 1-0 is altogether incredibly frustrating.… Click here to read the rest

Game Thread and Series Preview | Yankees vs. Indians I: Rick Vaughn would be so proud

Cano hitting one of five Yankee solo home runs in an April 16, 2009, game against the Indians (photo c/o The New York Times)

The Cleveland Indians have been in first place in the AL Central since their sixth game of the season, despite the fact that neither their offense (.324 team wOBA, which is pretty good in the current depressed 2011 hitting environment, but nothing extraordinary) or pitching staff (a middling 3.89 team ERA, 7th-best in the AL) appears to be particularly imposing on paper — save for Asdrubal Cabrera, who has come out of nowhere (.301 wOBA in 2010) to post an 9th-best-in-the-American-League .391 wOBA.

Given that most prognosticators pegged the Indians for a 4th- or 5th-place finish in 2011, the Tribe’s early season run has caught many by surprise, though it appears that the team might finally be coming back down to earth. After finishing April with a mighty 18-8 record, the Indians played near-.500 ball in May (14-12) before hitting the skids in June (2-6).… Click here to read the rest

Blue Jays thump Yanks 7-3

So that's where Bautista's beard went. (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill)

Bartolo Colon got through the first five innings relatively unscathed (save a first-inning solo Jose Baustista, which happens) before giving up five runs in the sixth inning, which wound being plenty for the Blue Jays, who beat the Yankees 7-3 Monday night.

True to form, the Yankees couldn’t do much of anything against spot starter Carlos Villanueva, who they had previously only seen in two one-inning relief appearances, and so for all intents and purposes he was yet another scrubby-pitcher-the-Yankees-have-never-faced-before-and-were-subsequently-owned by. Villanueva only lasted five innings, but struck five men out and only gave up two hits and one run on a sac fly. Let’s have a round of applause for the offense, who needed to come up big against a guy they knew wouldn’t be in the game forever, and didn’t

On the bright side, the Yankees finally broke the Toronto bullpen’s scoreless streak against them with runs against Jason Frasor and Jon Rauch, but it wouldn’t be enough.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees finally eke win out over Baltimore in extras following strangest inning ever

Go Bart, go.

So this wasn’t quite “Yankees get shut down by rookie they’ve never faced before,” but it was pretty close, given that the Yankees managed to muster up one measly run against the Orioles across the first fourteen innings of this game.

Thankfully, the Yankees finally prevailed in the 15th — their first 15-plus inning game since Alex Rodriguez‘s glorious, glorious walk-off bomb against the BoSox in August 2009 —  going on to win a game they led for the first eight inning  4-1 in extras.

Before going any further, however, I’d be remiss if I didn’t chronicle the events of the 15th inning, which was quite possible the strangest inning of baseball I’ve ever witnessed.

To paraphrase Bill Hader’s Weekend Update correspondent Stefon, this game had everything:

  • After the first two Yankees reached base in the 15th on back-to-back hits, Robinson Cano incredibly managed to get a hit with RISP, ripping a bases-clearing  first-pitch double off Mike Gonzalez to give the Yankees the lead back.
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Game Thread and Series Preview | Yankees vs. Orioles III: I can't stand the rain

(Photo c/o Getty Images)

The Yanks and O’s meet for the third time this season, though the teams have only been able to play four of the six games they were previously scheduled for, with the Yankees taking all four contests. Unfortunately there’s rain in the forecast once again, and it’s possible tonight’s game will be rained out by the time this post is published. However, we’ll go and preview the two teams anyway as they embark on a brief two- (or one-) game set.

You already know the story with the Yankees — 9-13 since they last played Baltimore, and scuffling in seemingly every which way possible before finally picking up a much-needed win last night. The Orioles are 11-9 over that same time period, though they are currently in last place in the American League East.

On the offensive side of things, the O’s have outdone the Yankees over the last 14 days, with a .329 team wOBA to the Yankees’ .323.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees face inexperienced pitcher for the first time; inexperienced pitcher wins

In his series preview, Larry suggested that the unknown Chicago starter, Philip Humber, whom the Yankees had never faced before, would no-hit the Bombers over nine innings. Larry is prone to exaggeration. Instead, Humber limited the Yankees to one hit over seven innings. If not for a seventh inning single from Alex Rodriguez, Humber probably would have no hit the Yankees.

On the surface, Humber didn’t seem like the kind of never-before-seen pitcher who shut down the Yankees so routinely last season. For one thing, he’s right handed. For another, he can top 93mph on the radar gun. But, he pitched in the mold of Carl Pavano. None of his pitches were over powering, but, according to Al Leiter, he mixed a decent fastball with two different breaking pitches and a changeup to keep the Yankee bats off balance. He mixed in a little magic too, because at one point during the potential no-hitter Leiter confessed to Michael Kay that he couldn’t figure out why the Yankees wouldn’t have been able to hit Humber with a paddle.… Click here to read the rest

Negative storylines from the 2010 season

Last Wednesday we took a look at some of the positive storylines that emerged from the Yankees’ 2010 season. Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad, and while we’ll try to refrain from being too morose, any analysis of the Yankee season wouldn’t be complete without harping on some of the team’s shortcomings.

Negative storylines from 2010

After a hot start, Phil Hughes struggled a bit in his first full season in the rotation. While the overall takeaway from Phil Franchise’s first full year in the starting rotation should ultimately be colored in optimism, as discussed in the aforelinked post, Phil’s performance began to tail off pretty significantly after getting off to as hot a start as anyone in baseball. Through his first 11 starts, Phil pitched to a sterling 2.70 ERA (while holding batters to a .577 OPS), an outstanding mark any way you slice it, but a number particularly impressive in the battlezone known as the American League East.… Click here to read the rest

Follow-up analysis on pitchers who throw less than 90mph

Last week we took a look at starters the Yankees have faced who don’t crack 90mph with their fastballs. Sometime Yankee contributor Skip subsequently encouraged me (or perhaps more appropriately, berated me) to delve further into the data:

“Larry, I just read your 90-mph pitcher post, and you’re drawing conclusions from the wrong set of data. You want to know how the Yankees do against soft-tossing starters, and yet you use the final game score and talk about the team’s overall record. I was expecting you — in a story about soft-tossing starters — to look at only how the team did against those starters. Maybe the Yanks kept a game close because of their excellent pitching, and then won the game against a hard-throwing bullpen. Looking at a final game score tells you very little about how the starter did. I know the ol’ wins and losses is ultimately what matters, but you’re not answering the question you asked.… Click here to read the rest

The 2010 New York Yankees vs. starting pitchers who don't crack 90mph with their fastballs

If there’s one topic I’ve potentially spilled more digital ink on than the Yankees getting beaten by pitchers they’ve never seen before/starters making their Major League debuts, it would be the team seemingly routinely getting shutdown by starting pitchers with fastballs that top out around 89-90mph, pinpoint control and an uncanny ability to change speeds. In particular, we’ve seen Dallas Braden, Brett Cecil and Brian Matusz — the latter both beating the Yankees in the last two days — each stymie the Yankee lineup during the past week.

Though Braden took the loss in his game last Thursday, he still only yielded one run on two hits over five innings before departing with an injury. Cecil and Matusz of course picked up wins, each limiting the Yankees to three earned runs. While neither was outright dominant, and the Yankees had beaten Matusz the three previous times they faced him, both pitchers figure to be continuous thorns in the Yankees’ sides for a good while what with being young, very good and residing in the AL East.… Click here to read the rest