Daily Archives: August 3, 2012

Game 105 Lineup: Mariners vs. Yankees

Lineup vs. Mariners:

Curtis Granderson CF
Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Raul Ibanez DH
Nick Swisher RF
Eric Chavez 3B
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Russell Martin C

CC Sabathia LHP

Pre-game Notes:

— The Yankees had designated reserve IF Ramiro Pena for assignment. If Pena doesn’t clear waivers then he will be sent to Scranton and will come off the 40 man roster.

— The Yankees released Dewayne Wise after they DFA’d him when CC Sabathia came back from the DL. The Yankees wanted to send him to Scranton but Wise declined the offer.

— The Yankees Facebook page was hacked yesterday with reports that Derek Jeter was “out for the rest of the season.” That wasn’t the odd part, the odd part was what Jeter was out for the rest of the season for (which I won’t post here). Other teams Facebook pages were hacked as well.

Andrew Brackman (former Yankee Killer B) was designated for assignment by the Cincinatti Reds.

Series Preview: Yankees vs. Mariners | 8/3/12-8/5/12

Pitching Matchups

Friday, 8/3/12, 7:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: C.C. Sabathia, LHP
Last Start: 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, 6 K, 2 BB, 1 HR
On the Season: 10-3, 3.57 ERA / 3.33 FIP / 3.34 xFIP, 8.79 K/9, 2.36 BB/9 in 126.0 IP

Pitching for the Mariners: Kevin Millwood, RHP
Last Start: 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 3 K, 1 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 4-8, 3.90 ERA / 3.47 FIP / 4.33 xFIP, 6.48 K/9, 3.20 BB/9 in 115.1 IP

Saturday, 8/4/12, 1:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Hiroki Kuroda, RHP
Last Start: 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 4 K, 1 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 10-7, 3.28 ERA / 3.82 FIP / 3.76 xFIP, 7.01 K/9, 2.29 BB/9 in 137.1 IP

Pitching for the Mariners: Felix Hernandez, RHP
Last Start: 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 6 K, 2 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 9-5, 2.79 ERA / 2.94 FIP / 3.28 xFIP, 8.88 K/9, 2.38 BB/9 in 155.0 IP

Sunday, 8/5/12, 1:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Freddy Garcia, RHP
Last Start: 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 1 HR
On the Season: 4-5, 5.10 ERA / 4.09 FIP / 4.04 xFIP, 6.99 K/9, 2.28 BB/9 in 67.0 IP

Pitching for the Mariners: Hisashi Iwakuma, RHP
Last Start: 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 13 K, 3 BB, 1 HR
On the Season: 2-2, 4.10 ERA / 5.28 FIP / 4.06 xFIP, 7.58 K/9, 4.25 BB/9 in 59.1 IP

NYY Offense

Who’s Hot

— Raul Ibanez – 5 for 12 with 1 double, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB in the last 7 days

— Jayson Nix – 4 for 10 with 1 double, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB in the last 7 days

— Derek Jeter – 10 for 26 with 1 double, 4 RBI, 1 BB in the last 7 days

— Nick Swisher – 6 for 17 with 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 1 BB in the last 7 days

— Russell Martin – 5 for 17 with 2 HR, 5 RBI, 6 BB in the last 7 days

Who’s Not

Unless you want to count Mark Teixeira who was recently sidelined with a wrist injury, no one on the Yankees has really been slumping in the last 7 days. Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson have hit for low averages and OBPs of late, but they each have hit 2 HRs and 6 RBIs in the same timeframe, so that’s not really a slump.

SEA Offense

Who’s Hot:

— Brendan Ryan – 8 for 17 with 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 1 BB in the last 7 days

— Kyle Seager – 10 for 22 with 1 double, 3 RBI, 1 BB in the last 7 days

— Mike Carp – 8 for 20 with 2 doubles, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB in the last 7 days

— Trayvon Robinson – 4 for 10 with 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 1 BB in the last 7 days

Who’s Not

— Casper Wells – 3 for 22 with 1 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K in the last 7 days

— John Jaso – 2 for 11 with 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K in the last 7 days

Enjoy the series everyone!

How Much Do Stolen Bases Matter?

The New York Yankees are stealing a lot less bases in 2012 than they did in 2011. This year the Yankees are ranked 25th in MLB in stolen bases, while last season they were ranked 4th. A lot of this is due to the Yankees missing their two fastest players in Brett Gardner and Eduardo Nunez. Ichiro now leads the Yankees with 18 stolen bases, but prior to him joining the Yankees Alex Rodriguez led the club with 11. While it would be nice if the Yankees had more speed I don’t think it will make or break them in winning the World Series.

I am a believer in the Oakland A’s moneyball system. Critics will say that the A’s never won in the playoffs, which is true, but what they fail to point out is that other MLB teams took their formula. Teams like the Yankees and Red Sox adopted the moneyball system just with bigger payrolls and have had success with it.  The Yankees love players who hit for power and have a high on base percentage. They also do not like to bunt and give away outs on the bases. While many disagree with the moneyball system, I believe it is a good way to build a team and can be successful combined with good pitching.

The bigger issue with the Yankees lack of speed rather than stole bases is going from 1st to 3rd or from 2nd to home on hits.  According to William Juliano of The Captain’s Blog, when the Yankees get a hit with a RISP they only score a run 79% of the time, which is 2nd worst in MLB.  This is much more of an issue than how many bases the Yankees steal. The Yankees lead MLB in with a .797 team OPS, lead MLB in HR’s with 166, lead MLB with a .344 wOBA, and are 6th in MLB in walks. These are a lot more important than stolen bases. The Yankees are 4th in MLB in runs scored, which is obviously very good, but with the stats I just mentioned you would think they would be even higher. The reason they’re not higher is because they’re not hitting with RISP and not scoring enough when they do get hits with RISP, rather than not stealing enough bases.

Stealing a lot of bases has not necessarily translated into success as a team. This season out of the top 10 teams in stolen bases in MLB only the San Francisco Giants are leading their division. Out of the last 5 World Series champions only the 2008 Phillies were in to the top 10 in MLB in stolen bases by ranking 4th. The 2011 Cardinals were 29th, the 2010 Giants tied for 29th, the 2009 Yankees were 11th, and the 2007 Red Sox were tied for 15th.  Even during their dynasty years from 1996-2000 the Yankees only finished in the top 10 in MLB stolen bases once in 1998, when they finished 4th.  Their average finish in stolen bases during those years was 15th in MLB, so they were not a great stolen base team during their dynasty years either.

Stolen bases are a nice luxury to have, but are not essential in winning championships. If the Yankees do not win the World Series this year it will most likely be because they didn’t pitch well enough or because they did not get key hits when they needed them, not because they didn’t steal enough bases.

Remembering The Captain – Thurman Munson

I had seen his Yankeeography. I heard of Bobby Murcer’s heroics the day of his funeral. I even remember my dad telling me numerous times he was his favorite player. But I never fully understood Thurman Munson until reading a book called “Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain” by Marty Appel.

It was the 30th anniversary of his death in August of 2009 when I just so happened to read the book. I had never read a more fascinating and gripping story, and the fact that it was all true was amazing. The fact that Munson actually declined when he was offered the captain position. That he would taunt Goose Gossage in the most heated moments of a game where he struggled. That he played with numerous broken bones in his body, truly giving it all for the Yankees night in and night out.

But something I don’t think I will ever do again happened while I was reading the very end of the biography. Appropriately, it was about the very end of Thurman’s life. August 2nd, 1979.

If you want a detailed, and I mean detailed account of that crash, look no further. It said it all – how the plane crashed, why, how the inside of the plane and Thurman himself looked after the crash. Here’s the thing I had never done – I cried. I genuinely cried, poolside at my grandma’s house as I read the chapter.

This is an 11 year old, mind you, who had never seen him play. I am in no way connected to Thurman or any of past Yankees except for the fact of being a Yankees fan. But I felt I was more than that after reading the book, and especially that chapter.

This is no book review (though I highly suggest reading it if you haven’t), but it really made me appreciate and think of how great a player and person Thurman Munson was. He wore his heart on his sleeve, stood up for his teammates, and even when he was questioned and doubted, he produced.

Look at his statistics. He was a 7 time All-Star. An MVP. A Rookie of the Year. More importantly, a world champion. Twice. If he had a full career, there is no doubt in my mind he would eventually get inshrined into Cooperstown.

Unfortunately, I can’t change that. Thurman did not have a full career, and nothing close to a full life. But boy did he accomplish a lot in his 32 years. He became an amazing baseball player, a facial-hair wonder, and more importantly, a friendly, down-to-earth, happy father. And that’s all you can ask out of anyone. Thurman did all that, and more.

This is a quick tribute to Thurman, thought up very late at night as I couldn’t stop thinking about the impact he had on the Yankees and how much bigger it would have been if he just had more time on Earth.

Again, I never knew him, never saw him play, and didn’t even know much about him until a couple years ago. But he is one of my favorite all-time Yankees who definitely is more deserving of being mentioned one day or week, every August.

Because it’s not what happened on August 2nd, 1979. It’s what happened every day leading up to that.

Morning Bits: Joba, Stats and more…

I hope you all enjoyed the off day yesterday.  Today the Yankees are back in action as the host the Mariners.  Tonight’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:05PM EST.  On the mound is Millwood vs. Sabathia.   Enjoy the game.

Now onto the links…

Mark Simon of ESPN Stats has some stats to watch during this upcoming series.

Katie Sharp of ESPN Stats takes a look at the last series with O’s with all the stats you can digest.

Bryan Hoch has an article where he took questions from fans.  It’s a pretty good read check it out.

Marc Carig of The Star Ledgers writes for the Yankees’ Joba Chamberlain, the beginning of a new chapter.