Everything was bad: Cardinals 6, Yankees 0

Ugh.

This is one of those games you just want to forget even happened because everything about it was bad: The offense (what offense?), the defense (two errors and other not-so-great plays), the pitching etc. Even worse, the Yankees helped Cards starter Lance Lynn record the first complete game shutout of his career. The Yankees were only able to muster five hits all night. Good job, everyone! Stellar!

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Game 51: Phelps vs. Lynn

Welcome to tonight’s game thread!

Here are your lineups:

YANKEES
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Brian McCann (L) C
5. Yangervis Solarte (S) 3B
6. Alfonso Soriano (R) RF
7. Brian Roberts (S) 2B
8. Kelly Johnson (L) 1B
9. David Phelps (R) P

CARDS
1. Matt Carpenter (L) 3B
2. Kolten Wong (L) 2B
3. Matt Holliday (R) LF
4. Matt Adams (L) 1B
5. Yadier Molina (R) C
6. Allen Craig (R) RF
7. Jhonny Peralta (R) SS
8. Jon Jay (L) CF
9. Lance Lynn (R) P

Enjoy the game.

[Lineups courtesy of baseballpress.com]

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The Importance of Shawn Kelley

nypost.com

nypost.com

Shawn Kelley might not be the highest profile player among the Yankees’ walking wounded with Carlos Beltran, CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova also on the disabled list, but that does not mean he isn’t missed. Joe Girardi said yesterday that Kelley played catch at 75 feet, so hopefully that means he is progressing well.

Brad wrote here earlier today about how Vidal Nuno, David Phelps and Chase Whitley need to pitch further into games and he is right: The Yankees are tied with the Rays for 26th in MLB in innings from their starters with 289.1 innings. This is causing Girardi to go completely out of his normal routine and rely heavily on Dellin Betances and Adam Warren. Those two and David Robertson are Girardi’s only reliable relievers right now and if he had Kelley at his disposal, he would be able to lighten their workload.

Kelley has been a steal since he came over in a trade from the Seattle Mariners last season.…

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Could The Yankees’ Outfield Defense Actually Be A Detriment?

AP/Nathan Denette

AP/Nathan Denette

There was little question about just how good the Yankees’ outfield defense could be after the previous offseason. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner are two of the best defensive outfielders in baseball, and although Alfonso Soriano has a bad reputation in the corner, his range over the last few years has gone from passable to above average. With Gardner headed back to left field, Soriano and Ichiro Suzuki switched to the smaller right field, and Ellsbury in center, the Yankees should have elite defense in the outfield. The bigger question surrounded the infield defense, which has been a major topic of discussion since the beginning of the season.

Starting 2014, the Yankees’ pitching staff looked extremely ground ball friendly. Ivan Nova, CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, and Masahiro Tanaka each throw a heavy sinker to induce soft ground balls, and Michael Pineda was the only fly ball pitcher in the rotation. Since then, the Yankees have also brought Chase Whitley, David Phelps, and Vidal Nuno into the mix, and each of these three feature two-seamers and sinkers.…

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MLB Run Scoring Decline Part 1: It’s Not About The Bullpens in 3 Charts

Last week, I posted a graph showing the history of MLB run scoring since 1946. The graph showed a steady decline in run scoring since it peaked in 2000, including a fairly precipitous drop over the last 4 years.

The most common thing, other than the exit of PEDs, that I’ve been hearing from commentators trying to explain the drop has been the growth of ‘power bullpens’ or ‘specialized bullpens.’ Generally, they’ll point to relievers throwing 96 coming out in the 7th inning, and talk about how that just didn’t happen a few years ago. Up until I started looking at the evidence, I believed that this was a big explanation for the decline in run scoring.

But not so much. Let’s start with RP usage:

This chart could be a post on its own. It’s pretty cool to watch relief usage grow over time. After four decades of growth, the starter/reliever shares of innings stabilized. 2014′s usage patterns are not significantly different from 2000′s.…

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Joe Needs To Keep Lengthening The Leash On His Young Starters

Joe-Nuno vs CHW

Courtesy of Getty Images

A funny thing happened this last turn through the rotation.  Joe showed a little more faith in his trio of young replacement starters, allowing all of them to work deeper into the game than they have since taking spots in the rotation, and the world didn’t collapse in on itself.  In fact, the Yankees won 2 of the 3 games pitched by David Phelps, Vidal Nuno, and Chase Whitley, and may have snuck out a win in the other game if Joe had put a competitive lineup on the field.

The Yankees have had a ton of problems in their rotation already this year, almost all of them due to injury.  The latest issue has been not getting enough length from the starters and it was an issue partially perpetuated by Joe and his quick hook with these 3.  He knows who his bullpen aces are and he’s leaned heavily on them to carry the burden of holding leads rather than leave it in the hands of pitchers in which he doesn’t have as much confidence.  …

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Game 50: Whitley vs Wacha

I hope everyone is enjoying their Memorial Day. Along with this great weather in New York, we have baseball! Here are the lineups as the Yankees open this series against the Cardinals.

Cardinals
Matt Carpenter 3B
Kolten Wong 2B
Matt Holliday LF
Matt Adams 1B
Yadier Molina C
Allen Craig RF
Jhonny Peralta SS
Peter Bourjos CF
Michael Wacha P

Yankees
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brian McCann C
Yangervis Solarte 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Brian Roberts 2B
Kelly Johnson 1B
Chase Whitley P

The game starts at 4:15 PM EST and you can catch it on YES or ESPN. Enjoy!

Update: (4:01 PM) There is some rain in the forecast and the tarp is going on the field. Not sure how long this is supposed to last, but the game won’t start at 4:15.

Update: (4:46 PM) The estimated start time is now 5:15.

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Quick Hits: Beltran Swings, Teixeira’s Wrist, Kelley Throws, Lineup

We’ll start with the good news. Today, Carlos Beltran took fifteen dry swings without any elbow discomfort. The outfielder is dealing with a bone spur in his elbow, which may require surgery mid-season if he can’t rehab it. So far, so good, but as Sweeny Murti points out on Twitter, there are still a number of hurdles to overcome.

Now for the bad news, Mark Teixeira was scratched from today’s lineup with wrist stiffness in his surgically repaired arm. According to the first baseman, doctors warned him that he would feel regular stiffness and discomfort in the wrist throughout the season. He says it’s too early to judge the extent of the stiffness, and it sounds like he’ll be day-to-day for now. This is just speculation, but if Beltran or Teixeira have a setback, the Yankees could very quickly become suitors for Kendrys Morales. At least these injuries come at a time when the organization still has options on the free agent market.…

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