Is the Price right against the Yankees?

Price is in command
David Price does not have a shiny ERA or win-loss record this season (6-7, 3.63), but his command of the strike zone is historic, and the most popular ERA estimators (FIP, xFIP) indicate he is having the best season of his career.

With 144 strikeouts and 14 walks, he is on pace to be the third qualified pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) to post a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 10.0 or better (Bret Saberhagen, 11.0 in 1994; Cliff Lee, 10.3 in 2010).

He has at least 10 strikeouts in each of his last five games, the first pitcher to do that since Johan Santana in 2004. The only pitchers with longer streaks of double-digit strikeouts are Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Nolan Ryan.

Against righties, he’ll often pull the string with a cutter, which has accounted for 33 of his 110 strikeouts vs opposite-handed batters, who have a meager .173/.182/.245 line against the pitch this season.…

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Reviewing The Yankees’ Options To Improve The Offense

Brian McCann

This guy sucks. Courtesy of the AP

The Yankees lost for the 7th time in their last 9 game last night, and they lost again primarily because their lineup simply can’t score.  They’re the Beavis and Butthead of offensive production, and at the halfway point of the regular season it’s no longer a matter of waiting for guys to get healthy, get comfortable, or “come around”.  It’s a huge problem, one that’s been the biggest reason why this team is floundering around the .500 mark with one of the worst run differentials in MLB and one that needs to be addressed immediately.

Up to now, Joe has been hesitant to do too much with the lineup.  The last move of significance he made was demoting Alfonso Soriano to the bench and that happened weeks ago.  The front office has also been hesitant to make any moves, be they of the “shakeup” variety or the variety that actually helps improve the team.  …

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So Much For A Boring Monday Afternoon

In case you missed it, some inside information from the Houston Astros organization was leaked online and Deadspin had the story.

Two years ago, the Houston Astros constructed “Ground Control”—a built-from-scratch online database for the private use of the Astros front office. It is by all accounts a marvel, an easy-to-use interface giving executives instant access to player statistics, video, and communications with other front offices around baseball. All it needs, apparently, is a little better password protection.


Documents purportedly taken from Ground Control and showing 10 months’ worth of the Astros’ internal trade chatter have been posted online at Anonbin, a site where users can anonymously share hacked or leaked information. Found below, they contain the Astros front office’s communications regarding trade overtures to and from other teams, as well as negotiations—a few of which actually led to trades. You will find heavy efforts to get a big haul for Bud Norris at last year’s trade deadline (before settling for very little), pushes to acquire touted young talents like Dylan Bundy and Gregory Polanco, and even evidence the Astros rejected out of hand a blockbuster deal that could have brought them Giancarlo Stanton.

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Monday Afternoon Open Thread: 6/30/14

Happy Monday, everyone!

This is your open thread for the afternoon.

The following tidbits were suggested to me by my podcast partner Domenic Lanza and they all happened on this date in baseball history:

  • 1908: At New York’s Hilltop Park, Red Sox legend Cy Young no-hits the Highlanders (Yankees), 8-0. The contest marks the third time the 41-year old has accomplished the feat.
  • 1961: Whitey Ford becomes the first pitcher in American League history to win eight games in one month. ‘Slick’s’ complete-game 5-1 victory over the Senators is the Yankees’ 22nd win in June.
  • 2002: The Yankees become the first team in the American League since the 1956 White Sox to have four infielders and a catcher on the All-star roster. The fans vote for first baseman Jason Giambi, second baseman Alfonso Soriano and backstop Jorge Posada to be starters in the Midsummer Classic with shortstop Derek Jeter and third baseman Robin Ventura being selected by AL skipper Joe Torre.

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Yankeemetrics: June 27-29 (Red Sox)

Nuno vs OAK

Viva Vidal!
The Yankees opened the series with a 6-0 win, their largest shutout win vs the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium since a 6-0 win on August 9, 1992.

Vidal Nuno held the Red Sox to just two hits in 5⅔ scoreless innings in his first career appearance vs the team.

Nuno is the third Yankee pitcher over the last century to throw at least five scoreless innings with no more than two hits allowed in his first career start against the Red Sox. The others were Rip Collins in 1920 and Sam Militello in that 1992 game referenced above.

Nuno also got his first win at Yankee Stadium, snapping a winless streak of eight home starts. That was the second-longest such streak by a Yankee to begin his major-league career over the last 100 years: Jim Beattie was winless in his first 10 career home starts in 1978.

After the game, Brian McCann said about Nuno: “When the ball stays in the yard, he puts up zeros.” Basically true… Nuno is 3-0 in seven career starts when he does not allow a homer, and 0-5 in nine career starts when he allows at least one homer.…

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Joe’s Bad Bullpen Decisions Doomed That Series

Joe vs BOS

“What do you think here? Gotta be Huffy, right?” Courtesy of the AP

I’ve been a slow convert to the Joe Girardi management method.  At first I really didn’t like how he did things, and it was only in the last 2 or 3 years that I fully got on board Team Joe when it came to evaluating how he went about his job.  If I’m being honest, and also a bit of a homer, I think the job he’s done since the start of last season, with the teams he’s been given and the injuries he’s had to deal with, has been the best work of his career and arguably the best managing job in all of MLB.  So now that I’ve prefaced this post with that setting of context, let me say that I have absolutely no clue what the hell Joe was doing with his bullpen this weekend.

Saturday night, out for a late dinner with the girlfriend.  …

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Many Baserunners: Red Sox 8, Yankees 5

20 baserunners, as a matter of fact – 12 hits and 8 walks.

In the rubber game of their three-game set with the Red Sox, the Yankees didn’t find effective pitching until midway through the 6th inning, after they had already surrendered 7 runs. Chase Whitley allowed 5 Earned over 4+ innings, while Shawn Kelley, who entered in the 5th, had the line of the night – 0 IP, 2 ER, 2 BB, H.

The Yankees looked to be keeping pace early on, answering a towering 3-run bomb from David Ortiz in the 3rd with three runs of their own in the following two innings – two of those coming on Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran homers.

It was in the 5th that things began to change. There was a curious play with runners on the corners – David Huff had Dustin Pedroia picked off at first, and Brian Roberts ran him back to first base, while checking Daniel Nava at third.…

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Game 80: Sunday Night Rubber Match

Michael Pineda officially began his rehab program yesterday, and it sounds like it went as well as could be expected. And CC Sabathia made his first rehab start yesterday, and he “couldn’t be happier with the way [he] felt physically.” His fastball was in the 87 to 89 MPH range, which is … to be expected, I suppose. Both are, for the time being, on-track to return in time for the postseason.

In the meantime, the Yankees look to take advantage of the Orioles and Blue Jays losing this afternoon, as old friend John Lackey toes the rubber for the Red Sox.

Boston Red Sox New York Yankees
Brock Holt, 3B Brett Gardner, LF
Daniel Nava, LF Derek Jeter, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
David Ortiz, DH Mark Teixeira, 1B
Mike Napoli, 1B Brian McCann, C
A.J. Pierzynski, C Carlos Beltran, DH
Stephen Drew, SS Kelly Johnson, 3B
Mookie Betts, RF Brian Roberts, 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF Ichiro Suzuki, RF
John Lackey, SP Chase Whitley, SP
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