Quick recap: Rays 3, Yankees 0

Tropicana Field continues to be a house of horrors for the New York Yankees and I, for one, am thrilled this series is over and that the team is returning home even if it’s for a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Tonight, Andy Pettitte was tough luck loser. He shut down the Rays until when fifth inning when he was victimized by a Brennan Boesch error and then by a Ben Zobrist double that made it 2-0 Tampa. And again in the sixth when Sean Rodriguez hit a solo shot to make it 3-0.

Pettitte’s final line was 6.0 IP, seven hits, three runs, two earned, one walk and 10 strike outs. Yes, 10. This is the first time he’s lost a game in which he’s struck out 10 or more batters since July 20, 2000 when he lost to the Tigers. He’s also had five no decisions in that span.

The Yankees offense was baffled by Alex Cobb who threw 8.1 innings, gave up only three hits, walked one and struck out seven.… Click here to read the rest

Staying Realistic On Pettitte

Andy Pettitte‘s performance in 2012 was short and sweet. For a 39 year old pitcher turning 40, short was expected, but the 2.87 ERA and 3.48 FIP were a shocker after a year on the retirement shelf.

The lefty has continued his success in his 3 starts so far, giving the Yankees 22.1 innings, allowing just 5 earned runs. Since returning from retirement, Pettitte has now pitched 97.2 innings and he’s looked less like a number three pitcher in the rotation, and more like a 1b. His 2.67 ERA over the last 2 years has been stunning, and the Yankees have to be thrilled with the results.

With the injury weaknesses and back of the rotation struggles this April, Pettitte has stood out and carried the team with dominate performances over three games. His importance in the early part of 2013 continues to be key for the team, but there are some signs that the south paw’s results could be due for some regression.… Click here to read the rest

Lunchtime links: Jeter’s boot, Hughes’ strong start and it’s almost May

Good afternoon, Yankee fans.

Derek Jeter will be holding a news conference on Thursday at Yankee Stadium. He will be wearing a walking boot while his ankle heals from his latest injury. Is anyone else worried about this? Maybe it’s because I’m a normally anxious person and everything causes me to worry but I have a bad feeling about this. Hopefully I’m wrong.

Speaking of being wrong everyone who thought last night’s game was going to be a sure victory by the Tampa Bay Rays was wrong thanks to Phil Hughes‘ start and Ichiro Suzuki‘s late game heroics.

  • Jack Curry of YES wrote a piece about Hughes this morning. It’s about the way he carried himself last night. 
  • On the Lohud Yankees Blog, Chad Jennings also wrote about Hughes and his performance last night.

On IIATMS:

  • Tamar recapped last night’s Minor action.
  • Brad analyzed the Yankees’ early contact rates.

And can you believe it? We’re a week away from May 1st.… Click here to read the rest

Analyzing The Yankees’ Early Contact Rates

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod.  Stats have not been updated to reflect last night’s game because I woke up too late to update them, but the points still stand)

With the regular season still just three weeks old, offensive sample sizes are still too small to draw any meaningful conclusions.  For a player like Robinson Cano, we can safely assume that his hot start isn’t due to BABIP luck and that he’ll continue to rake moving forward, but for guys like Lyle Overbay, Francisco Cervelli, and Vernon Wells those assumptions aren’t as concrete.  Their tripleslashs right now paint a positive picture, but a more accurate representation of how good they’ve been can be found in their early contact rates.  Regardless of sample size, contact rates tell the real, simple story of just how well a player is swinging the bat at any given time, regardless of whether those swings result in hits and RBI.  What do the contact rates for some of the Yankee hitters through the first three weeks of the season tell us about them?  … Click here to read the rest

The Farm Report: 4/23/13 Betances puts up strong start

Due to a pretty massive headache yesterday, I wasn’t able to get to the normal game recaps I do, so apologies for that. Here is what you should know about yesterday’s action.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre beat Columbus 2-1:

  • The RailRiders only managed three hits in this win. Corban Joseph went 1-4 with a double. Gil Velazquez went 1-3 and Dan Johnson provided the bulk of the offense going 1-1 with a two-run homer.
  • Melky Mesa, David Adams and Addison Maruszak each went 0-3 with two Ks.
  • Dellin Betances was the player of the day, showing everyone why the Yankees continue to give him chances. He threw seven strong innings an allowed just one run on three hits, two walks and striking out seven.
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka made the start for Columbus, striking out eight RailRiders over 6.1 innings.
  • Juan Cedeno and Preston Claiborne each pitched a scoreless inning of relief, with the latter giving up one run and striking out one batter.

Trenton lost to Akron 7-1:

  • Trenton’s only hit came from Kyle Roller, who went 1-3 with a double. 
Click here to read the rest

Yankees 4, Rays 3: My apologies to Mr. Hughes

Dear Phil,

I sincerely apologize for doubting you tonight. In reality, I actually didn’t. I knew deep down that you would be okay. It was a feeling I had. Call it women’s intuition if you want but my feeling was right.

I tried to be the cool kid and in my game thread blurb, I made it seem as if I didn’t believe that you could pitch well tonight. I gave in to peer pressure and I reverted back to being a teenager.

So I hope you accept my apology and good job tonight.

You’re the best,
Stace

P.S. My bad.

***

Well, that turned out to be a good game.

Phil Hughes didn’t get the win but he had a really great start. He pitched sevem innings, gave up only two runs on six hits, he walked two and struck out 6. He had a rough first inning but he settled down and pitched like a guy who had confidence in his pitches.… Click here to read the rest

Game 19: Phil Hughes vs David Price

Oh boy.

This game has the chance to be either bad or really bad. While I could see Phil Hughes shocking everyone by shutting down the Rays’ lineup – stranger things have happened – I could also see David Price making the Yankees’ lineup look even more putrid than they did last night against Matt Moore.

Of course, we could also have a repeat of last night when the Yankees were down 4-0 before the second inning. (I’m really not making this game seem like it’s going to be any good, am I?)

Anyway, here’s the Yankees’ lineup:
Gardner CF
Nunez SS
Cano 2B
Wells LF
Francisco DH
Overbay 1B
Stewart C
Ichiro RF
Nix 3B

Hughes P

And the Rays’ lineup:
Jennings CF
Roberts 2B
Zobrist RF
Longoria 3B
Joyce LF
Escobar SS
Loney 1B
Molina C
Johnson DH

Price P… Click here to read the rest

A Weekend Of Velocity Madness

Over the weekend, we saw something out of Yankee pitchers that we hadn’t seen in a while. Joba Chamberlain threw a 98.1 mph fastball, not far off from his average 97.5 mph on Saturday afternoon, Ivan Nova hit 97 mph, David Robertson hit 94.9 mph, and Boone Logan 96 mph. Listening to the games on the radio, or watching on YES, John Sterling and Michael Kay drew attention to the velocity a number of times. It’s quite encouraging to see such high marks in the month of April, especially when pitchers are still building strength. But I have bad news for you.

The guns in the Rogers Centre were juiced. At least that’s the saying, nowadays there are PITCHf/x cameras set up at three points, which are calibrated to measure everything from velocity, to acceleration, to location. The calibrations were off this weekend, and unfortunately there were some false story lines made of it.

chart (9)

All of Ivan Nova’s 2013 pitches are plotted above, and you can see a clear jump in velocity over his last 100 pitches.… Click here to read the rest