Joe Girardi Shrugs Off Napoli’s “Idiot” Comment

If you caught the end of last night’s 2-1 loss to the Red Sox, you may have noticed microphones picking up Mike Napoli calling Masahiro Tanaka an “idiot” for throwing him a fastball which led to his game-winning Home Run.

Before tonight’s series finale, Joe Girardi was asked about the above incident, and took it in stride.

“I haven’t seen anything in Mike Napoli where he’s a guy who shows people up, or he’s a guy who degrades people,” Girardi said. “I’ve never seen that in Mike Napoli. I don’t make too much of it.”

Girardi said if it were a lingering issue, however, he would have a bone to pick. “If they say things that are derogatory or degrading the next day then I have a problem. But if it’s in the heat of the battle, I really don’t.”

We even got a nice Joe Girardi-David Cone story out of the question:

“Some of the things [David Cone] would say to me, I would laugh!

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About Last Night: Masahiro Tanaka and the Fastball of Doom

Here’s the pitch that Masahiro Tanaka left up in the zone to Mike Napoli:

atbat-summary (62)

It was a 96 m.p.h fastball that Napoli hit out of the park to give the Red Sox their ninth inning lead and while celebrating in the dugout, he called Tanaka an idiot for throwing it. Napoli claimed afterward that he was just shocked Tanaka didn’t offer his splitter.

Well, now Tanaka knows better.

The main takeaway from last night’s game is not the loss but that this year is a learning experience. Tanaka is learning how to handle pitching in the Majors and so far, he’s doing a pretty good job. He was bound to hit a bump or two in the road along the way, but as he has demonstrated in his 16 starts this season, he has been able to bounce back.

[Graphic courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info]

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Game 79: Lester v. Tanaka

In each of our last two podcasts, Stacey and I picked on Brian McCann quite a bit – and they may be putting it lightly. Subsequently, in the each of the games that followed those podcasts, McCann went 2-for-4 with a home run; and those home runs represent his only dingers of the month of June. Coincidence? Perhaps. Neat little tidbit that helps to curb my annoyance at yet another night game on a Saturday evening? Most definitely. And, for whatever it’s worth, McCann is batting .393/.452/.786 with 3 HR against the Red Sox this year … and .206/.253/.324 against everyone else.

Boston Red Sox New York Yankees
Brock Holt, RF Brett Gardner, LF
Daniel Nava, LF Derek Jeter, SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
David Ortiz, DH Mark Teixeira, 1B
Mike Napoli, 1B Carlos Beltran, DH
Stephen Drew, SS Alfonso Soriano, RF
Xander Bogaerts, 3B Brian McCann, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF Brian Roberts, 2B
David Ross, C Yangervis Solarte, 3B
Jeremy Guthrie, SP Phil Hughes, SP
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About Last Night: Did That Actually Happen?

Vidal Nuno pitching in Yankee Stadium against the Red Sox could have and probably should have been a recipe for disaster especially when you consider his habit of giving up the home run ball when he starts at home but a disaster isn’t what happened last night. Nuno was actually pretty good. And even though he only lasted 5.2 innings because of a high pitch count  — he left the game after throwing 91 pitches — he was actually quite effective during his somewhat limited outing, holding the Red Sox to only two hits. He also struck out five and walked two.

In the picture below, you will notice that the Red Sox, even when they were making contact, were only able to drive the ball a few times with the dots in green and light blue landing for hits.

hit-chart (39)

The ball that traveled the longest distance was Brock Holt‘s double in the third (the green dot in the picture above) which came on an 86 m.p.h.…

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Game 78: Workman v. Nuno? Still?

The Red Sox are 5-5 in their last ten, and are on a one game “winning streak.” Their current run differential is -31. The Yankees are also 5-5 in their last ten, and are likewise on a one game “winning streak.” Their current run differential? -34. Something’s gotta give, as the highly stoppable force meets...

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Friday Afternoon Open Thread: Ain’t That Peculiar?

One of my favorite things to do is to look at old boxscores on Baseball Reference to see what happened on specific dates. A lot of times I’ll go way back and look at games from the 40′s and 50′s but today I thought I’d look back at June 27 to see what happened 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago.

It just so happens that 20 years ago today, the Yankees beat the Red Sox 5-1 up in Fenway and as the late, great Mel Allen would say, “How about that?” I thought it was a cool coincidence and that it would definitely help with the discussion in this afternoon’s open thread. So I went back even further and took a look at 1984, 1974 and 1964. I looked in that order and was typing out some information about the games until I got to 1964 which is when I discovered something very peculiar and actually pretty wonderful.

On June 27, 1964, Yogi Berra was manager when the Yankees beat the Tigers 5-4 at the Stadium.…

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Can Tanaka match Guidry’s 1978 season?

Masahiro Tanaka's first 15 starts are comparable to Ron Guidry's in 1978.

Masahiro Tanaka’s first 15 starts are comparable to Ron Guidry’s in 1978.

Only two Yankees in the last 100 years have started a season with 15 straight quality starts: Masahiro Tanaka and Ron Guidry in 1978.

Guidry’s first 15 starts that year foreshadowed what would become one of the great pitching seasons in franchise history, culminating in a well-deserved Cy Young Award.

While it’s still early to predict the Cy Young race this season, there is no doubt that Tanaka is one of the favorites. How do his first 15 starts compare to Guidry’s in 1978?

Tanaka vs the Gator
Although a quality start can hardly be considered a dominant outing (with a single-game ERA of 4.50), both Tanaka and Guidry pitched far above the quality-start threshold during their streaks.

As you can see in the table below, Guidry’s first 15 starts were more dominant than Tanaka’s in terms of run prevention and length. He pitched 13⅓ more innings, had three times as many complete games and allowed five fewer runs than Tanaka.…

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