Early Returns: Run Scoring Ticks Back Up

I’ve long been concerned about the state of run scoring in Major League Baseball. Run scoring has been on a decade-long downward trend, without any real indication that we’ve hit bottom. Well, that may have changed:

2015EarlyReturnsRuns

Early returns on 2015 have run scoring ticking upwards slightly. Scoring is still well below the historical average, but we’re now a tick above the disastrous 1960s levels. Good news.

What is going on? In part, strikeout rates have stabilized:

2015EarlyReturnsKRate

And power is ticking back up:

2015EarlyReturnsISO

MLB run scoring doesn’t vary all that much month-to-month, so there is no reason to believe this is seasonal. We also have a decent sample size at this point. I think this is real. Which is very good news for baseball.

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Slade Heathcott’s Long and Winding Road to the Majors

sladeAs you likely know by now, Slade Heathcott made his major league debut Wednesday night when he pinch ran for Mark Teixeira in the eighth and then played center. This is not just notable because arguably the Yankees’ most important offensive piece, Jacoby Ellsbury, hit the DL, causing the Yankees to call up their first round pick from the 2009 Draft. Hopefully, Heathcott gets an opportunity to pick up his first hit sometime soon, but as we wait for that I thought I’d look back on Heathcott’s long road to the Bronx.

If you have followed the Yankees’ farm system at all the last five or six years, you know the name Slade Heathcott and why I am so excited to see him finally break into the majors. Granted, his stay may be a short one for any number of reasons, but considering how miniscule the percentage of minor league players to ever make an appearance in the majors is, this is no small feat.…

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Masahiro Tanaka Rehab Game 1 Recap: 5/22/15

Tanaka SWB

Courtesy of MiLB.com

The next milestone in Masahiro Tanaka‘s comeback schedule was reached last night, as Tanaka took the mound for Triple-A Scranton/Wilke-Barre in his first MiL rehab start.  He pitched 3 shutout innings for the RailRiders, giving up 2 hits, striking out 2, and walking none.  With a pitch count of 45, Tanaka only threw 41 to get through his 3 innings and did so without any physical issues or discomfort in his right arm.

After the game, Tanaka summed up his night with this statement:

“I was able to use all my pitches. I felt pretty good. Not necessarily different than how I usually go into a game. I was looking to obviously pitch all my pitches with force, and I was able to do that tonight.”

Along with no arm problems, that’s about the best you can hope for in a first start back.  He threw all his pitches without issue and threw them with force and command.  …

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Game thread: Tanaka rehab start in Scranton

Tanaka vs TOR

YES is showing Masahiro Tanaka’s start in Scranton tonight. How exciting! So here is your game thread for the occasion.

Enjoy!

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This could be an interesting week for the Yankees

I feel like we have been here before. The last couple of the seasons the Yankees had a solid start with different players coming through in the clutch.

And, then, things fell apart – or more that it just stays even.

New York has lost 7 of its last 8, and won just two games on its recent nine-game road trip. These two days off this week may very well be needed as it starts a six-game home stand followed by a seven-game West Coast road trip tomorrow. Their next day off is not until June 4.

This coming week could be an important one in the Yankees season. Two months in, and things start to potentially show how the Yankees are going to play for the rest of the season.

In 2013, the Yankees were 30-18 on May 31. Starting on June 1, they finished the season 54-53, a mediocre team.

Last season, New York was just average the entire time with a few moments where it looked better than just OK.…

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Flashback: May 21, 2010

Even though the game I’m about to tell you about was five years ago tonight, I had no recollection of it at all.

Getting old is fun!

Here are the facts:

  • It was the Friday night game of the Citi Field portion of the 2010 Subway Series.
  • The starters were Javier Vazquez and Hisanori Takahashi.
  • Vazquez lasted six innings, gave up only one hit, walked two and struck out six.
  • Takahashi also pitched six innings. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out five.
  • The scoring didn’t start until the starters left the game.
  • The Yankees scored their two runs in the top of the seventh against Elmer Dessens.
  • Nick Swisher started the inning with a single.
  • Francisco Cervelli reached base on a throwing error and advanced to second while Swisher advanced to third on the play.
  • Kevin Russo hit a double off Dessens that scored Swisher and Cervelli.
  • The Mets scored their only run in the ninth inning off Mariano Rivera.
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Game 41 Quick Recap: Nationals 3 Yankees 2

Alex Rodriguez, Wilson Ramos

I feel ya, Al. We all do. Courtesy of the AP

Stop me if you’ve heard this story before.  The Yankees scored a couple of early runs to take the lead, then shut down completely on offense while their pitching and defense slowly coughed the lead back up.  The road trip is over, mercifully, at 2-7 after another 1-run loss to the Nationals last night.

The first run came in the first 2 batters of the 1st inning, as Brett Gardner led off with a single and Carlos Beltran doubled him home.  A pair of productive outs brought Beltran around to make it 2-0 and the shutdown commenced.  The Yankees only had a runner reach second base once in the next 8 innings.  Life’s tough for an offense when you’re struh-gull-ing and you got no DH.

All in all it was another solid start for Adam Warren.  He gave up a solo homer to Ian Desmond in the bottom of the 1st, then settled in to pitch into the 7th inning for a second straight start.  …

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Game 41: Warren vs. Zimmermann

Tonight’s game thread is brought to you by Danny Espinosa’s mustache:

USP MLB: WASHINGTON NATIONALS-PHOTO DAY S BBN USA FL

Here are the lineups:

New York Yankees Washington Nationals
Brett Gardner, LF Denard Span, CF
Carlos Beltran, RF Ian Desmond, SS
Mark Teixeira, 1B Yunel Escobar, 3B
Brian McCann, C Bryce Harper, RF
Chase Headley, 3B Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
Stephen Drew, 2B Wilson Ramos, C
Chris Young, CF Tyler Moore, LF
Didi Gregorius, SS Danny Espinosa, 2B
Adam Warren, SP Jordan Zimmermann, SP

Enjoy the game!

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As Gardner and Ellsbury go, so go the Yanks (or: Crap, Ellsbury hit the DL)

One of my favorite things about this site and the staff here is the off-site chatter amongst all of us that takes place over the course of every day. We talk baseball. We loudly bemoan really bad, hackneyed, trite, ad hominem attacks on players by the MSM, and laugh about silly Twitter spats. We talk about non-work stuff and provide a measure of support for one another when life gets in the way of baseball/writing (we’re all mourning the loss of Stacey’s best buddy, her cat Jack, who had to be put to sleep last night). I haven’t written much in the last few years due to work, but I’m here in the background every day, reading everything we (and you) write. Fun stuff, really.

This morning, William asked/challenged the following: What’s the Yanks record when Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner get on base (H/BB/HBP) a combined 4 or more times in a game? That’s a fine question, William, particularly because we all know how good these two have been so far this year and we’re losing Ellsbury to the DL (did you know he’s in the midst of a $153M contract?!?

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