Thoughts following a 7-3 road trip and leading into the Subway Series

Last Friday morning, before the Yankees began their series in Tampa, I had casually mentioned in my random thoughts post that it was too soon for doom and gloom. You know, with it only being the second week of the season at that point. Anyway, I was accused of not watching the team for the past two years, not knowing what I was talking about, yadda yadda yadda. Essentially, I was made to feel silly because I thought the second full week of the season was too soon to panic. I believe I was also told that the Yankees were going to be in Tampa and then Detroit, and with the way they were playing, they could easily end up being 3-13 by the time the road trip ended.

Well, it is now a week later, and it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, the Yankees are now tied for first place in the division. They also have the best run differential in the division and third best in American League.…

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Game 16 Quick Recap: NYY 2 DET 1

Tanaka vs DET

Bada boom, realest guy in the room. Courtesy of the AP

Getaway Thursday game suck.  Normally I have a hard enough time following games that I’m not watching and trying to write a competent recap based on that.  When the game is happening while I’m at work, forget about it.  The stadium could have been swallowed into a sinkhole in the 3rd inning and I wouldn’t have known about it until about an hour ago.  From what I gather, Masahiro Tanaka was pretty damn good again today, and some timely late runs helped secure a pretty impressive road series victory for the Bronx Bombers.

It wasn’t an especially hot start for Tanaka either.  He gave up a double to lead off the game, walked Miguel Cabrera, and let the double come around to score a quick run on a Victor Martinez sac fly.  After that he was cash money.  Tanaka retired 8 in a row into the 4th before giving up a double to J.D.

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Game 16: #TANAK vs. Sanchez

Tanaka vs TOR 2015Happy #TANAK Day, peeps. Afternoon game today, starting at 1:08ET. Let’s see if Tanaka (2-1, 3.94 ERA) can continue his momentum from his last outing and lead the team to a series win against Annibal Sanchez (1-2, 7.71) and the Tigers.

While you’re at it, feel free to bash whatever dumb, trite, hackneyed narrative the writers are pounding on. Here’s a non-exhaustive (yet exhausting) list to start from:

  • Didi Gregorius is not a proper replacement for Derek Jeter
  • Carlos Beltran has looked old [OK, this is kinda true, sorry Carlos, last night’s triple not withstanding]
  • Jacoby Ellsbury is not earning his $153 million
  • If George were still alive…
  • Tanaka’s elbow could snap any second. LOOK OUT!
  • Tanaka should have had surgery despite three (or more) doctors advising against it
  • ARod can’t keep this up; he must be back on the juice
  • Teix is done and can’t hit against the shift

Lineups:

New York Yankees Detroit Tigers
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Anthony Gose, CF
Brett Gardner, LF Ian Kinsler, 2B
Carlos Beltran, DH Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Brian McCann, C Victor Martinez, DH
Chase Headley, 3B J.D.
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ARod’s ‘marketable milestones’ take away his rights

The Yankees brass has made its intentions known without having to show it off on their high-def scoreboard.

When Alex Rodriguez hits home run No. 660 to tie Willie Mays for fourth all-time, their celebration will be tame. No red carpet. No champagne bottles. No commercials or special t-shirts. No, he will not get the “DJ3K” treatment.

Several outlets have reported how the Yankees are going to fight back against Arod’s special contract where he is supposed to receive what can be an extra $30 million for his milestone home runs – $6 million for each. Just don’t call them milestones. Seems the Yankees aren’t interested in that.

However, the New York Post story left me a bit baffled. According to their very special sources with knowledge of the situation, ARod would sign over his image rights and associated branding for $6 million a home run.

Really? Why?

I’m not thrown back by the Yankees wanting to keep the money in the battle over the contract.…

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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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