Game 122 – Another pop at the Trop

One more day looking at the muted tones of that ballpark in St. Pete means another game between the Rays and Yankees. I would call it the rubber game of the series, but I hate cliches. Today features a match-up between Hiroki Kuroda and Jeremy Hellickson.

Kuroda has not been reliable the past month and in his last four starts he is sporting a 4.81 ERA and a 1.397 WHIP. Hellickson, in his first five starts since coming off of the disabled list has a pretty 2.05 ERA, but in typical Hellickson fashion, sports a much higher FIP at 3.88.

There is good news for the Yankees as Brian McCann is back from his seven-day concussion DL stint. Well…I think that is good news. The Yankees activated McCann and sent Austin Romine (we hardly knew ya) back down to the minors.

Carlos Beltran is back in right field, Prado is at second. Stephen Drew is at short and Derek Jeter is again at the designated hitter position.…

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Oh Captain, My Captain: Yankees 3, Rays 2

This game looked like it was going to be one of those heartbreaking, walk-off contests that end up making Yankee fans wish they hadn’t tuned in at all but it actually turned out to be a much needed win for the boys from the Bronx.

Sure, poor Shane Greene‘s really strong start was wasted when Shawn Kelley gave up the tying run in the seventh but Dellin Betances came in to pitch the eighth and did Dellin Betances stuff, the Yankees scored their third run in the top of the ninth and David Robertson closed out a game for the first time since Jesus was a boy. Yankees win, the Yankees win!

It was a typical 2014 Yankees game in the sense that they scored two runs early, couldn’t do more than that and then allowed the opposing team to tie the game in annoying fashion late in the game but it was an atypical result because old man Derek Jeter stepped up and knocked in what ended up being the winning run.…

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Game 121: How about some runs today boys!

Hey guys, it’s going to drizzle during this afternoon’s game so… oh wait, they’re playing in a dome. Don’t mind me, I just get a kick out of seeing a weather report for a game that’s being played indoors.

So we maybe Shane Greene can keep the Rays from scoring more than zero runs and maybe the Yankees can score one or two against Drew Smyly? And maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow morning 20 years younger and 30 lb. lighter…

Here are your lineups:

YANKEES
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter DH
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
Martin Prado 2B
Francisco Cervelli C
Brendan Ryan SS

RAYS
Desmond Jennings CF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Matt Joyce LF
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Yunel Escobar SS
Vince Belnome DH
Curt Casali C
Kevin Kiermaier RF

You’ll notice that there isn’t a DH next to Beltran’s name today which means he’ll be playing right field in Tropicana Field and if you recall he had a bit of an incident the last time he played there.…

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Quick Hit: Tanaka Returns To The Mound

Masahiro Tanaka took another important step towards coming back from his UCL tear today when he threw a 25-pitch bullpen session.  It was the first time he stepped back on a mound since his last start.  He had spent the last week or so throwing on flat ground.

The 25 pitches were all fastballs and Tanaka said he wasn’t throwing at 100% effort, but he said he felt good after and “I think we’re heading in the right direction.”  No word yet on when his next session will be, but the plan is for him to throw some offspeed pitches then.  While the timetable for his return is still yet to be determined, both he and the team have said they want him to come back and pitch this season if he can.  So far so good on this rest and rehab plan.

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Game 120: McCarthy vs. Cobb

Oh goody, a series in Tropicana Field.

Here are your lineups:
YANKEES
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran DH
Chase Headley 3B
Stephen Drew 2B
Martin Prado RF
Francisco Cervelli C

RAYS
Desmond Jennings CF
Ben Zobrist LF
Matt Joyce DH
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Logan Forsythe 2B
Yunel Escobar SS
Curt Casali C
Kevin Kiermaier RF

Pitching matchup: Brandon McCarthy vs. Alex Cobb

If the Yankees want to even try and sniff the playoffs, they need to take at least two out of three this weekend.

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Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 8/15/14

I’m off to DC until Monday night.  Here’s a quick trip around the week that was in the Yankosphere.

- On Monday, SJK of NoMaas pointed out the piddly low offensive WAR numbers the Yankees continue to churn out while guys like Refsnyder and Roller stay put in Triple-A.

- Chris Mitchell of Pinstripe Pundits ran the comp numbers to see what kind of player Bryan Mitchell could turn into as a Major Leaguer.

- On Tuesday, David Schoenfield of Sweet Spot investigated the possible disappearance of well-rounded outfielders.

- On Wednesday, Daniel Burch of The Greedy Pinstripes criticized Joe’s bullpen management strategy this season, specifically the way it seems to be mirroring the former Joe’s strategy.

- Mike Axisa of RAB mused on the possibility of prospects Greg Bird and Tyler Austin breaking into the show in the near future because of a growing need at first base.

- On Thursday, Andrew Mearns of Pinstripe Alley discussed the differently disappointing endings to Mo and Jeter’s careers.

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If IIATMS were in charge….

This post is corny. This post has been done before. I don’t care. I find stuff like this fun.

Yesterday, Rob Manfred won election by the owners to become Major League Baseball’s next commissioner, replacing long-time commissioner and former used car salesman Bud Selig. Manfred takes over at a strange time in that baseball is still a huge business, but as Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk has documented many times in the past, many want to declare baseball dead and bemoan its decline in popularity. For a moment, though, let’s put that nuance aside and ask a silly question: What would the people of IIATMS do if they were placed in the commissioner’s role with autonomous power?

William Tasker, Overlord Jason Rosenberg, and I put forth some ideas. Many of them overlap, but some of them don’t and hopefully this’ll lead to some conversation by you fine folks in the comments. Without further ado, here are some of the ideas we laid forth, starting with the Overlord.…

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The Yankees path to the postseason

Will the Yankees be celebrating a playoff berth at the end of the season? (Photo: AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Will the Yankees be celebrating a playoff berth at the end of the season? (Photo: AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Following the Yankees latest devastating loss on Wednesday night, which dropped them to a season-high eight games back in the AL East and four games back of the second Wild Card position, the likelihood of the team playing baseball in October appears bleak.

Entering Friday, the Yankees have a 8.0 percent chance of making the playoffs according to projections at Fangraphs.com, their lowest playoff odds of the season.

The computers might say the Yankees are a longshot to be playing baseball in October, but in reality a postseason berth for a team in the Yankees current position is not without precedent.

Though Fangraphs does not have historical postseason probabilities, its odds are an adaption of the coolstandings.com playoff odds. Fortunately we do have historical data from that website, so we can look at teams that were in a similar position to the Yankees odds-wise and that eventually made the playoffs.…

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Yankees individual clutch hitting

Yesterday, Katie Sharp had a terrific piece on the historic fail of the Yankees in the clutch hitting department. Like all great writing, the post made me think and it also confirmed (judging by the comments) what most of us have been seeing with our eyes all season. To call it bleak has been an understatement. The first question it raised was: Is this a total team breakdown or just certain segments of the lineup? So I decided to piggyback on Katie’s work and take a look.

Katie focused on three statistics: Runners in Scoring Position (RISP), Runners in Scoring Position with Two Outs (I’ll shorten that to RISP2) and Late and Close. She found the Yankees as a team to not only be way below league average in all three of these categories, but historically bad for Yankee teams since 1973 when this sort of data started to be compiled.

I took a look at the twelve players with more than fifty plate appearances that have only played for the Yankees this season.…

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