Game 23: Sabathia vs. Masterson

Welcome to this evening’s game thread. Here are tonight’s lineups (featuring six lefties and three switch-hitters for Mr. Masterson’s pitching pleasure):

New York Yankees Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Mookie Betts, CF
Brett Gardner, LF Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Mark Teixeira, 1B David Ortiz, DH
Brian McCann, C Hanley Ramirez, LF
Carlos Beltran, RF Mike Napoli, 1B
Chase Headley, 3B Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Garrett Jones, DH Allen Craig, RF
Stephen Drew, 2B Xander Bogaerts, SS
Didi Gregorius, SS Ryan Hanigan, C
CC Sabathia, SP Justin Masterson, SP

Enjoy the game!

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Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 5/1/15

We’ve got Yanks-Sox this Sunday, so it seems like another obvious live tweet opportunity.  But first I have to make it to Sunday night.  The double whammy of the Bucks getting mollywhopped and the Rangers blowing Game 1 against the Caps in the final seconds took a lot out of me last night, and the rest of the playoff schedule, the Derby, and the fight on Saturday night could be enough to do me in.  I’ve lost a lot of heat off my drinking/partying fastball in the last 12-18 months, like Sabathia levels of heat loss.  I’m still trying to find my way as a partier with diminished stuff, so if I’m not around on Sunday night, you know why.  If I am, it should be a fun time and another Yankee victory.  3-0 on the season.  Now onto the links!

– On Monday, Matt Appel of Pinstripe Alley ranked the 25-man roster after the first 3 weeks.  There are some egregious mis-rankings in the bottom 10-12, but the top 10 is solid.…

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About Brian McCann’s Strange April

Courtesy: Boston Globe

Courtesy: Boston Globe

Brian McCann has kind of gone under the radar in terms of storylines for the Yankees so far this season. He hasn’t been one of the Yankees’ better hitters like Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira or Alex Rodriguez, and he hasn’t been awful like Carlos Beltran or Didi Gregorius. However, I think his start has been pretty interesting.

McCann is hitting .266/.319/.453/.773 with a .335 wOBA and a 110 wRC+. This is a big improvement from his overall line last year when he hit .232/.286/.406/.692 with a .306 wOBA and a 92 wRC+. When looking into McCann’s peripherals, however, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense how he has improved his numbers.

His walk rate is an abysmal 2.8 percent and last year he rarely walked too with a 5.9 percent rate. I don’t know what happened to his plate discipline from his Atlanta days when he was consistently around 10 percent.…

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Thoughts leading up to another series with Boston

It’s Friday morning, it’s the day after an off day and I have the early slot so you know what that means.

It’s random thoughts time!

  • Hold onto your butts! It’s time for another Yankees-Red Sox series!
  • What’s with the schedule this year? Why does it feel like the Yankees are only playing AL East teams?
  • I know that’s not completely true because they played the Tigers and the Mets but after they play Boston, they’re playing the Blue Jays up into Toronto, come home to play the Orioles in a four-game series and then go back on the road to play the Rays in the Slop again.
  • I guess it’s a good thing because they’ll have played the Rays nine times before May 15, but I don’t know, something seems off to me.
  • CC Sabathia is looking for his first win tonight and he’s going up against Justin Masterson.
  • Why do I have a feeling CC isn’t even going to last four innings?
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Off Day Open Thread

Oops! I was supposed to post this at 6:30 and completely forgot to do it.

It may be an off day for the Yankees but there is a whole lot of stuff happening tonight:

  • The NFL Draft is starting.
  • The Rangers and Capitals start their series.
  • There’s a two hour Grey’s Anatomy.
  • Okay maybe there isn’t a lot happening tonight…

Anyway, feel free to discuss whatever you like. Oh and if you missed some stuff on our site today, here are some links:

Enjoy your evening!

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A Look to the Past for CC’s Future: Do Starters with “CC-Like” Declines Recover?

It’s about time to stop defending guys with, “it’s too early to conclude….” Bad performance for almost a month is worrisome – especially if the badness just continues from prior years. I already wrote that about Carlos Beltran, so now it’s CC Sabathia’s turn. The problem it isn’t his four 2015 starts; it’s his almost 300 IP of an 80 ERA+ (4.97 ERA) spanning 2013-15.

This is one of those times you can predict baseball: falling as far and as fast as CC is uncommon, but not unprecedented; he isn’t the first once-talented 30something to suffer a substantial, sudden decline – which I confirmed by searching the Baseball Reference “Play Index” tool for pitchers with a decline like CC’s. I generated a list of all 30something starters, in the past 50 years, with a career ERA+ of over 95 (i.e., average-ish or better) who, after at least six full seasons (i.e., a track record of success), suddenly had an ERA+ under 85 (in at least 150 IP).…

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Quick Hit: The Terrific Top Two

Yesterday wasn’t a banner day for the Yankee offense, but in general it’s been much better this month after a slow start.  Power and patience have been the name of the game, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t call out the stellar job being done at the top of the batting order by the team’s 2 designated table setters.

In a perfect world, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner would have provided the top of the lineup with a potent combination of average, speed, and occasional power last year.  In 2015’s Jeter-less world, they’ve finally gotten the chance to do that and they’ve responded with exactly the type of performance we (and Joe) hoped for.  Ellsbury sits at .321/.406/.381 after yesterday’s 3-hit effort, with a BB rate of 10.4% and a K rate below 15.  Gardner is right there with him at .311/.400/.410 with a 9.6% BB rate and a minuscule 11.0% K rate.  Between the 2 of them they’ve scored 31 runs and stolen 14 bases, each ranking 1-2 on the team in those categories.  …

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Alex Rodriguez sucks during the day

Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

Alex Rodriguez cannot hit during the day.

Now, granted, the Yankees haven’t played a lot of games during the day up to this point in the season – only 5 games – but in the afternoon games in which they have played, and in the afternoon games he has played in, he has been awful. In yesterday’s 3-2 loss to the Rays, Rodriguez was 0-6 with four strikeouts and from where I was sitting, way the heck up in the upper deck between third and the left field foul pole, it looked like he couldn’t pick up any pitches. (Of course, that’s a bit hyperbolic because he did foul off some balls and his at bats weren’t just three pitches in length.) But it was because of what I witnessed in Yankee Stadium yesterday that I decided to see just what Rodriguez was doing during day games compared to how he was performing at night and this is what I found.…

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Bad outcomes do not always result from bad decisions

tanakaThis may seem like a basic statement, but sometimes the right decision made with every piece of data and insight available at the time can result in a bad outcome. The converse is also true. Some call this luck, either good luck or bad luck.

When Ned Yost calls for another bunt that works out in his team’s favor, it doesn’t automatically mean it was the right decision. It just happened to work out. Happens all the time all over sport and clearly beyond it, as well.

On Monday, our favorite Masahiro Tanaka went on the DL for at least a month. Could be longer, but we hope not. It’s a blow to the team, no question.

Let’s remember back to last year, when Tanaka initially got hurt. MRIs, doctors, lots of doctors. The best elbow/arm specialists on the planet. And their unanimous conclusion was rest, treatment, and rehab. These are medical wizards, not a bunch of mopes gathered outside around a food truck (no slight on food trucks; I love them).…

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