Fun with Numbers, Or: He’s on-pace for what?!

The season is just about 5.5555% finished. While it may be too early to intelligently speculate about what everything that has happened thus far means in the grand scheme of things, it is never too early to imagine what is yet to be. And you can go about that in one of two ways – either by making minor tweaks to the incredibly accurate preseason projections that are out there, or by pretending that nothing is more relevant to how this season will play out than what the first eleven days of meaningful baseball have wrought. The former is the sensible approach … but you can find that anywhere (I recommend FanGraphs). So I’ll go with the latter.

What follows are some of my favorite “on-pace fors” of the season to-date. The statistics upon which these are based are current as of the morning of April 16, prior to any games being played. Keep in mind, these are entirely for fun, serving as a reminder of what can happen in extremely small sample sizes – the good, the bad, and the ugly.…

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About Last Night: Bullpen Meltdown

Things were looking okay for the Yankees as they headed into the bottom of the sixth inning of last night’s game with a 3-2 lead against the Orioles. Right hander Nathan Eovaldi, who was making his second start of the season, ran into a little trouble at times but was able to get out of some jams and strike out nine. The only problem was that those jams and his high pitch count left manager Joe Girardi with no choice but to go to the bullpen early, and when the inning ended, the Yankees were staring at a four-run deficit.

So what happened?

Right hander David Carpenter came in to replace Eovaldi and on the second pitch of his outing – an 84 mph slider – gave up a home run (and the lead) to Jonathan Schoop.

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

For the next batter, Alejandro De Aza, Carpenter decided to use his fastball. Pitch one was a strike on the outside corner that De Aza fouled off, pitch two (in green) was called a ball by home plate ump Sean Barber.…

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Game 9 Recap: Orioles 7 Yankees 5

A-Rod HR vs BAL

Team MVP. Courtesy of the AP

Well that sucked.  The Yankees looked like they had a little mojo going after the wins on Sunday and Monday night, then they stumbled in game 2 of this series on Tuesday, and fell back on their faces last night with a bummer of a 7-5 loss to the O’s.  They had a lead going to the bullpen and the bullpen coughed it up.  The Yanks are now 3-6 on the season and have yet to win more than 1 game in a series.

Nathan Eovaldi was the brightest spot of the night for the Yanks in his second start of the young season.  After looking very much like the pitcher who struggled to finish off hitters and keep guys off base last year in his debut, Eovaldi was much sharper the second time around and showed some of that swing-and-miss potential in his offspeed stuff that had been sorely lacking.

He did give up 8 hits in 5 innings of work, and Baltimore got an early run off him in the 1st on 3 base hits and another in the 4th on a Manny Machado leadoff home run.  …

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Game 9: Norris vs. Eovaldi

The Yankees are in Baltimore for one more game before a much-needed off day. Brett Gardner is still out of the lineup but could be a pinch hitter or runner, if needed. He told reporters he expects to be back in the lineup on Friday.

Bud Norris will be facing off against Nathan Eovaldi.

Here are the lineups courtesy of Baseball Press and my laziness:

lineups415

Enjoy the game!

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Quick Hit: Joe’s Early Decisions

I don’t want this to come off like I’m criticizing the manager or trying to play Monday morning quarterback with his decisions, because that’s not my intention.  Just like it’s far too early to make too much of the players’ performance, 8 games is hardly a sizable enough sample to start nitpicking the managerial decisions and blaming the manager for losses.  There have been a few moves that I’ve found particularly puzzling in these first 8 games, however, and I feel like I need to at least get them out of my head and onto the blog for the sake of discussion.

It all really started with the 19-inning game on Friday.  Since then, it seems like it’s been a nonstop rotation of rest days for multiple guys at a time and a very strict use of the platoon rule.  I understand Friday night was a whale of a game to play in this early in the season and I fully respect Joe’s desire to make sure his age 30 and up veteran core gets enough time to recover.  …

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About Last Night: CC Sabathia

In his first start of the season, CC Sabathia faced the Toronto Blue Jays and gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits in only 5 ⅔ innings to pick up the loss. But he also struck out eight, didn’t walk a batter and didn’t surrender a home run.

Last night’s game was similar in many ways.

“Lucky” Seven and Adam Jones

Seven was a big number for Sabathia last night. He pitched seven innings, gave up seven hits and struck out seven. He also gave up four runs, walked one batter and gave up a home run to Adam Jones. Jones had two RBI last night. He also hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third.

Jones has faced Sabathia more than any other pitcher in baseball (72 plate appearances) and he is batting .273/.306/.545/.851 with four home runs, four doubles, a triple and 14 RBI, but Sabathia shouldn’t feel too bad because eight games into the 2015 season, Jones is batting .429/.469/.929/1.397 with a .579 wOBA and a 278 wRC+.…

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Quick Hit: How About Chris Martin?

Chris Martin vs BOS

Courtesy of Getty Images

It was barely a footnote in last night’s loss, but Chris Martin came out of the bullpen to relieve CC Sabathia and turned in a solid outing.  Clean inning of work, couple strikeouts, an efficient 11 pitches, it was the type of inning we’d usually expect from Dellin Betances but have yet to see in his setup role.  With those struggles being the main bullpen headline thus far, I think it’s worth giving a quick shout out to Martin for the excellent job he’s done in middle relief.

After last night’s appearance, Martin has now pitched 4.2 innings in 5 games.  He’s given up 2 earned runs on 2 hits, all accumulated in his shaky 4th appearance against Boston over the weekend, and struck out 6 while walking only 1.  Not too shabby for a 28-year-old late bloomer who just got his first taste of big league ball last year in pitcher-unfriendly Colorado.  He’s shown the ability to throw his fastball with velocity (mid-90s 4-seamer) and movement around the strike zone, and he’s used his good command to pound that strike zone and work from ahead in the count consistently.…

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Early Yankee BABIP Problems

Can you judge a team’s offense after just eight games? Probably not. But you can look at trends to keep an eye on in the weeks ahead. According to most statistics I am looking at, the Yankees are a middle of the road offense. The one thing lagging behind everything else is the team’s batting average on balls in play or BABIP.

The Yankees are ninth out of thirty teams in runs scored. No doubt that fourteen-run explosion the other night helped that out quite a bit. The team is seventh in ISO, so the power numbers are decent. They are eleventh in wOBA. And they are fifteenth in on-base percentage.

Looking further at the numbers thus far, the team is ground ball / fly ball neutral. In other words, they are not leaning heavily in one batted ball type or the other. The team hasn’t hit a lot of line drives to this point and are 28th in that category.…

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