Will Girardi Pull The Old Switcheroo With Hughes And Huff?

It was a surprise to hear that Phil Hughes would be pitching tonight. David Huff didn’t exactly earn another start after his Red Sox outing, but Hughes was also bad in relief, perhaps worse. Upon hearing that Hughes would be pitching in this big game tonight, I figured that Joe Girardi‘s theory was to keep Hughes in the rotation, where he was at least decent a handful of times, and the same for Huff in the bullpen.

But now that I’ve had some time to think about it, this isn’t the first time that Girardi has played games with the rotation. A lot Huff’s successful relief outings came in situations where he went the distance behind a failed start.

Girardi is obviously a manager that is mindful of platoon splits, and over his time with the Yankees it’s easy to see that he’ll make a number of moves just to get a slight edge against the opponent. Tonight, the Orioles will set their lineup for the right-handed Phil Hughes.…

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The Face of Baseball, or “Lessons in selective memory”, or “DUI <<< PED”

howdoyoufeelGreetings friends. Been ages, hasn’t it? I’ve been here all along, every day, reading every post and nearly every comment, lurking in the background. You know, work happens. Anyways…

Got to reading Jayson Stark’s article today about the Face of Baseball. I really like Jayson, and not because he flaunts the “y” in his name and I am “y”-free. He’s a fun guy, easygoing writing style and digs for great tidbits. His article today, as he points out, is extremely biased due to the timing of the research, which directly coincided with Alex Rodriguez‘s latest tussle with Commish Schultz, er, Selig, over additional PED transgressions. Stark, to his credit, more than acknowledges this and had it not been him writing and framing this “story”, I have no doubt that timing detail would have gone unmentioned.

Alas, some 22% of those 1,028 fans named our favorite whipping boy, ARod, as the Face of Baseball. Yawn. Next on the Evening News, man interviewed in rain storm and calls the water the biggest issue.…

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Strength Of Schedule

With a little more than two weeks left in the regular season, the Yankees have bounced back to within one game of a Wild Card spot. Playoff probability has the Yankees at their best odds since the end of July. Despite the hot streak, Baseball Prospectus still has the team at a 15% chance of making the Wild Card seed, and Cool Standings has them at a little over 20%. But for some reason, teams with worse records actually have a better chance.

To get the most accurate odds possible, probability systems look at a whole year’s worth of data. They calculate the runs allowed and runs scored, turn it over to the Pythagorean expectation, and figure out who is underperforming and overperforming. The Yankees look like overperformers, but a lot of that is due to circumstances which aren’t calculated by these playoff probabilities. The Yankees have been a tale of two teams this year, and the current lineup is far superior than the one they played through mid-August.…

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Red Sox To Honor Rivera On Sunday

The Boston Red Sox will pay tribute to New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in a pre-game ceremony at Fenway Park this Sunday, September 15, before the 43 year-old’s last regular season game at the ballpark. Major League Baseball’s all-time saves leader announced that he would retire at season’s end after a 19-year career. Rivera has made more appearances than any other visiting reliever in the 102-year history of Fenway Park.

This comes via press release from the Red Sox’ website. Must be weird for Red Sox fans to honor Mariano Rivera after years of Yankee hatred, but certainly a classy move on the Red Sox part. I’d have a hard time honoring David Ortiz, though I certainly respect his career numbers.

No word on what the Orioles plan on doing tonight. Maybe they’ll honor him by not stealing signs.

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What About Andy?

Pettitte vs BAL

We know Mariano Rivera is retiring after this season.  We assume Derek Jeter is not after the announcement yesterday that his season is over, even if it might be the best idea.  But what about the third remaining active member of the Core Four?  What about Andy Pettitte?  What’s his deal?  The 41-year-old lefty pitched another solid game last night, good enough to win against a stout opposing lineup.  It was the latest in what’s been an underappreciated good month of starts from Andy, something this rotation desperately needed with its struggles at the top.  This late season rebound from Pettitte makes the question of whether he will retire for good after this season a little more difficult to answer than it may have been a few months ago.

When Andy first started having problems with his back in April, it was pretty apparent to anybody watching a game when it was feeling good and when it wasn’t.  His mechanics looked stuff, his delivery was off, and his stuff didn’t have much life to it.  …

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Quote of the day: Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter spoke with the media earlier today and he was addressing the abrupt end to his season. While doing that, he also reiterated that he was going to stay with the team and cheer them on as they play down the stretch and try to fight their way into the playoffs.

Jeter said, “I’ll be carrying the pom poms.”

Well, I used to be a cheerleader when I was younger and his quote gave me an idea. So I called upon the people at IIATMS who actually know how to use Photoshop and this is the result:


(Image by Tamar Chalker)

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Yankees 5, Orioles 4: Buck you

Here’s a number for you: 5

Here’s another number for you: 6

The Yankees scored five runs on only six hits tonight. Oh, and David Robertson picked up his fifth win of the season and now has one more win than Phil Hughes who was just announced as tomorrow night’s starter.

Fun, right?

So how did the Yankees score five runs on six hits? You guessed it, the long ball. Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez, and Robinson Cano all went deep with Granderson’s making it out to Eutaw Street.

Four of the Yankees six hits were of the extra bases variety, Granderson also hit a stand up triple in the ninth inning. Actually the ninth was a great inning for the Yankees because after A-Rod’s home run tied the score in the sixth, neither team could get anything going. The Yankees started the ninth with Cano’s home run and before it ended, Lyle Overbay hit an RBI single that scored Granderson for the Yankees’ fifth run.…

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