About Last Night: The offense exploded again!

So last night was pretty fun.

I mean, sure, after the Yankees went up 6-0 in the first inning, it was fun. It wasn’t that enjoyable to watch Detroit immediately answer with four runs of their own right away, but seeing the Yankees continue to get on base and score throughout the game and to see Adam Warren hang in there after a rough first inning was pretty great.

You know what else is pretty great? Watching the Yankees hitters work counts and not rush things when they’re at the plate. It seemed like Alex Rodriguez was the only guy in the lineup who exhibited any patience at the plate to start the season and now, it feels like the whole lineup is much better at pitch selection and waiting for a good pitch to hammer.

Case in point:

Carlos Beltran had two hits last night! Both were on changeups – in the second inning, it was an 83 mph change up from David Price that he laced for a triple and in the fourth inning, he hit an 87 mph change up from Aaron Nesbitt for a single.…

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Quick Hit: The Surprisingly Stout Lineup

Yesterday Dom touched on the solid all-around start for the pitching staff through the first 2+ weeks of the season, and noted that the group as a whole was outperforming some of its less-than-stellar individual performances.  A comment was made that the offense needed to “step up” to match the pitching staff’s strong start, which I found a bit strange considering that the offense had been performing very well in multiple key areas.  Then last night’s all-out assault on David Price happened and I thought I’d take a look at just exactly how well the Yankee lineup had been stepping up after a pretty lame first week.

As with Dom’s post yesterday, all stats here are courtesy of FanGraphs and rankings are MLB-wide:

  • T-1st in Home Runs (21)
  • 2nd in ISO (.187)
  • T-3rd in Runs (83)
  • 4th in Walk Rate (10.5%)
  • T-7th in OBP (.332)
  • T-8th in SLG (.433)
  • 8th in wRC+ (109)
  • 8th in WAR (2.6)
  • T-9th in Doubles (27)

Remember that all of that is coming with a low batting average, LD rate, and BABIP, which are things I expect to normalize and increase as the season continues and sample sizes grow.  …

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Game 15 Recap: Yankees 13 Tigers 4

Teix HR vs DET

Mark Teixeira and a masked man in a Robinson Cano jersey celebrate Teix’s 7th inning home run. Courtesy of the AP

It was a beautiful night for baseball in Detroit tonight.  Temps in the 30s, a brisk wind blowing through the stadium, and bountiful snow flurries.  Exactly the type of picturesque evening you think of when you think about America’s national pastime.

Unless you were David Price and Adam Warren, the 2 starting pitchers for the Yankees and Tigers.  Price picked up where he left off last year, giving up 6 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and a hit batsman in the top of the 1st to put his team in an early hole.  Warren almost dug them out with a 4-run bottom half.  He walked 4 of the first 5 batters he faced in the game, including 1 to bring in the first Detroit run, which was the real problem.  Stupid people will tell you Didi Gregorius should have made better plays defensively.  …

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Game 15: Warren vs. Price

Here are tonight’s lineups:

New York Yankees Detroit Tigers
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Anthony Gose, CF
Chris Young, LF Ian Kinsler, 2B
Alex Rodriguez, DH Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Mark Teixeira, 1B Victor Martinez, DH
Brian McCann, C J.D. Martinez, RF
Carlos Beltran, RF Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Chase Headley, 3B Nick Castellanos, 3B
Gregorio Petit, 2B Alex Avila, C
Didi Gregorius, SS Jose Iglesias, SS
Adam Warren, SP David Price, SP

Enjoy the game!

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About Last Night: Two-Pitch Eovaldi Thrives

First off, yes, I know this is complete gimmick infringement on my part for using Stacey’s series title.  I’m sure she’s OK with it.  Second, and more importantly, I wanted to talk about a possible trend that’s developing after Nathan Eovaldi‘s strong third start.  Eovaldi put a dangerous Detroit lineup in a diaper last night, consistently making big pitches when he needed them to snuff out potential rallies.  He surrendered a lone run in his 7 innings of work, making last night easily Eovaldi’s best start in pinstripes.

What was interesting about those big pitches he threw last night was the fact that almost all of them were fastballs and sliders and not a single one of them were splitters.  After working on that pitch during the spring and using it 12 times in his first start against Boston (according to Brooks Baseball), Eovaldi has now thrown only 2 splits in his last 2 starts.  What was a more balanced pitch mix approach at the beginning of the season has become less so with each start since.  …

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Quick Hit: The Surprisingly Stout Pitching Staff

Heading into this season, many were torn on what to expect of the team’s pitching staff. On one hand, Larry Rothschild has overseen some excellent staffs in his time with the Yankees, including one of the best in the game last year, and the team was returning the majority of that group in 2015. On the other hand, that group had hardly made it through the season unscathed, and Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, and Michael Pineda are all, at least to some degree, ticking time bombs (as are all pitchers, to be fair). With fourteen games and a few complete turns through the rotation under the team’s belt, it seems a mostly reasonable time to check-in on the early returns.

All stats are courtesy of FanGraphs, and all rankings are MLB-wide:

  • 1st in fWAR
  • 5th in K%
  • 6th in K-BB%
  • 7th in GB%
  • 7th in xFIP
  • 7th in ERA-
  • 8th in FIP
  • 9th in ERA
  • 15th in BB%

At this juncture, it seems as though the staff is greater than the sum of its parts, given the below-average run prevention numbers of Sabathia, Pineda, and Adam Warren, the average-ish-ness of Tanaka, and the unsightly walk rates of Dellin Betances, Justin Wilson, and Andrew Miller.…

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Chris Young Needs to Play

Young vs BAL

Courtesy of Getty Images

The season is young and the sample sizes are small and many reactions to the action thus far on the field are emotional and knee-jerk. So keep those thoughts in mind when certain beat writers bury Jacoby Ellsbury while certain writers (waving hand) of your favorite Yankee site (this one, of course) do the same to Carlos Beltran. My emotional and knee-jerk reaction is that Chris Young needs to be playing every day.

Despite playing only 41 of his 1,055 Major League games as a right-fielder, I think we can all agree that Young is going to be the better defender between him and Beltran. Carlos Beltran, in my mind, has had a Hall of Fame career. He is going to in the top ten of the greatest center fielders to ever play the game. JAWS currently has him eighth. But he isn’t that guy anymore and while his instincts may still be good in right, his body just isn’t.…

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Game 14 Recap: Yankees 5 Tigers 2

I guess the third time through the order is the charm for most of the Yankee rotation.  Tanaka was money his last start, CC was really sharp last night, and Nathan Eovaldi turned in a beauty tonight in his third trip to the bump as a pinstriper, pitching the Yankees to a 5-2 victory over the Tigers and knotting this series up at a game apiece.

He got his first support run before he even took the mound.  Brett Gardner walked with 1 out in the top of the 1st and came around to score on a Mark Teixeira double.  And not just any double, this was an opposite-field double to from the right side of the plate.

That was all Eovaldi would get for most of the night, but he made it stand up with a stellar fastball/slider combination.  Once again, some timely double plays helped his efforts, but he settled in as he got to the middle innings and started to really assert himself in the 4th and 5th when he started striking guys out with the slider.  …

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Game 14: Eovaldi vs. Lobstein

Welcome to tonight’s game thread.

Here are the lineups:
Ellsbury CF
Gardner LF
Rodriguez DH
Teixeira 1B
McCann C
Young RF
Headley 3B
Drew SS
Petit 2B

Eovaldi P

Gose CF
Kinsler 2B
Cabrera 1B
V-Mart DH
J. Martinez RF
Cespedes LF
Castellanos 3B
Avila C
Iglesias SS

Lobstein P


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