Sunday Morning News And Notes: 9/14/14

There’s been a lot happening off the field in the last few days that’s gone unmentioned here.  This morning seems like the perfect time to play a little catch-up.

- VP of baseball ops Mark Newman told the team he plans to retire after this season, according to George King.  Trey Hillman is the early favorite to replace him and there could be other organizational changes as well.  The Yankees desperately need some new eyes, new thoughts, new blood, and a new direction, so this is a very welcome and needed change in my opinion.

- All physical and neurological tests came back clean on Chase Headley after he took a pitch off the chin on Thursday night.  He has rejoined the team in Baltimore, but did not play Friday night or yesterday and isn’t expected to play tonight.

- Brett Gardner‘s abdominal issue apparently isn’t as bad as it was first reported to be earlier this week.  He returned to the lineup on Friday night and is 1-6 with 2 BB and a stolen base in the last 2 games.…

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Game 147 Quick Recap: NYY 3 BAL 2

Young vs BAL

Who needs the old #24 when you’ve got Chris Young? Courtesy of the AP

The Yankees got fewer innings out of their starting pitcher, got outhit by more than 2-1, and somehow ended up winning this afternoon’s game.  Whatever.  You’ll take what you can get with this crew at this point.

The lineup didn’t generate much against Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez.  They did all their damage in the top of the 2nd, starting with Brian McCann‘s 19th home run of the season.  A walk to Mark Teixeira, a double by the hotter than the surface of the sun hot Chris Young, and a base hit by Antoan Richardson made it 2-0, and Young used his legs to generate the third run when he stole home off of RIchardson’s steal of second.  Catcher Caleb Joseph probably should have held onto the ball.

Shane Greene kinda made those 3 runs stand up in his 5.1 innings of work.  He had multiple baserunners on in each of the first 3 innings and only gave up a single run on a Nelson Cruz ribbie single in the 3rd.  …

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Game 147: So You’re Telling Me There’s a Chance!?

I spent all morning crunching the numbers, and found that there is a very real, albeit very outside chance that the Yankees make the playoffs. You can see my calculations here.

New York Yankees Baltimore Orioles
Jacoby Ellsbury, DH Nick Markakis, RF
Derek Jeter, SS Alejandro De Aza, LF
Brett Gardner, CF Adam Jones, CF
Martin Prado, 2B Nelson Cruz, DH
Brian McCann, C Steve Pearce, 1B
Mark Teixeira, 1B J.J. Hardy, SS
Chris Young, LF Jimmy Paredes, 3B
Antoan Richardson, RF Ryan Flaherty, 2B
Zelous Wheeler, 3B Caleb Joseph, C
Shane Greene, SP Miguel Gonzalez, SP
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First pitch does not exist for Mark Teixeira

Diagnosing a problem happening with a member of the Yankees is pretty much a moot point right now. But sometimes, an observation has to be tested simply out of curiosity. My observation is that Mark Teixeira never, ever swings at the first pitch and it is usually the best pitch he sees in an at bat. The numbers back up the observation and they are not pretty.

Most assume correctly that Mark Teixeira’s batting average has shriveled up like a cold cut left out in the open air because he has not adjusted to the shifts deployed against him. His .237 BABIP attests to his inability (or lack of interest) in adjusting to the shift. But the shift being deployed in baseball is just the most visible sign of how much statistics and the trending they bring has changed the game. Number crunchers working for teams look for any trends that can be exploited. With Teixeira, it’s not just the pull tendency, but also his first pitch strategy.…

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Game 146 Quick Recap: BAL 5 NYY 0

Phelps vs BAL

Welcome back, Dave. Good to see you, buddy! Courtesy of the AP

The walk-off loss in the day game was bad enough.  The Yankees only scored 1 run on 1 swing in that game.  Following it up with a shutout loss to Bud Norris in the nightcap was the rotten cherry on top of the poop-flavored sundae that was yesterday.  Whatever lingering playoff hopes the Yanks had heading into yesterday, real or fictitious, are gone now.  I won’t waste more time on this recap than I need to because there wasn’t much to talk about.

Bryan Mitchell got the spot start and actually didn’t pitch bad.  He was in and out of trouble in each one of his 5 innings, but he held the Orioles to 2 runs.  They got to him in the 4th with a ribbie double by Ryan Flaherty and a triple by Alejandro De Aza.  Leadoff walks will kill you and that’s what they did to Mitchell in that inning.  …

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Game 146 – Big day for Bryan Mitchell

After a brutal eleven innings of Yankee baseball this afternoon, at least the nightcap of the double-header will feature the first Major League start for Bryan Mitchell. If you love prospects getting their first real opportunity, then this game is for you. Bud Norris will go for the Orioles.

The bad news is that the Yankees will not have David Robertson or Dellin Betances available out of the bullpen. They both threw a lot of pitches in the first game as Girardi tried for the Hail Mary that fell harmlessly in the end zone. There is much more bad news, but let’s just let it be and root for the kid to pitch well.

The Lineups:

New York Yankees:

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury – CF
  2. Derek Jeter – SS
  3. Brett Gardner – CF
  4. Brian McCann – 1B
  5. Chris Young – LF
  6. Stephen Drew – 2B
  7. Ichiro Suzuki – RF
  8. Zelous Wheeler – 3B
  9. Austin Romine – C

SP Bryan Mitchell

Baltimore Orioles:

  1. Alejandro De Aza – LF
  2. Steve Pearce – 1B
  3. Jimmy Paredes – 3B
  4. Nelson Cruz – RF
  5. Delmon Young – DH
  6. David Lough – CF
  7. Caleb Joseph – C
  8. Ryan Flaherty – SS
  9. Jonathan Schoop – 2B

SP – Bud Norris

Not exactly a crack lineup there on either side.…

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Game 145 Recap: BAL 2 NYY 1

It was a Friday day game after an emotional Thursday night win and the Yankees were missing 4 of their regular starting bats.  That’s a perfect recipe for a letdown game if you ask me, and in the end that’s what the Yankees did.  They let us and themselves down again.

Brandon McCarthy certainly wasn’t in letdown mode on the bump.  In what was easily his best start since his complete game shutout of the Astros last month, McCarthy held the Baltimore lineup to 3 measly singles in 6 scoreless innings pitched.  He didn’t walk a batter, he struck out 5 (including the side in the 4th), and he retired 13 in a row from the 2nd into the 6th.  His sinker/cutter command was back and he was using his curveball well with 2 strikes.  It was everything we’ve come to expect from McCarthy when he’s been on his game.

The Yankee lineup wasn’t quite as bad as you’d expect with a 6-9 of Drew-Murphy-Ryan-Richardson.  …

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Game 145: Doubleheader Friday

It’s a jam-packed weekend for the Yankees in Baltimore as they try to build on last night’s walk-off dramatics.  They’re squeezing 4 games into 3 days to make up the rainout on April 12th, and they start that squeeze this afternoon in the first half of a doubleheader.  Brandon McCarthy gets the ball and he’ll be opposed by hard-throwing righty Kevin Gausman.  He faced the Yanks back in mid-July and threw 5 innings of 1-run ball.  B-Mac has yet to face the O’s this season.

David Phelps has been activated today as an extra bullpen arm to support the double dip.  As far as the lineup goes, the Yanks are still without Gardner and Beltran, and are also without Derek Jeter and Chase Headley today after both were hit by pitches last night, but they do get Martin Prado back.  The full lineup is as follows:

1) Jacoby Ellsbury- CF
2) Martin Prado- 2B
3) Brian McCann- DH
4) Mark Teixeira- 1B
5) Chris Young- LF
6) Stephen Drew- 2B
7) John Ryan Murphy- C
8) Brendan Ryan- SS
9) Antoan Richardson- RF

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM and it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day in B’more.  …

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Yankeemetrics: Sept. 9-11 (Rays)

Chris Young gets a Gatorade bath after his walk-off homer on Thursday. (Photo: Getty Images)

Chris Young gets a Gatorade bath after his walk-off homer on Thursday. (Photo: Getty Images)

Bad Hirok
The Yankees started this series with another heart-breaking defeat on Tuesday, falling 4-3 to the Rays in the series opener. With the loss, the Yankees playoff odds dropped to less than one percent, according to Fangraphs.com

Hiroki Kuroda entered the game with a 2.36 ERA in his previous four starts but was hit hard, giving up four runs in 3 1/3 innings. He now has a 5.94 career ERA vs the Rays, which is the third-worst by any active pitcher against them (min. 50 IP).

His counterpart on the Rays, Chris Archer, continued his mastery of the Yankees, improving to 5-0 in six career starts against the Bronx Bombers. He is the first pitcher to go undefeated in his first six career starts vs Yankees since Greg Hibbard did so for the White Sox and Mariners from 1990-94.

There were a few offensive highlights for the Yankees in the loss:

Jacoby Ellsbury homered in the fourth inning, giving him 15 homers on the year.…

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