Game 160: Save Us, Marky Mark

Boston Red Sox New York Yankees
Pedro Ciriaco, 2B Derek Jeter, SS
Daniel Nava, LF Ichiro Suzuki, LF
Cody Ross, RF Alex Rodriguez, DH
Mauro Gomez, 1B Robinson Cano, 2B
Ryan Lavarnway, DH Mark Teixeira, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C Curtis Granderson, CF
Danny Valencia, 3B Nick Swisher, RF
Che-Hsuan Lin, CF Russell Martin, C
Jose Iglesias, SS Eric Chavez, 3B
Clay Buchholz, SP CC Sabathia, SP

The first pitch is scheduled for...

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Curtis: Something short of Grandish

But is it really fair to say that Granderson has had a bad season? I’m mostly of the mind that this is probably too strong a condemnation of his performance this season. Yes, his numbers have worsened across the board from last season, but in addition to the somewhat minor jump in strikeouts, the biggest factor in that decline has probably come from his BABIP, which fell from .295 last year to .250 this season, despite the fact that his line drive rate is up, and at the expense of the numbe of fly balls he’s hit. There could be some classification error involved in that discrepancy, but it’s also probably fair to say that Granderson has been getting pretty unlucky with respect to the balls he’s put in play this season.

The other aspect of Granderson’s game that’s led to a year-to-year drop in fWAR of 5! total wins is his rapidly declinging defensive metrics. These are, of course, a source of immense controversy, mostly because UZR says that Granderson has been abysmal, costing the Yankees 18.3 runs compared to the average center fielder.…

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In Defense of the 1-Game Wild Card Playoff

From conversations with my fellow TYA bloggers, I get the sense that a lot of people do not like the looming 1-game Wild Card playoff system. For the first time, the Wild Card teams will not immediately advance to the division series, and will instead play each other in a winner-take-all single game.

I like the...

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Previewing the other series: O’s @ Rays

What they’re playing for:

Being tied atop the A.L. East, the Orioles are in the same boat as the Yankees with respect to attempting to win the division crown, hopefully without the need for a 163rd game. The one somewhat important distinction between the two teams is that, since Baltimore lost their season series with Texas, they’ll need to finish at least one game ahead of the Rangers if they want a chance to claim the A.L.’s top playoff seed, while the Yankees only need to earn a tie for the junior circuit’s best record.

The Rays, on the other hand, are hanging on for dear life in the playoff chase. In fact, they’re only a single loss or Oakland victory away from being eliminated outright. Put simply: they need to sweep Baltimore and have Texas sweep Oakland just to force a 163rd game for the second wild card spot. But with the latter happening on the West Coast, they’re masters of their own destiny for at least a few hours tonight.…

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