Phelps gets his big moment tonight

In discussing the decision to make the switch last night, David Cone made reference to Phelps “earning” tonight’s start over the course of the season. usually I don’t like framing things that way, and think that moves should be made based on what helps a team at the margins the most (especially in October), but in this case I think it’s absolutely correct. Phelps has been the season’s pleasant surprise on the pitching staff, pitching to a 3.34 ERA with a 92-36 SO:BB ratio in 94.1 innings. He hasn’t dominated at all times, especially as a starter, but his versatility has made up for it. Phelps has certainly been a jack of all trades this year, alternating between spot starts, long reliever, being a fill in in the rotation when other guys were injured or ineffective, and also serving as a middle inning reliever. That Phelps has been able to hold his own in so many different jobs has certainly been a big part of the reason the Yankees currently hold a one game lead over the Orioles, and tonight he’ll get his chance to take the mound with a chance to pitch the Yankees to a division title.…

Read more

Did Girardi push C.C. too hard?

Secondly, there isn’t really any reason to think that the additional work will affect Sabathia in three days time. While the idea that fewer pitches thrown makes it easier to pitch on short rest, there isn’t any concrete evidence for the effect, and plenty of former starting pitchers will attest that it’s easier to pitch later in the game than earlier (up to a certain point, anyway). Remember that getting the arm loose and warmed up is stress in itself, as is throwing, say 60-75 pitches. In any case, it’s not like Sabathia was rally pushed physically in the game: he only threw 103 pitches over the eight innings he worked, and thanks to the nine run cushion the offense provided, he never faced a stressful situation that required him to really bear down and get out of a jam or anything like that.

Most of all, the fact that Sabathia soaked up those extra innings and the Yankees only needed to get one inning of work out of Freddy Garcia means that Girardi will have a full complement of relievers to call on today and tomorrow.…

Read more

Robertson Improves Cutter And Throws More Curveballs

A little over a month ago I wrote about David Robertson looking like Mariano Rivera. Although September wasn’t his most stellar month, there were a few signs that he’s still evolving as a pitcher. For one, the drop off in curveball selection from August ended in September, where he doubled his amount of breaking...

Read more

Yankees in pole position, Gardner returns in full

In addition to having things go right for them in the standings, the Yankees are also finally getting some good news on the injury front. Mark Teixeira started at first base as planned last night, and came through the game fine. He hit a home run in his second at bat, drew a walk in another, and seemed comfortable in the field and at the plate while he was playing. He was removed in the middle of the contest, but that was related to the scoreboard, not his calf, and Tex assured everyone he was fine after the game.

The bigger surprise was Brett Gardner‘s eighth inning pinch hitting appearance. Gardner had been limited to running and playing defense since his return last week, and as far as I know there was no indication that he had been cleared to hit before he entered the on deck circle last night. It was cnfirmed after the game that Gardner is now available in full capacity, which would seem to make him a shoo-in for a postseason roster spot, though it will be interesting to see whose roster spot he gets.…

Read more

No letdown as Yanks embarrass Sox 10-2

The good:

  • For a while it looked as though the Yankees were going to have another one of those games where they scored all of their runs in just one inning. That’s been a pretty annoying occurrence more often than I care to count this year, but I don’t think anyone would complain if all of those games included nine runs in a single inning like tonight’s did. The Yankees came just shy of putting double digits on the board in the second inning, doing so on the strength of four home runs. They knocked Clay Buchholz, Boston’s best starter of late, out of the game very early, and tied a team record with the four home runs in a single frame.
  • One of those home runs went to Mark Teixeira, in just his second at bat. After missing 30 of the team’s last 31 games, Tex looked about as you could expect, playing the field well and going 1-3 at the plate.
Read more