Joe Going Back To The Motivational Well

The latest small sample winning streak is long in the rearview.  Horse mask fever has come and gone.  The Yankees have lost 5 of their last 7 games and Joe knows it’s getting close to zero hour for his club’s playoff chances, so he’s going back to the old motivational quote tactic to try to inspire his players.

First there was this one before last night’s game:

“I consider us kind of to be in playoff mode right now, for us, because we obviously need to win games.”

Powerful stuff right there.  How could anybody not be fired up and ready to go out and win a ballgame with that kind of rallying cry?  There was also this doozy after the game:

“Did I think at this point in the season we would have score more runs? Absolutely.  In this ballpark? Absolutely. But it hasn’t happened for various reasons. We need that to change.”

Brings a tear to your eye and a swell of pride to your heart, doesn’t it?  …

Read more

Tough Night For Greene Comes At The Worst Time

Greene Pitch Plot 9-2-14

Courtesy of Texas Leaguers

That’s Shane Greene‘s pitch plot from last night.  It’s not a pretty one and it perfectly reflects the ugliness of his start.  6 hits, 2 home runs, 3 walks, and 6 earned runs allowed in less than 3 innings.  Fastball command has been what’s made Greene so tough since coming up in early July, but it was his undoing last night.  Lots of sinkers either dropping into the middle of the strike zone or completely out of it.  No movement on his 4-seamer.  That’s a hard way to get by against a Major League lineup and Greene found that out the hard way.

Here’s how bad he was last night in a nutshell.  He threw 67 pitches in his 2.2 innings, 30 of them were sinkers.  He didn’t get a swing and miss on any of them.  Didn’t get a swing and miss on any of his 6 4-seamers either.  Of the 8 outs he did manage to record, not a single one of them came on a groundball.  …

Read more

Game 136 Quick Recap: BOS 9 NYY 4

Greene vs BOS

The face of frustration. And also one that kinda looks like Mcconaughey. Courtesy of Getty Images

Shane Greene has been arguably the shiniest of all the starting pitching diamonds the Yankees have pulled out of the rough as this season has progressed.  Not tonight though.  He was overdue for a stinker and that stinker happened to happen tonight.  Greene was absolutely atrocious and his poor outing all but ended tonight’s series opener against the Red Sox before it really got going.

It was all about fastball command for Greene.  One of the reasons he’s been so good since joining the rotation is his ability to mix his sinker and 4-seamer well and throw both for good pitcher’s strikes on a regular basis.  He couldn’t do that tonight and the Boston hitters teed off on him.  Yoenis Cespedes doubled in a run as the 4th batter of the game in the top of the 1st and Mike Napoli drove home a second with a sacrifice fly.  …

Read more

Game 136: Never Tell Me the Odds

Per FanGraphs, the Yankees enter tonight’s game with a 6.8% chance of making the playoffs. ESPN is a bit more bearish, giving Derek Jeter a 4.4% chance of tasting postseason baseball one more time. Facing off against the cellar-dwelling Red Sox should help, at least in theory, as should the fact that the Yankees will play 17 of their remaining 27 games in the Bronx.

Here’s hoping they can kick-off the home stretch in style.

Boston Red Sox New York Yankees
Brock Holt, 2B Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Mookie Betts, CF Derek Jeter, SS
David Ortiz, DH Brett Gardner, LF
Yoenis Cespedes, LF Mark Teixeira, 1B
Mike Napoli, 1B Carlos Beltran, RF
Daniel Nava, RF Brian McCann, DH
Will Middlebrooks, DH Martin Prado, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS Chase Headley, 3B
David Ross, C Francisco Cervelli, C
Joe Kelly, SP Shane Greene, SP
Read more

September Roster Expansion Roundup

Rosters officially expanded yesterday, but with a scheduled off-day the Yankees didn’t get in on the action.  They announced their moves today and there’s a fair amount of them.

First, the call ups.  Right-handed pitchers Chaz Roe (recently acquired), Chase Whitley, Preston Claiborne, and Bryan Mitchell all got the call.  Lefty Rich Hill was brought back up to make sure the Yanks have as many lefty relievers incapable of getting left-handed batters out as possible available to Joe.  Outfielders Chris Young and Antoan Richardson were added, presumably as depth insurance for Ellsbury and his ankle, and John Ryan Murphy was added as the 3rd catcher.

Now the corresponding roster moves.  Masahiro Tanaka and Slade Heathcott were moved to the 60-day DL, which makes sense given their injuries.  Matt Daley was given his outright release, which makes sense because he sucks.  The one surprising move was Zoilo Almonte getting DFA’d for his 40-man spot.  I figured the Yanks would have called him up before Richardson considering their need for added depth right now, but I guess they decided they’ve seen enough from him.  …

Read more

Have All Of Teix’s Injury Problems This Season Finally Caught Up To Him?

Teix vs TB

Pretty good chance he pulled something there. Courtesy of Getty Images

August was not a good month for Mark Teixeira.  He missed another handful of games due to injury problems and hit a grotesquely weak .193/.276/.307 with 2 HR, 9 BB, and 22 K in 98 plate appearances.  It was by far his worst single month of this season and the depressing continuation of an even more depressing season-long trend.  Teix’s production has dropped off in each month as he’s dealt with and played through a string of nagging injuries and it appears as though all the wear and tear finally caught up to him in August.

You don’t even have to dig too deep to see this.  Just check his monthly OPS splits.  Teix missed 14 games in April and posted an .862 OPS with a .487 slugging percentage.  He missed 3 games in May and posted an .840 with a .472 SLG.  Missed 3 games in June and posted a .774 (.471), 8 in July with a .695 (.375), and 5 in August with the aforementioned .582 (.307).  …

Read more

Giving Chris Capuano Some Love

Courtesy of Getty Images

The pitching staff of the New York Yankees is the reason that they have even the slightest chance to make the postseason this year. Michael Pineda, Shane Greene and Brandon McCarthy have been getting a lot of credit for their performances. Nobody has really realized just how good Chris Capuano has been.

When the Yankees traded for Capuano for cash on July 24th, he was thought just to be a filler in the rotation for a little bit. However, he has pitched so well that he has managed to stay in the rotation ever since. He has been another bargain bin pickup found by the Yankees’ analytics team that has turned into much more than that.

Capuano’s 1-2 record and 4.01 ERA will not jump out at you right away until you look deeper into his peripheral numbers. The Yankees don’t score runs for anybody, which explains his record. His 3.20 FIP with the Yankees suggests that he has been unlucky.…

Read more

Ellsbury Update: Awaiting MRI Results

Guess we might not be seeing Jacoby Ellsbury back in the lineup tonight after all. After injuring his ankle sliding into home on Friday night, sitting out Saturday, and pinch hitting on Sunday, Ellsbury was scheduled for an MRI that night when the team returned to New York.  The results of that MRI were not revealed yesterday, possibly due to the holiday, but that could be taken as a bad sign.

If the MRI looked fine and Ellsbury was ready to go, the team probably would have said something about that.  If there was something on it that gave the team doctors cause for concern, perhaps yesterday was spent as an extra “wait and see” day so the team could come up with a backup plan or develop a new timetable for his return.  The fact that he was immediately removed for a pinch runner on Sunday means that his ankle is probably in worse shape than most people thought.  You don’t remove your fastest baserunner when you need late-game runs if he’s healthy enough to run the bases.…

Read more

Yankees chasing history down the stretch

This Yankees team is on pace to set a dubious record.

This Yankees team is on pace to set a dubious record.

With the Yankees’ playoff hopes on life support entering the final month of the season, it appears that the biggest storyline for the team in September will be the (not) farewell tour of Derek Jeter.

However, Jeter’s final at-bats in a Yankee uniform likely won’t be the only history that fans will witness down the stretch….

If the Yankees maintain their current season pace, they would become the first team in major-league history to post back-to-back winning seasons while being outscored by at least 20 runs in each year.

Last season the Yankees went 85-77 despite a run differential of -21, their worst mark since 1991 (-103). Based on the amount of runs scored and allowed, the team was expected to win just 79 games.

This year they could easily end up with an even lower run differential and still produce a winning record – they currently have been outscored by 27 runs and are five games over .500.…

Read more