Apr
13

No bullpen will have a 0.00 ERA

By

Yesterday’s loss gave Yanks fans a chance to vent on the bullpen, and Phil Coke in particular. Yes, it was a horrific performance, and yes, Coke blew the game. That doesn’t mean, as one friend emailed me, that he’s a bad pitcher. It means that he’s been tattooed in two out of three appearances so far. That might prove to be the first signs of Coke’s ineffectiveness, but taken in isolation it doesn’t mean much at all.

Relievers are the most volatile players on a team in terms of results. One year a guy will be lights out, and the next he’ll struggle to record an out. Not only does this fluctuation happen on a year-to-year basis, but it happens from month-to-month, week-to-week, and even game-to-game. There’s just so much randomness that comes along with their individual one-inning samples that it’s tough to get a true grasp of a reliever’s true ability.

So far we’ve seen Coke toss up two stinkers and one brief but stellar performance (striking out the only two batters he faced) after dominating Spring Training. That’s far too small a sample to make a reasonable judgment. I liked what I saw from him in Spring Training, and clearly the Yankees did, so it’s best to let this one continue to play out, withholding judgment until Coke gets a few more appearances under his belt. After all, as Pinto notes, Phil might just have been the victim of insanely poor luck: “My problem is that the more a manager goes to the pen, the more likely he is to bring in someone having an off day.”

In reviewing the first six games, there doesn’t appear to be any evidence to counter the preseason notion that the Yanks bullpen is a strength. They’ve allowed eight runs in 17 innings this season, but the bulk came in just two of their six games (there was that one throw-away run in the ninth of a KC blowout). So in two thirds of their games the bullpen has turned in a scoreless performance (caveat added). Of course, this isn’t evidence in itself that they are and will be a strength for the team. It does, however, help strengthen the preseason hypothesis, even if two bad performances stand out.

As the title says, no team will have a bullpen ERA of 0.00. Even Toronto, with their 2.94 team bullpen ERA, allowed 148 runs in 2008. Again, this is because of the inherent volatility of relievers. There’s still a chance that Phil Coke does, in fact, stink and that the Yanks need to replace him. Thankfully, they have a slew of live arms in the minors waiting for a chance. That’s the sign of a quality bullpen.

Categories : Death by Bullpen
  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    So what you’re saying is that I should back off the ledge?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Yes, young Andy. Let Melvin show you the way.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        If they would just bring up Melvin, ALL the pitching problems would be solved.

        • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

          All the hitting problems, too. He could also sub in as a 3rd baseman when he is not pitching. They would not even need anybody on 3rd as Melvin would strike everybody out, anyway.

          • Andy In Sunny Daytona

            “The Scout” was based on Melvin. The writer of the movie, Roger Angell, was on vacation in the Dominican Republic, when a 5-year old Melvin was seen hitting coconuts on the beach with a piece of driftwood. Some estimates had the hard fruit traveling at least 500 feet. But what really impressed Angell was that Melvin would run to the coconuts and throw them back to his sister the entire way on the fly.

            • http://heavysoundsandtheabstracttruth.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/alg_burnett-sabathia-3.jpg Mike Pop

              IETC.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          If they would just bring up Melvin, ALL the pitching world’s problems would be solved.

          Melvin would have this whole global economic depression, failed state-enabled terrorism, and Horn of Africa piracy shit fixed in 10 minutes.

          • Andy In Sunny Daytona

            Melvin would then humbly say, “I am just a ballplayer.” In Latin!!

          • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

            One day Melvin played baseball alone and pitched to himself. He hit a homerun and got a strikeout in the same at-bat.

  • steve (different one)

    logic? reason? WTF? i thought we were here to burn Girardi at the stake?

  • andrew

    Fortunately, if Coke does in fact “stink” there are guys like Robertson and Melancon ready to replace him. I’m not really concerned with the bullpen so far. There are a lot of solid options and they should be fine.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Not to mention Claggett and Jackson.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Can I also mention Cox and Humberto? Or are they too far down the chart to be mentioned?

        • A.D.

          Is Humberto healthy/actually pitching yet?

          • Lanny

            So we have to have tryouts for the 8th inning before someone can get 3 outs?

  • http://heavysoundsandtheabstracttruth.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/alg_burnett-sabathia-3.jpg Mike Pop

    I’m not even going to waste my time reading this. Joba can’t handle the work load and with him in the 8th, it’s a 6 inning game. I don’t care what you put infront of me that proves otherwise.

    • tim randle

      hmm…my brain says you’re sarcasm is powerful, but my mouth just said ‘YES!’

      cognitive dissonance, i’m doin’ it right

      :(

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    They’ve allowed eight runs in 17 innings this season, but those came in just two of their six games. So in two thirds of their games the bullpen has turned in a scoreless performance.

    I was thinking about a concept related to this the other day:

    Most basic reliever stats that we have (Holds, saves, Inherited runners scored, ERA, even WHIP) kinda suck in one way or another.

    What about a reliever stat that merely quantifies “good appearances” vs. “bad appearances”? Like a quality start stat, but micro-fied to account for releivers. You pitch an inning and retire the side 1-2-3, that’s a good appearance. You come in and walk a guy on 5 pitches and get pulled, that’s a bad appearance. Something like that.

    I’d imagine that, for example, if you look at the season stats of Damaso Marte in 2008, he looks kinda crappy because he shit the bed in a massive, grand-slam kinda way once and he’s dealing with such a small sample size that it keeps his numbers skewed all season long. But, if you looked at the ratio of good appearances where he accumulated outs and helped the team win vs. bad appearances where he allowed baserunners and runs, he was probably one of the more effective relievers in baseball when judged on a level of “If I bring you in to face this situation, what are the odds you give me a good outcome vs. a bad outcome?”

    Is there a “quality appearance stat” and if not, how should we go about building one? Because that appears to be the single most germane stat for evaluating a reliever, IMO.

    • steve (different one)

      on a smaller scale, LaTroy Hawkins had a stint like that with the Yankees before he was run out of town:

      21 appearance with 0 ERs
      1 appearance with 6 ERs
      1 appearance with 4 ERs (2.2 IP)
      2 appearances with 3 ERs
      2 appearances with 2 ERs
      6 appearances with 1 ER (some were 2 IP)

      he was servicable most of the time, but had a few terrible outings that made his numbers pretty awful.

      he might look ok under your “metric”.

      • kunaldo

        you have to include baserunners in there….like sure, he may have allowed 0 ERs x amount of times…but was it painless? i mean, obviously, the more baserunners a pitcher allows, the more likely it is that he sucks

        • steve (different one)

          sure. wasn’t trying to say hawkins was great, just pointing out a situation in my memory where a reliever wasn’t consistently bad, but had more of a “barbell” distribution.

          • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            I totally hear you, but you’d also have to look at how high leverage those appearances were. Remember, by the end of LaTroy’s tenure with the Yanks, it’s not like he was being brought into close games in high leverage situations. I’m not saying his 0 ER appearances were low-leverage and his poor appearances were high-leverage, just saying it’s another variable you’d have to add into that analysis.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        he was servicable most of the time, but had a few terrible outings that made his numbers pretty awful.

        he might look ok under your “metric”.

        Depends on how we scale the “metric”.

        Brainstorming here: if we use the overly simplistic “did you allow an earned run or not” metric, which was NOT my intention, but let’s roll with it, Hawkins had 21 appearances with 0 ER and 12 appearances with 1 or more ER.

        That’s a 63% “GA” (Good Appearance) rate. I don’t think that’s “looking okay”, IMO. I’d say 80% and up would be “looking okay”.

        Once we agree on the specific of the metrics, I’d imagine a replacement level would present itself and we could easily identify ranges of good, mediocre, and bad GA’s.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          What about factoring in leverage and what not?

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            It’s worth exploring. May muddy the waters a little bit, though.

            I wonder if a more context-neutral stat would be more effective for comparing relievers equally…

            • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

              It’ll muddy the waters, sure, but it would make us come to a better understanding of “good appearances” and “bad appearances.” Me pitching with a 10 run deficit and allowing 0 runs is a “good appearance” but it shouldn’t be weighed equally as you coming in during a tie game and allowing no runs.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                Me pitching with a 10 run deficit and allowing 0 runs is a “good appearance” but it shouldn’t be weighed equally as you coming in during a tie game and allowing no runs.

                Maybe, maybe not. I think there’s room for discussion there. I don’t want to get into a scenario where we’re doing the same thing as penalizing ARod for hitting his 3-run homer in the 4th inning as opposed to the 8th inning.

                If Veras comes into a blowout in the 6th inning and mows down the side with 3 K’s on 9 pitches, he was effective and did what was asked of him. If he does the same thing in a one run game in the 9th, it’s got a higher leverage, sure, but I don’t know that his appearance was per se more “good” or “effective” than his appearance in the 6th. Just different.

                I’m just skeptical of how much leverage should really be weighted (both here and in general)… we shouldn’t necessarily let our perceptions overinfluence the data.

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                  Maybe, maybe not. I think there’s room for discussion there. I don’t want to get into a scenario where we’re doing the same thing as penalizing ARod for hitting his 3-run homer in the 4th inning as opposed to the 8th inning.

                  The irony here is that the homer in the 4th inning probably influences the game more than a homer in the 8th, but that’s another discussion for another day.

                  If Veras comes into a blowout in the 6th inning and mows down the side with 3 K’s on 9 pitches, he was effective and did what was asked of him. If he does the same thing in a one run game in the 9th, it’s got a higher leverage, sure, but I don’t know that his appearance was per se more “good” or “effective” than his appearance in the 6th. Just different.

                  I agree that it could be an equally good outing, but it has a relatively low influence on the outcome of the game.

                  I’m just skeptical of how much leverage should really be weighted (both here and in general)… we shouldn’t necessarily let our perceptions overinfluence the data.

                  Here I disagree a bit. I understand not wanting perception to get in the way but I feel that leverage/WPA balances out perception. We may think the homer in the 8th is better than the homer in the 4th because of its later occurrence, but chances are the homer in the 4th has more influence on the game.

                  If this elementary metric excluded leverage, that’d be fine because it still works. A shutout inning or two in a blowout is still a shutout inning or two and it should be recognized. However, finding a way to work the context in would be the proverbial icing on the cake.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Here I disagree a bit. I understand not wanting perception to get in the way but I feel that leverage/WPA balances out perception. We may think the homer in the 8th is better than the homer in the 4th because of its later occurrence, but chances are the homer in the 4th has more influence on the game.

                  Problem with that statement is that LI “values” a homer in the 8th more than a homer in the 4th. No two ways about that.

                  WPA is a bit more equitable, but not much.

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                  Well, this is baseball we’re talking here. No matter how much we strive for perfection, it’s not going to happen. It’s good to be talking about something like this, though, and having legit back and forth instead of arguing with my B-Jobber father and uncle about something of which they have zero knowledge. Ugh.

        • Chris

          Here are some “Good Appearance” Numbers for the 2008 bullpen (at least the most used guys):

          Games 1+ER 2+ER <1 <2
          Hawkins: 33 12 6 63.6% 81.8%
          Edwar: 55 10 7 81.8% 87.2%
          Veras: 60 14 6 76.6% 90.0%
          Farns: 45 13 4 71.1% 91.1%
          Joba: 30 6 2 80.0% 93.3%
          Mo: 64 11 0 82.8% 100.0%

          Looking at games where they gave up 2 or more runs gives a clear answer on the hierarchy of the bullpen.

    • kunaldo

      stellar idea dude…you’re totally right, one bad appearance, and you spend the rest of the season trying to get your numbers back in line while everyone is saying you suck b/c of that one performance…

      it would be interesting to see Krod’s good vs. bad…he always seems to have baserunners on

      also, i’m sure you meant this, but there should be more, um, grades…like Mo, above average, average, mediocre, farnsworth.

  • A.D.

    Next thing you’re going to tell me is that Mo might give up a run this year, crazy!

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      No, no, no, A.D. The bullpen won’t have a 0.00 ERA…but Mo will. In fact, Mo will pitch so well that the Yankees will actually gain runs.

      • A.D.

        -3.00 ERA

        • 27 this year

          yea, Mo is so great, the ball will bounce off a bat in the Yankees dugout and go over the short porch.

  • Steve B-BALL

    perhaps it was a bad outing for Coke, but it was much worse that Girargi sat on his a** and kept him in.

    • steve (different one)

      he was probably sitting there studying pitch/fx charts or some BS like that!

      • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Do you think Girardi did nothing wrong yesterday?

        • steve (different one)

          sorry, that joke was a little too “meta”:

          http://riveraveblues.com/2009/.....ent-329037

          • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Yeah I wasn’t paying close enough attention for that one.

      • kunaldo

        or he was like this guy:

        http://www.joblo.com/newsimage.....errell.jpg

        “is this bad?”

  • A.D.

    I think with a guy like Coke, who is a very recently converted reliever, the best opportunity they have for him to succeed is giving him full inning or at least the beginning of innings to start, rather than bringing him in mid inning, especially with men on.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I think with a guy like Coke, who is a very recently converted reliever, the best opportunity they have for him to succeed is giving him full inning or at least the beginning of innings to start, rather than bringing him in mid inning, especially with men on to just be patient with him.

      He’ll be fine. He’s having some struggles, it’s normal, he’s young and still settling into his role.

      How did Girardi fix the bullpen last year? Showing patience and faith.

      • A.D.

        well of course patients and not jumping off a cliff after a few outings

        • A.D.

          *patience

    • mikef

      Bottom line is Coke came into a situation and threw gas on the fire by throwing crap pitches to a horrible offense, which did its part by taking advantage of the crap pitches and belting them around the park.

      I am rooting for him (especially him) because of the way he ran through the system last year, and because he has the ability to go for longer than one inning.

      Nonetheless, Girardi should have let Marte stay in the game, and by not letting Marte face a righty in a basically irrelevant game he has demonstrated little confidence in him – especially when compared to Veras, who had pitched so much and likely will be needed against Tampa

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        BILLY
        BUTLER
        KILLS
        LEFTIES

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    Tonight’s line up (sorry for the OT but figured you’d be interested)

    YANKEES (3-3)
    Jeter SS
    Damon LF
    Swisher 1B
    Posada C
    Nady RF
    Cano 2B
    Matsui DH
    Ransom 3B
    Cabrera RF

    It’s like the B- line up, with Ransom and Melky still there instead of Peña and Gardner, but hey, I’m not the manager.

    • http://heavysoundsandtheabstracttruth.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/alg_burnett-sabathia-3.jpg Mike Pop

      Man, Tex got me worried now.

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

        What’s got me worried is Pete Abe is bone dead silent.

      • A.D.

        “Sunday, I took swings and took grounders and it was still sore,” Teixeira said. “Today, we’re going to just shut it down. Better one or two days than two or three weeks. We’re just going to be smart with it.”

        Plus the lefty Kazmir, seems like its all precautionary/just get him back to 100% ASAP

    • A.D.

      Melky in CF I assume?

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

        yah

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        The Yankees should find Shane Falco to give Melky an inspirational speech. Don’t fear the quicksand Leche.

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

      I know Nady and Cabrera are not the best fielders in the league, but wouldn’t one be enough to defend RF? Especially if you don’t put a center fielder in your lineup, that seems like a dubious call by Giradi. What might he be thinking?

      • http://heavysoundsandtheabstracttruth.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/alg_burnett-sabathia-3.jpg Mike Pop

        Tampa hits ALOT of balls to RF.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa
    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Hmm, Matsui moving down in the lineup… interesting.

    • steve (different one)

      It’s like the B- line up, with Ransom and Melky still there instead of Peña and Gardner, but hey, I’m not the manager.

      wait, what?

      Pena, Ransom…what’s the difference?

      i guess i’d rather see Gardner, but it’s not like he’s doing anything either. might as well let Melky take weak hacks from the right side.

      1 through 7, this lineup is about as good as it gets without Teixeira available.

      • A.D.

        Yeah this is really the best lineup Girardi has available to him, and if there’s anytime to give Melky at-bats its against a left hander, Melky hits for 75 pts higher on his OPS as a RHB for his career.

        Pena vs Ransom, I’d probably give Pena a chance to start, but its pretty much a wash.

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

        Would just like Pena to have the chance to start.

  • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif Expired Milk

    In short its Melancon time!!

  • Chris

    After all, as Pinto notes, Phil might just have been the victim of insanely poor luck: “My problem is that the more a manager goes to the pen, the more likely he is to bring in someone having an off day.”

    I wonder if Girardi was thinking that Veras just didn’t have it yesterday when he decided to pull him. Girardi probably should have just let Marte pitch to Butler, but maybe he saw something in Veras that concerned him in that one at bat. He tried to get someone in who was not having an off day, but instead ended up with back-to-back crappy outings.

    Not sure if this makes sense, but trying to rationalize it since this is one of the things that Girardi was good at avoiding last year.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Girardi probably should have just let Marte pitch to Butler, but…

      It’s been said many times already, but:

      Billy Butler kills lefties. Yes, Marte is a good reliever who handles both lefties and righties well, but I totally understand and agree with Girardi’s decision to not have Marte face Butler.

      The handedness-issue cuts both ways. You have to look not only at how good the pitcher fares against a certain-handed batter, but how well the batter fares against a certain-handed pitcher.

  • Steve B-BALL

    any news on Tex?

  • Chris V.

    How much longer til Jackson is batting 9th and playing cf? middle of may?

    • http://heavysoundsandtheabstracttruth.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/alg_burnett-sabathia-3.jpg Mike Pop

      2010.

      • Chris V.

        idk if i can take a full year of gardner/melky.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          What about a partial year of Gardner/Melky and a partial year of Mike Cameron or Marlon Byrd?

          • steve (different one)

            heh. exactly.

          • Chris V.

            yeh byrd might be worth it. whats it take to get him? kennedy?

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

            I traded for Byrd in ’09.

            • A.D.

              What did it take IPK? Less?

      • steve (different one)

        i am certainly one to preach patience with Jackson, but it IS possible he forces himself up by August…

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      3 more hits today for Messiah Jackson.

  • Angel

    Call-up Melancon!!

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      No!!

    • kunaldo

      D-rob went 3 innings, 1H, 1BB, and 7Ks!! talk about making a statement

      • http://heavysoundsandtheabstracttruth.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/alg_burnett-sabathia-3.jpg Mike Pop

        D-Rob’s my guy!

  • Rob S.

    My anger coming out of yesterday’s game was not with Coke. Veras is another guy who didn’t get his job done but my real issue is with Joe Girardi. If he was going to change pitchers after Marte got the first two outs in the eighth, if he was determined to bring in a right hander the he should have gone to Mo. After Veras came in and walked the one batter that he faced he definately should have gone to Mo. I’m sure it has something to do with Mariano coming off surgery but the number of outs, innings etc. are abitrary. The only number that matters is pitch count and odds are that Mo could have gotten 4 outs without throwing a ton of pitches. We we’re very good in these situations last year with practically the same bullpen and we still didn’t reach the playoffs. Our vaunted starting rotation will not matter if Girardi mismanages the bullpen. He cannot allow a game where we came from behind to slip away without our best pitcher on the mound.
    I’m also irritated with his undying support of Cody Ransom. I could see if he just wasn’t hitting but his defense has been shoddy as well. Yet Ransom continues to start while the slick fielding Ramiro Pena rides the pine. It seems as though Girardi would sooner stick with a bad decision than admit to being wrong. I like Ransom but he’s not doing his job, give Pena a chance. And why the hell hasn’t Teixiera had an MRI???

    • steve (different one)

      I’m also irritated with his undying support of Cody Ransom.

      it’s been 6 games.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      For future, if you add an extra return between paragraphs it makes it much easier to read =)

    • Steve B-BALL

      I agree with you totally.
      Don’t you think a position player who has not gotten to the
      bigs at his age has areason for not being a major leaguer.
      Can’t hit anything but a fastball.
      He is so overmatched ,its a joke.
      Give Pena a shot ….can’t be worse.

    • steve (different one)

      And why the hell hasn’t Teixiera had an MRI???

      FYI, he had an MRI.

      it was negative.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Alright, let’s do this shit.

      If he was going to change pitchers after Marte got the first two outs in the eighth, if he was determined to bring in a right hander the he should have gone to Mo.

      Mo pitching multiple innings is not an option, ESPECIALLY in April. He’s coming off surgery. The team has been quite clear on that topic.

      After Veras came in and walked the one batter that he faced he definately should have gone to Mo.

      He was unavailable. Say it with me: U-N-A-V-A-I-L-A-B-L-E.

      I’m sure it has something to do with Mariano coming off surgery but the number of outs, innings etc. are abitrary.

      No, it’s not arbitrary. The team has worked with Mo and the medical staff on this and determined they don’t want him warming up, pitching, and then sitting and resting for half an inning and then going back out there. It’s not arbitrary, it’s well thought out and fairly straightforward. I agree with you that Girardi could have managed the bullpen in a better, more effective way last night but you’re barking up the wrong tree here. Mo was unavailable.

      The only number that matters is pitch count and odds are that Mo could have gotten 4 outs without throwing a ton of pitches.

      Says you. The team braintrust (not just Girardi, but Girardi, Cash, Contreras, the doctors, etc.) say differently. They don’t want him pitching multiple innings until they’re sure he can handle it with no long term effects. NOT. GOING. TO. HAPPEN.

      We we’re very good in these situations last year with practically the same bullpen and we still didn’t reach the playoffs.

      Not reaching the playoffs last year had NOTHING to do with what you’re talking about now. Nothing. This sentence is a useless non sequitur.

      Our vaunted starting rotation will not matter if Girardi mismanages the bullpen.

      That may or may not be true. Nonetheless, he’s basically mismanaged it ONCE so far. He’s managed the bullpen well many more times than he’s managed it poorly. Nobody’s perfect. Calm down.

      He cannot allow a game where we came from behind to slip away without our best pitcher on the mound.

      Of course he can. It’s one game. Show me a title-winning team that never once lost a game during their title season where they lost a game in the late innings that they previously lead and trailed in, with their best pitcher on the mound (which Joba isn’t, btw). Go ahead, I’ll wait. This is not an augur of future doom. IT’S ONE GAME. It’s baseball, shit happens. Relax.

      I’m also irritated with his undying support of Cody Ransom.

      We were also irritated with his undying support of Kyle Farnsworth… and yet, he managed to coax good work out of him for the majority of the season. Sometimes showing faith and patience pays off. In any event, he doesn’t really have many other options here.

      I could see if he just wasn’t hitting but his defense has been shoddy as well. Yet Ransom continues to start while the slick fielding Ramiro Pena rides the pine.

      Chances Ramiro Pena will be better than Cody Ransom: slim (but existent)
      Chances swapping Ransom for Pena matters much: slimmer
      Again, I agree with you, I’d like to see more Pena and less Ransom. But it’s not worth getting anybody’s panties in a bunch over. Seriously.

      It seems as though Girardi would sooner stick with a bad decision than admit to being wrong.

      It seems as though you like reading shit into things. I doubt Girardi made a “decision” that Ransom was the bomb-digi and staked his reputation on it and is afraid to lose face. He rolled the dice on Ransom because it’s the smart bet, all things considered. After giving him enough time to work his way out of his funk, he’ll make a move if necessary.

      I like Ransom but he’s not doing his job, give Pena a chance.

      He probably will. Whether it happens in game #5 or game #15… doesn’t really matter much.

      And why the hell hasn’t Teixiera had an MRI???

      No idea. Are you blaming this on Girardi The Stoopidhead too, or just casting general aspersions into the wind and seeing what gains traction?

      • whozat

        But why didn’t he bring Mo in? You haven’t addressed that point!

        • jon

          1) just came off surgery
          2) cold out
          3) wet out
          4) early in the season

          there are 4 reason why he may not have been called to get a 4 our save.

      • Chris

        Tex had an MRI. No damage was found.

        • Lanny

          Ransom is god awful. His “undying support” should be over with by now.

  • Reggie C.

    I think David Robertson is ready. He K’d 7 hitters in 3 innings today. Why he was allowed to throw 42 pitches is alittle puzzling, but the man looks like he’s going to dominate. Again.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      42 pitches in 3 innings isn’t that bad, especially considering he struck out 7 of 9 guys. That’s 16.6666 strikeouts per 100 pitches–damn.

    • http://www.youtube.com/kevyyankees Kevin G.

      (Some) Young pitchers that I want to contribute to the team this year:
      Phil Hughes
      Mark Melancon
      David Roberstson

    • AndrewYF

      The Yankees love to stretch out their relievers in the minors, as far as they will go. That way, they can throw multiple innings without batting an eye. It’s an excellent way to develop relievers.

  • jon

    off topic but happy to hear

    UPDATE, 4:33 p.m.: Mark Teixeira had an MRI today om his left wrist No damage. He hopes to play tomorrow.

    • A.D.

      Excellent

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      Great news

  • DCR

    River Ave Blues strategy to building a successful bullpen: throw shit against the wall until it sticks.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      River Ave Blues strategy Every single baseball team, from the crappy teams to the world championship caliber teams’ strategy to building a successful bullpen: throw shit against the wall until it sticks.

      Fixed.

      • kunaldo

        exactly…and we have plenty of it to throw

        we have a lot of guys ready to step in that are simply dominating the minors at a young age…so it’s a little better than throwing shit against the wall i’d say…

        • A.D.

          Throwing solid talent against the wall and seeing who can survive the natural AAA to MLB attrition process.

    • whozat

      Yep. The Padres have done it successfully several times now. What’s your strategy? Give a lot of Big Name Relievers multi-year deals? How does that work?

      • Chris

        Part of the Padres strategy was also to build a stadium larger than Rhode Island.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          IETC

      • A.D.

        Or the KC approach, throw money that we could use to sign good everyday players for avg to above average relievers.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          Formerly known as the Orioles approach.

      • DCR

        My strategy would be to have more then two, three at the max, reliable bullpen arms. Guys you know what you’re going to get. Rivera, Marte, and to an extent Bruney all fit that mold. Veras, Ramirez, Coke, and Albaladejo(sp) are all question marks. Juan Cruz would have been nice.

        This argument is so pointless with you, tommie, and a select few other posters on here. You guys think that you can just pluck guys with sexy minor league numbers, toss them right into the bullpen and they will be lights out. It doesn’t work that way. I bet you guys were going crazy for Colter Bean too.

        • whozat

          Juan Cruz is your example of a guy with whom “you know what you’re going to get”? Yeah, he’s had a whole TWO good years, and his K:BB was around 2:1 last year.

          You also don’t listen. No one thinks you can take guys with sexy minor league numbers and they’ll be successful. However, since we understand that it’s pretty pointless to pay big bucks for five Proven Relievers and expect them to repeat their success without injury because that never works out, we advocate an approach that CAN work: taking many, many pitchers with sexy minor league numbers and swap them in and out as needed. And then have a trustworthy closer.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          My strategy would be to have more then two, three at the max, reliable bullpen arms.

          Yeah, um, you ever heard of TINSTAAPP?

          TINSTAARBA.

          “Reliable” bullpen arms cost about 8-15M per year. That’s why each team generally only has one such player and anoints that player as the closer. Once you get past the closer, you have the next level of “reliability”, which is the “This guy’s really reliably good, but since he’s not ‘closer’ level good, people irrationally freak out and think he’s not good even though he is.”

          Pitchers like that include Bruney, Marte, Veras, Edwar, Coke, Albaladejo, Robertson… basically all the spaghetti we’ve been throwing at that proverbial wall.

          There is nothing, repeat, NOTHING wrong with the strategy we’ve used to assemble a bullpen.

          This argument is so pointless with you, tommie, and a select few other posters on here. You guys think that you can just pluck guys with sexy minor league numbers, toss them right into the bullpen and they will be lights out. It doesn’t work that way. I bet you guys were going crazy for Colter Bean too.

          That’s ridiculous. I recognize that there is a commonality between the prospects we have filling out our bullpen and the non-prospects of the past we tried to foist on people, like Colter Bean and the like. Don’t put words into my mouth.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          Yeah proven guys like Kyle Farnsworth and LaTroy Hawkins, and Steve Karsay, Luis Vizcaino, PaulQuantrill…

          • Lanny

            The whole holding tryout idea for the important 7-8 innings is pretty ridiculous.

            How many of these losses will we have to endure? How many chances do Coke and Veras who btw have ZERO BUSINESS pitching important innings.

            How about making them actually earn those important innings.

            • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

              Who, then, has the “business” pitching those important innings? Those high-priced veterans we had didn’t exactly do a great job, did they?

              How many of those losses will we have to endure? Very, very few. Sunday was a freaky game in terms of what the bullpen did. Such a thing is the exception league wide , not the rule.

  • Joe the Jumper

    I don’t think it’s fair to place all of the blame on Phil Coke. It would be silly to think that he was not going to get shelled one of these times, but this game should not have been it. Girardi over-managed the bullpen yesterday and truly did snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. There is no viable reason Veras does not stay in there to get the second out after walking the first guy. All that lefty-righty stuff is good to a certain extent, but it’s not the manager’s bible. Girardi lost the game. Coke may have been pitching, but Girardi was driving the car.

    • whozat

      What? Veras didn’t know where the plate was. It’s a problem he has not infrequently. After seeing that, I really can’t argue with Joe’s call to pull him. When Veras is on, he’s nasty. When he’s wild, he’s a disaster.

      • AndrewYF

        Actually, Veras was rather close to the plate.

        My issue with Girardi is that he’s using Veras like Torre used Proctor. Man, back off.

        • whozat

          I dunno, I don’t recall thinking he was getting squeezed or anything. Fact was, he was not hitting the strike zone. I have a hard time faulting Joe for thinking “he don’t have it today, I’d better get him out of there before gives out some more free passes”

          • Lanny

            Squeezed?

            Come on. Thats a terrible excuse. Make them earn it.

  • Drew

    Ryan Howard is beastly.

  • Drew

    Melky starting over Gardy tonight. Joe must want to give Melky an easy night vs. Kazmir.

  • Andy

    Coke made his major league debut at age 26 coming up from an ERA over 4 at AAA – he was so overhyped I can hardly believe it. Not to say I told you so, but I told you so. Expect more of the same from him, he is just not that good. Melancon and Robertson are far, far better options, particularly since Melancon is the best reliever currently signed by the Yankees not named Rivera. He more than earned a Spetember call up, and has nothing left to prove in the minors. Call him up, you need to play your best players, period.

    • Lanny

      Everyone got seduced by September numbers which anyone with a brain knows is fools gold.

      Same thing is going to happen to the current CF and its already happened to the new 3b who looked like a power hitter last Sept.

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