Yanks hit well, pitch well, beat Braves

Nady doubles in first rehab game
A wild and not-so-wild night for Mariano

Correlation does not imply causation, so it wouldn’t be accurate to say that Joe Girardi‘s ejection is what fired up the Yankees. However, the correlation grows a bit stronger. During the very at bat in which first base umpire Bill Welke tossed Girardi in the sixth, Francisco Cervelli knocked his first big league home run, tying the game at one. More importantly, though, it was the Yanks’ first run in 14 innings. They would go on to score in every subsequent inning, tallying a “big” win over the Braves.

While Cervelli’s homer came as a huge relief, it wasn’t the only highlight of the sixth. With none on and two outs, the Yanks mounted a rally. Jeter singled. Damon singled. Teixeira walked. So up strolled Alex Rodriguez, mired in a horrible slump, with the bases loaded and the game tied. Under normal circumstances, this probably wouldn’t be considered a big spot. But the Yankees have been hurting. There’s no need to detail the frustration of the past two weeks, but suffice it to say that the Yankees needed that hit right there.

Allow me to be bratty for a moment, won’t you? See, I’m told all the time — by friends, by family, in the comments — that Alex Rodriguez is worthless. People have told me as recently as today that he puts up fantasy baseball numbers, and that everything he does is for the sake of his baseball card. When a situation like this comes up, one in which he can make a difference in the game, he invariably fails. So when the ball he hit touched down in right center, I had to pinch myself, throw some water on my face. I’ll give the following sentence its own paragraph, because it’s that important:

Alex Rodriguez came through when his team really needed him.

Of course, it’s not the first time this year. There was the two-run, game-tying jack off Brad Lidge. There was the walk-off homer against the Twins. And then there was the two-run double against the Red Sox which the team subsequently squandered. Unfortunately, the myth that he never comes through in the clutch will never go away. Some of us, though, can see where he’s come through, and we appreciate it.

The rally might not have been possible had it not been for a fine pitching performance by Joba Chamberlain. Through six innings his only blunder was a hanging breaking ball to Jeff Francoeur. Understandably, it felt like the game was over at that point. The Yanks hadn’t a hit in the game, and hadn’t a run in 14 innings at that point. But then the Yanks put up their sixth-inning rally, and Joba set down the Braves in the sixth — which included a strikeout of Brian McCann, who had been causing the Yanks fits in the series.

Things got a bit dicey for Joba in the seventh. After allowing a leadoff single, he got an out, and then looked to have another freebie after Kelly Johnson bunted. But Joba threw it away, drawing Mark Teixeira off the bag. Pinch hitter Martin Prado singled in the next at bat, plating the second Braves run and chasing Chamberlain from the game. A second run scored when Nate McLouth hit a deep fly to right, on which Nick Swisher made a nice play. That saddled Joba with three runs, two earned, but his performance looked a bit better than that.

Not only did Joba pitch well — he walked none, a good sign — but he faced another challenge in his development. Starters need to learn to pitch when tired. Joba was wearing down in the seventh; his final pitch to Prado was up, and that’s usually a sign of fatigue. So while the scenario didn’t go so well, you can’t learn to do something without actually doing it. As many have noted, Joba’s learning the hard way. Hopefully he picked up a pointer or two last night. Hopefully we get a chance soon to see him try it again.

Some random concluding notes:

  • Even though the Yanks scored eight runs, they were still 2 for 9 with RISP. One of those was Mo’s valiant effort in the ninth, one was Cano’s fielder’s choice in the eighth, and one was Swisher’s fielder’s choice. Though Cano’s was incredibly lucky.
  • Tough inning for Bruney. He hadn’t pitched since Friday, so there might have been some rust. And he’s not going to set ’em down 1-2-3 every time. It’s just…bad timing, I suppose. I’m sure most of us were pretty on edge in the eighth.
  • Francisco Cervelli is one goofy dude, in a good way. It’s easy to see why people like him so much.

Yanks have a chance to take the series tomorrow, with Andy Pettitte taking on Derek Lowe. No getaway day for the Yanks, as this one will start at seven.

Nady doubles in first rehab game
A wild and not-so-wild night for Mariano
  • Yanke1313

    Great win. Easier to write this post than last nights right?

  • BigBlueAL

    Check out the quote from Tex after the game about Cashman and the meeting with the hitters (from Pete Abe): “He was a little fired up,” “There was no yelling, Cash isn’t that kind of guy. But he was here; he wanted to make himself known. … Sometimes the principal needs to show up in the classroom if the teacher’s having trouble with the students.”

    The teacher is having trouble with the students???? At least we know that Cash is the new Boss now!!!! LOL Gotta love Cashman.

    • Wolf Williams

      I’m sure Girardi will love reading that quote tomorrow. What’s the over/under on NY media follow-up questions that center on that quote? 25? 100?

      I’m being half-way facetious, but…. this quote from Tex can’t sit well with Girardi. Is the skipper in real trouble?

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      If he meant having disciplinary trouble, it would not have been a hitters only meeting.

      • Wolf Williams

        Do the details really matter? In the army, if our colonel had to do the scolding, then the captain wasn’t doing his job, and it was mildly humiliating to the captain to have the colonel give a tongue-lashing.

        And as an English teacher now, I would NEVER allow the principal to become my heavy hitter. It just wouldn’t happen.

        Regardless of who attended the meeting, it’s a jolt to Girardi’s authority to have Cashman show up and get involved this way. At least that’s how I read it. I mean, is Girardi running this nine, or isn’t he?

        • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

          Honestly, I think it may just be wishful thinking on your part, feeding your dislike of Girardi. There does not seem to be much here. Girardi was very much at ease discussing the meeting and Cashman.

          • JP

            If I were Girardi, I’d welcome Cashman making an appearance. I’d be open to anything that might light a fire under the team.

            But I’m a passive type person…I work alone, I’m not a leader, or an alpha male.

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

              If you were Girardi, you would have tried to motivate the team by pissing on your hands.

              • JP

                I resemble that remark.

        • Drew

          I lost ya at “in the army.” This is baseball.

          • Peter Lacock

            Making something out of this innocuous and humorous analogy is surely ridiculous so a multitude of ludicrous conspiracy stories and preposterous follow up interviews would be par for the course-ous.

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

    Nothing about Mo’s AB?

    Fo shame.

    Oh, and Cervelli, it’s all about the eyes!

    • Mike HC

      “Even though the Yanks scored eight runs, they were still 2 for 9 with RISP. One of those was Mo’s valiant effort in the ninth … “

  • Derby

    I thought Joba only had 2 ERs tonight. Well still, hopefully Joba can start pitching like this more often so we can shut up all the B-Jobbers and their king Mike Francesca lol. I’m gonna love to hear what he has to say about tonight’s performance.

    • Mike Francesca

      Jobber got lucky hitting Kawakami outta da game!!!!!!! THERE ARE 5 STARTING PITCHAS BETTER THAN JOBA ON THE CURRENT ROSTA!!!!! JOBBER’S ONLY WON 4 GAMES THIS YEAR, ANDY PETTITTE HAS WON OVER 200!!!!!!!! JOBBER CHAMBALIN TO THE BULLPEN!!!!!!!

      • Peter Lacock

        He did have 2 ER’s.
        The effect of Joba’s line drive should not be underestimated. It changed everything.

  • Arlok789

    I just watched the highlights and if mo had gotten a little less/little more of that pitch, he would have had a sweet 2 run base hit. That would have been awesome.

  • JGS

    forget Mo’s at bat–how about not pitching for 8 days (and he doesn’t throw bullpens, all he does is play catch when he isn’t involved in games) and striking out all four batters he faced, throwing 14 of 19 pitches for strikes

    • Stephen

      steve somers said the reason mo pitched the ninth was because girardi didnt trust anybody else. Or maybe, the easier answer, as you just said is that he hadn’t pitched in 8 games! Why are people on the radio so stupid. Please come back Max Kellerman and Gordon Damer

    • JeffG

      Yeah, him not pitching for a couple of days was on the back of my mind and then he comes in and looks absolutely awesome. Just puts such a big smile on your face to get to see how special that guy is. Just incredible.

  • John

    This was a great win and maybe the turnaround for the offense. It has nothing to do with Girardi getting tossed. This team was too good to hit as badly as they have the past 2 weeks so we knew they would eventually turn it around. It’s all variance. Eventually those balls hit right at people find the gaps. I’m sure Girardi, Pena, Cervelli, Cashman or whoever will get all the credit though.

    • Peter Lacock

      C$$’s impromptu appearance and Girardi getting tossed may have been coincidences but they lacked fire. It is the only explanation for a teamwide slump. They gave up after Boston handed them their hat. Credit should go to Welke. He pissed them off. Hopefully they stay pissed.

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

        they lacked fire. It is the only explanation for a teamwide slump.

        No, it’s not.

        • Peter Lacock

          I think it is and I think it’s obvious. Their equipment didn’t all of a sudden become inferior, they didn’t lose their physical skills all at once and you can’t break down their minds like you can their hitting stats. They needed a push break the spell and get their heads right. Cash, Welke and Girardi provided it, at least for one night. What else is there beside mental, physical and equipment?

  • Ivan

    Breaking News: Shaq has been traded to Cle.

    Now back to your regular schedule program.

    • Salty Buggah

      uh-oh…cue Ben/Joe gettin angry

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

        Yeah, seriously.

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

          If only we had a link-dump thread in the morning that could serve as a mini-open thread during the day…

          (wink wink nudge nudge say no more)

          • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

            +1. I’ve said this a number of times- a daily semi open thread would be awesome. Only non-Yankee talk would be allowed, so as not to steal thunder from future posts.

  • Ivan

    Hey it seems everybody is in a good mood after the yankee game. Before weds, I thought everybody was gonna storm Yankee Stadium and destroy it.

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    Casman squandered a huge opportunity to pick up the Shaqtus.

    Was I the only one nervous with Mo at bat?

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

      -Ummm…. how did you get so many Q’s?
      -Don’t worry about it.

  • Jay

    Teixeira did call Girardi the best manager he ever played for. The “trouble” that Girardi is having could just be the fact that the team isn’t producing runs. That’s not necessarily a knock against Girardi. Also Cashman message didn’t look good thru 5 innings.

  • John

    Just saw Mo’s AB. That was one well hit ball for someone who essentially never practices batting. It was funny how he started smiling (and how everyone in the dugout laughed) when he hit it that well. He’s definitely is the best athlete on the Yanks.

    • Salty Buggah

      Which makes me think…We’ve got some decent hitting pitchers (at least by the way they’ve played so far). Mo and Joba had well hit liners. AJ and Andy had hits. And CC hasn’t even hit yet.

      • BklynJT

        Too bad Wang is limp around the base paths

  • http://theyankeebomber.blogspot.com Conan

    Great win tonight. Mo is unbelievable. I can’t let Robbie Cano off the hook though – is he not one of the worst hitters with RISP when the game is close? How in the world is he still batting 5th?

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

      Robinson Cano, Late and Close, Career:

      .295/.335/.428 (.763)

      • Chris

        But that counts all close and late situations. If you limit it to at bats with RISP late in the game, with the run difference being 2 or less, and playing in Atlanta…. then I bet he sucks in those situations.

      • RAB poster

        Yeah, but he’s hitting like 240 w/runners in scoring position.

      • http://theyankeebomber.blogspot.com Conan

        Fine, let’s twist numbers:

        2 outs, RISP: .248/.288/.407
        Bases loaded: .244/.258/.349

        Defend your boy now.

        • JP

          Pssst–Conan: Nobody ever replies to stuff like this. I’ve tried. Give them the numbers they crave and they just look the other way if those numbers happen to be anti-Yankee.

          • http://theyankeebomber.blogspot.com Conan

            Thanks, partner.

  • Salty Buggah

    Mo is a freak. 8 days off. Comes in ALL 4 batters!!!!! WOW!

    We should be honored to watch him pitch. What decline? That’s not his dictionary.

  • Jay

    Yeah Mo is incredible maybe not pitchig for 8 days kind of rejuvenated his arm.

  • Jay

    Conan says:

    June 25th, 2009 at 1:24 am Great win tonight. Mo is unbelievable. I can’t let Robbie Cano off the hook though – is he not one of the worst hitters with RISP when the game is close? How in the world is he still batting 5th?

    —————————————————

    Yeah Cano was lucky the ball hit his back it would of been another GIDP. He seems like a better hitter when he was batting 7th.

    • Salty Buggah

      There IS a reply button you know…

    • Jack
      • Jay

        I didn’t even notice what a high tech blog very impressive.

        • Salty Buggah

          You know what’s better and is a necessity for daily life? That NY logo on the side of comments which tells us that the comment is one you haven’t seen before.

  • Jim

    it’s 1 win. Relax

    • Jack
    • whozat

      Don’t you mean “It’s one win…continue to freak out and call for every coach to be fired and every player to be traded/cut except for the gritty, gutty Gardner and Cervelli”

      ?

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

      it’s 1 win. Relax

      As long as you promise to not overreact to a loss, fine, you got a deal.

      • LiveFromNewYork

        Hi oh! (tribute to EM)

  • YankeeScribe

    Congrats to Cervelli on his first MLB homerun and on calling a great game. I haven’t seen a Yankee prospect come up looking so mature since Jeter…

    • Peter Lacock

      Makes Molina expendable.
      I’ve always been against trading Cano but I’m starting to change my mind and it’s not because of any failures. I think of him as a scared batter. He’s scared to bat with 2 strikes and he’s scared to let anything close go by, even if it’s not a strike. He’s great when he’s on but I’m not sure he can help us win a title with his current approach. Playoff pitchers will make it tough for him.
      Put those 2 with Nady and some relievers and we should be able to get something.
      Too bad C$$ said no trades.

      • John

        He’s scared to let strike 3 go by…….yeah that’s the sign of a failure. I think it’s Cano who will make it tough for playoff pitchers. The guy is hard as hell to strike out. He is capable of having long, drawn out at bats where he’ll foul off pitch after pitch. You’re not going to find anything better than him at 2B right now. Trading Cano would be lol bad.

        • Peter Lacock

          You may be right but just so it’s clear…. I didn’t say he’s scared to let strike 3 go by and I didn’t say anything about a sign of a failure. I did say it’s NOT because of any failures. Batting with 2 strikes and swinging at anything close are separate observations.
          Comprendi?

          Cano doesn’t K much because he doesn’t get deep in counts not because of any special talent. That’s just simple math. If he wasn’t afraid of batting with 2 strikes he would get deep in counts all the time and he’d only swing early to keep guys honest. That’s what fearless hitters do.
          Everyone is capable of fouling pitches but Cano rarely makes a pitcher work and he’s had games with 4 AB’s and saw 6 pitches. His approach early this season was much better but he’s reverted back and to me he hasn’t overcome his fear of letting anything close get by like that’s the best he might see.
          Guys like this are very streaky and when they aren’t hitting they stop helping the team. Guys that are patient, drawing BB’s and getting pitch counts up still give you something. I prefer the latter as no one hits all the time and every little bit helps, especially in the playoffs when the pitchers get exponentially better and every pitch is critical.
          As far as better than him, better is relative. It would depend on what you got for him, no? As I said, I’ve always been against trading Cano but if he can’t develop a smarter approach I think Pena might be a better all around player and I’m liking what Kevin Russo is doing in SWB.

          • Anyone

            Cano doesn’t K much because he doesn’t get deep in counts not because of any special talent.

            It is a special talent. It’s called the abiity to make contact.

            • Anyone

              formatting fail

              • Peter Lacock

                Everyone has the ability to make contact or they wouldn’t be MLB hitters. It might be special for the general population but we’re talking about professional baseball players so no, it’s not a special talent, it’s math.

          • JP

            You guys will paint a rainbow on a pile of dog-s…I like Cano. He’s a nice kid. I think he’s a talented fielder, and obviously when he’s on he’s an extremely good hitter.

            But you can’t deny that he has some serious holes in his game offensively. He is at his worst with the bases loaded (I believe he’s hitting around .200 or so, whereas an average player hits above his normal BA with bases loaded), and his seeming inability to select the right pitches to swing at is glaring.

            If you choose to ignore this about him, you’re kidding yourself.

            Now, does that mean we trade him? I guess it depends what someone is willing to give.

            I’d want something pretty special before I traded Cano. I think there is still the possibility that he matures and becomes a better hitter, or at least more disciplined.

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

            As I said, I’ve always been against trading Cano but if he can’t develop a smarter approach I think Pena might be a better all around player.

            Batshit insane.

            • V

              You can say that again.

              Cano is a second baseman.

              Do you know how many second basemen in ALL OF BASEBALL are even in Cano’s league, offensively?

              1) Chase Utley
              2) Ian Kinsler
              3) Brandon Phillips
              4) Brian Roberts
              5) Orlando Hudson
              6) Aaron Hill (I do think he’s for real).

              Couple that with what could be gold glove defense (UZR rating be damned), and you have a solid top 6-10 player at a premium position. Yeah, he ain’t Chase Utley, but only one guy is.

              (note: I purposefully omitted the Adam Kennedy’s and Freddy Sanchez’s, who, while having a good year, are playing way over their heads).

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

                “Do you know how many second basemen in ALL OF BASEBALL are even in Cano’s league, offensively?”

                1) Chase Utley – Agreed.
                2) Ian Kinsler – Bullshit, he’s a creation of the Ballpark at Arlington. Look at the road splits.
                3) Brandon Phillips – Career OPS+ of 90. Not in Cano’s league.
                4) Brian Roberts – Agreed. He’s on the wrong side of 30, though.
                5) Orlando Hudson – Career OPS+ of 100. Not in Cano’s league.
                6) Aaron Hill (I do think he’s for real). – Meh, perhaps. Time will tell.

                You left out Pedroia.

                Here’s the actual master list of MLB second basemen:

                1) Utley
                –big gap–
                2t) Pedroia
                2t) Cano
                –big gap–
                4) Roberts
                5) Hudson
                6) Kinsler
                –big gap–
                7) Hill
                8) Phillips

                • Peter Lacock

                  A guy is not necessarily better or worse for a team because of stats on a piece of paper and picking certain comments from a body of work and taking them out of context is what the NY media does.
                  Some people need to learn what it’s like to play for a team before they become certain in their knowledge and I don’t mean just any team, but one that wins a title because it ain’t easy and little things are big.

  • Anyone

    Pfft, managers get thrown out all the time. The Sox had their HITTING COACH thrown and are therefore gritty and play harder and are the best team to ever step foot on this universe!!!

    /ESPN’d

    • Peter Lacock

      They are far from the most talented team but their heads are right. It’s a credit to Francona, their fans and the boston media.
      You know, the game is 90% mental and the other half is physical.

      /Yogi’d

  • Anyone

    WTF is with the Braves and their fans whining about the Cano call costing them the game?!!!!!!

    Check this article out. If it cost them a run, so did Gardy being picked off. So we’re even.

    Kelly Johnson bitching: “It’s insane to me how every time that play happens, the play stands in a way that hurts us,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if anyone had a good angle on it. I thought it was blatant. He wasn’t at the bag, he was in the cut. He wasn’t within a step, it was obvious. That was a really big play, too.”

    Check this article out:
    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090624&content_id=5513340&vkey=news_atl&fext=.jsp&c_id=atl&partnerId=rss_atl

    • AlexNYC

      waaaaaaaa we lost to the yankees waaaaa robbie casno was out waaaaaaaaaa

    • pat

      He should be bitching that his first baseman screwed him by making a bad throw which pulled him into foul territory. The 1b is supposed to throw that towards the 3b side of home so the catcher can grab it take a step or two towards the pitchers mound creating an angle to throw it back to 1b without hitting the runner. Kotchman’s throw dragged the catcher into foul territory where the only angle he had included nailing cano in the back.

      It was Kotchman’s fault definitely not the ump’s.

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

      Correct me if I’m mistaken, but didn’t the replay show Robbie kicking up chalk in his last few steps?

      • ChrisS

        No, you’re correct. Robbie was running on the baseline and McCann fielded the throw, stepped on the plate, crowhopped to his right, into foul territory, and threw back across the baseline to the secondbase side of 1B. There’s no way he could have missed Cano. Robbie would have to have been running 10 feet into foul territory.

        ———–C–1B
        M

        • pat

          ietd.

          I enjoyed that diagram.

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  • JeffG

    Two more points:

    That reliever that was throwing nothing but fastballs to A-Rod is retarded.
    and-
    I like Jorge, and realize what a great player he is but right now I think we should be playing the hot hand… as you say:
    More Cervelli please.

  • Billy

    whenever i complain about the yanks on this site, everything blows up in my face and they have a great win and everyone contributes.

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

      You’re wandering into Axl territory, buddy. Pump the brakes.

      Your complaining did not cause the Yankees win.

      • ChrisS

        But if it did …

        Hey, Wade Boggs didn’t make it to the HoF by eating chicken every night, but did it hurt him?

  • Jeremy

    “People have told me as recently as today that he puts up fantasy baseball numbers, and that everything he does is for the sake of his baseball card.”

    This is my favorite anti-ARod line. ARod only cares about his stats, therefore he is a bad baseball player. Apparently he only cares about stats like MRBI (meaningless RBI) and HIB (hits in blowouts). When he comes up in a key situation, he says “fuck this, I don’t care about THESE stats” and strikes out.

    • RAB poster

      Nailed it.

    • jsbrendog

      ietc

  • YankeeScribe

    Useless info department:

    “Nick Swisher has a tattoo guy in Atlanta – because, really, what modern athlete doesn’t? — and he inked Phil Hughes and Swisher after Tuesday’s game. Hughes chose the Bible verse Philippians 4:13 as a birthday gift to himself, and Swisher got the final verse of the famous “Footprints” poem. Both players had the script written on the inside of their left upper arms.”

    http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/25/odds-ends-from-turner-field/

    • RAB poster

      Swisher is a nutcase.

      • RAB poster

        I love him.

      • Ivan

        That’s nuttin, Joba has nipple piercings

        • YankeeScribe

          A-Rod likes strippers

  • jsbrendog

    as an avid anti arod person for the past 5 years I can honestly say that the “he never comes through in the clutch” better go away. because now, (shoot me) i see it with my own eyes. I feel (irrationally i know, but it one of my vices so sue me) that before this yr that it was rare he didnt strikeout/get out in situations like the one last night and the ones you outlined above.

    but now i find myself expecting him to do something good, and because of that, when he doesnt, it is not so infuriating if hedoesnt. The 4 or 5 big hits you referenced above have changed my outlook. now all wee ned is for him to pulla joe carter and hti a walkoff WS hr and he will be in like flynt forever.

    go arod (so painful to say that but i mean it)

  • RAB poster

    While we’re talking about Cano: Cano or Pedroia, given the choice?

    I say (unfortunately) Pedroia. No question about it.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      No lollipop guild members in pinstripes. It’s just not done.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        Yogi and Phil beg to differ.

        • LiveFromNewYork

          There’s a difference between “shorter than average” and Lollipop Guild members. DP is the latter. Yogi/Phil former. DP would look normal and natural in the LG getup singing that song.

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

      Pedroia, career:
      .309/.370/.445 (109+)

      Cano, career:
      .303/.335/.471 (110+)

      Pedroia by a nose. But not Pedroia “No question about it”. Ultimately, the correct answer is “It doesn’t matter, either way, you’re getting one of the top 4 second basemen in baseball.”

      • RAB poster

        No question about it. Pedroia steals more bases too. And he’s had a season good enough to win MVP.

        I like Cano. But I’d make the trade in a heartbeat. Like Jose Reyes for Derek Jeter.

        • Coach6423

          HAHAHAH…..FAIL

          • RAB poster

            Elaborate.

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              You really think he’s played well enough to win MVP?

        • YankeeScribe

          I’ll take Cano’s 06′ season over Pedroia’s 08′ season…

          • RAB poster

            I wouldn’t.

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              Let’s break this down, then

              BA: Adv. Cano
              OBP: Adv. Pedroia
              SLG: Adv. Cano
              OPS: Adv. Cano
              OPS+: Adv. Cano
              wOBA: Adv. Pedroia
              HR: Adv. Pedroia
              RBI: Adv. Pedroia
              Fielding: Adv. Pedroia
              WAR: Adv. Pedroia

              So Pedroia with the edge, but it’s worth nothing that Cano missed the last week of June, all of July, and the first week in August during the 2006 season.

      • MattG

        It’s not really that close. Cano’s numbers are inflated by a performance he has not been able to repeat. Pedroia’s coming off an MVP year. Pedroia is supposedly the better defender.

        Most importantly for me, I think Cano is a finished product. I do not like the way he seemingly fails to make adjustments. I think that he is suffers from something of the “million dollar arm, ten cent head” syndrome.

    • V

      I can’t help but feel that Pedroia has a hole in his swing that hasn’t been exploited yet.

      If anything, I don’t think his swing will age well.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      I don’t think it’s “no question about it” but Pedroia might get the edge. His on base skills are better than Cano’s, but Cano’s got him beat on power. Pedroia is the better fielder, though, and a 10 months younger.

      While we’re on the subject of fielding, do anyone’s numbers swing more wildly than Cano’s? For Mo’s sake, one week he’s at +5.5, the next week he’s -5.8, now he’s up to -0.4.

      • ChrisS

        That’s why fielding metrics are shitty. And UZR/150 is the shittiest of all.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Well, it does it for everyone, honestly. Cano’s just had some wild swings–maybe I’m just noticing his more than anyone else’s. But, non-metrically, from what I’ve watched this year (almost every game since May 10), there are times when he gets to everything then times when he gets to nothing. It’s so odd.

        • RAB poster

          Steve Goldman was actually trying to argue that Swisher is a very good defensive player because of UZR. Um…No?

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            So because he’s made a few poor plays, an entire stat is now debunked? Please. Swisher’s not a very good fielder this year by UZR; he’s been slightly above average.

          • ChrisS

            Swisher gets to a lot of fly balls and has a decent arm. He’s not turning heads out there (other than his own), but he’s got good speed and gets a good read on the ball. That flyball last night by McLouth off of Coke was a good example of Swisher’s defensive ability – it ain’t pretty, but he does get enough of those fringe fly balls to be a plus fielder. I think if Nady was out there, he wouldn’t have made the catch and Abreu definitely wouldn’t have made that catch.

            My problem with defensive metrics is that chances and plays vary wildly from week to week and month to month, not to mention positioning from the bench. Overall defensive metrics aren’t really accurate and not very precise at all (which is why people typically use three seasons worth of data). UZR/150 merely amplifies that noise and static making the resulting statistic damn near meaningless for the most part.

            It’s a worthwhile pursuit, but ultimately any references to defensive metrics need to be taken with a grain of salt and used wisely.

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              It’s a worthwhile pursuit, but ultimately any references to defensive metrics need to be taken with a grain of salt and used wisely

              And I agree with you. I just tend to use UZR because it’s easy to find and easy to interpret. I think we get a much more definitive quantification of a player’s defense after the season has ended and PMR and +/- data comes out. When evaluating a player defensively, it’s probably best to take all the numbers you can get and try to identify a trend. Right now, via UZR, Swisher is 2.6 runs better than average and by Baseball Prospectus’s system, he’s -1 FRAA. So, I think our analysis is correct–he’s not flashy, he’s not great, but he’s not really hurting the team with his glove out there. Kudos on the head turning comment, too.

              • ChrisS

                /agreed

    • Ivan

      Really?

      in 09:

      Cano slug %: 488, Pedroia: 388
      Cano OPS+: 116, Pedroia: 95
      Cano BA: .301, Pedroia: .295

      • RAB poster

        Career?

        Anyway, Cano is a player of streaks. When his hot streak ends those numbers will dip dramatically.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Tommie posted their career numbers above. They’re about even in BA, Pedroia has a better OBP, and Cano has more power.

          • RAB poster

            I saw career numbers above, and Pedroia’s were better.

        • YankeeScribe

          Cano is being misused. He should bat 7th, in the lineup…

          .883 OPS batting 7th in the lineup

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            Guys who don’t see many pitches and don’t get on base much are not good top/middle of the order hitters. Cano is best utilized by putting high OBP guys (Jeter, Damon, Tex, A-Rod, Posada, Swisher) in front of him so he can drive them in.

            • YankeeScribe

              Did you read what I posted? I agree with you

              • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                I read it and I figured you were being sarcastic since you and I have had disagreements in the “past” about where Cano should bat.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I think Cashman is the “principal” in that he is the one who can say “Do you freaking know how much we pay you to stand there and do nothing? Every one of you overpaid morons is eating into MY budget and tying my hands as to what I can do with future trades. So if you and your bloated contract don’t want to be part of that trade: DO SOMETHING DAMMIT.” Unlike Girardi who can’t be bringing up money.

    Cashman IS money. Like that little Geico guy (“who’s watching, watching). Hence, the name.

    • jsbrendog

      yeah, like, look. i brought all of you in here to hit. except you (ransom), you (cervelli), and you (pena). SO DO YOUR FUCKING JOB or we’re all getting fired. hhaha

      then he cried and it was one big group manhug

  • JP

    A couple of comments about ARod…

    “…I’m told all the time — by friends, by family, in the comments — that Alex Rodriguez is worthless. People have told me as recently as today that he puts up fantasy baseball numbers, and that everything he does is for the sake of his baseball card. When a situation like this comes up, one in which he can make a difference in the game, he invariably fails. So when the ball he hit touched down in right center, I had to pinch myself, throw some water on my face. I’ll give the following sentence its own paragraph, because it’s that important:

    Alex Rodriguez came through when his team really needed him…”

    I hear the same things, all the time. Of course it isn’t true. He doesn’t “invariably” fail…fantasy numbers is an illogical concept; every hit and every run counts. Alex has done more in probably 3/4 of his 2007 season to create Yankee wins as Scott Brosius did in his entire tenure with the team.

    Now, having said that, I think there is more to say…

    “…Of course, it’s not the first time this year. There was the two-run, game-tying jack off Brad Lidge…”

    Heh, heh heh, you said “jack off” heh heh heh….

    “…There was the walk-off homer against the Twins. And then there was the two-run double against the Red Sox which the team subsequently squandered. Unfortunately, the myth that he never comes through in the clutch will never go away…”

    But, again, to be fair, and give a dispassionate rendering, there have been far, far more times where he has NOT come through when needed, this season. He has failed far more than he has succeeded, he has failed far more than even he usually does in these situations.

    To be fair, I think you have to set some sort of standard for what is acceptable “clutch” performance. I am of the Bill Jamesian view that “clutch ability” is a myth, with a few rare exceptions. I think there have definitely been instances in baseball history where players have performed very well in the clutch. James cites Bob Gibson in the 1965 NL pennant race, I think, where he single handedly took the team into first in September, and of course there was David Ortiz’s great clutch seasons in Boston. On the negative side, James points to Drysdale, who in crucial games for his team one season never one a single game, and didn’t pitch particularly well.

    James points out – and I agree – that we shouldn’t equate success or failure in clutch situations with some special ability, or lack thereof. Maybe they tried hard, did their best, but just didn’t get the breaks. On the other side, maybe the clutch successes were due to just favorable happenstance.

    But irrespective of the causation, I think it’s unfair to ignore the data, whether or not it supports your preferred way of thinking.

    A baseball player, over a reasonable period of time (say, a season, or two seasons) should perform at least at their “average” level in clutch situations. For a hitter, when runners are on base or bases loaded, the hitter has more of an advantage, and you’d think overall a player might even be expected to do slightly better than their average in these situations.

    The fangraphs “clutch” statistic is probably the modern sabermetrician’s best available stat to evaluate clutch performance. It compares a player’s performance in ALL high leverage situations (not just “close and late”), and compares such performances to a players own averages. This, I think has to be the fairest, most diplomatic way of looking at it. It gives ARod credit for hitting a 3 run homer in the 2nd which puts the team in the game, rather than, say, focusing only on the time he strikes out in the 8th with runners on 2nd and 3rd in the same game.

    By this stat, ARod is a poor clutch performer. His career cumulative number is negative (-7.88), which means, overall, in his career, in the highest leverage situations, he is at his worst. The number of seasons in which his fangraphs “clutch” number is negative outnumber his positive seasons by 11-5. His best ever positive season number, ironically, is this season, 1.23; his highest ever full season is 0.97 in 2007, and his highest ever negative seasons are -3.17 (2008), -2.02 (1999), and -1.40 (2006).

    By virtue of the fact that he is one of the greatest baseball players ever, his gross production in the clutch is certainly going to better, probably, than a player like Jason Varitek or Omar Vizquel, but that’s not the standard we should be holding ARod to. What we should be asking of him is to perform, at the very least, at his normal level when the big situations come around.

    He doesn’t. As a comparison, Jeter’s career clutch number is positive (2.35). David Ortiz’s is positive (2.10). Paul O’Neill, very positive (4.55). Posada, positive (0.72). Brosius negative (-2.23). Barry Bonds, negative (-9.33). Albert Pujols (-1.06). Bernie Williams (-0.99).

    In the interest of time and space, I didn’t research more traditional “clutch” numbers, like RISP, etc. I think the broadest possible measure, as is this fangraph clutch number, would be the fairest. It smooths out the data, by encorporating more data points, and makes the appropriate comparison of a player to himself, and not to some fan’s irrational standard of greatness.

    By this, most fair method, Alex Rodriguez performs below his usual level in the highest leverage situations. In other words, when the team needs him the most, he performs worse than he does ordinarily. It’s a career long trend, and among star players, his number is among the worst.

    I’ll reiterate…I’m not making a character judgement, and I also realize that Alex at his worst is a big upgrade over Aaron Boone at his best. But just as there is alot of rancor about him being a failure in the clutch (the bold highlighted quote above), the spirited arguments in defense of his clutch ability are often off-base, too.

    Everyone has their own expectations and definitions of greatness. For me, judging with both my eyes and some very reliable numbers, I’m quite confident in saying that ARod is a great player, but he is a big disappointment in the clutch.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      I think the last sentence sums it all up. When you have a great player, someone with the talent of Arod, you WANT to believe that when he comes to the plate that great things are going to happen. And many times they don’t.

      I HATE HATE HATE comparisons to Jeter because we know about how unfair that is to Arod, but perception is sometimes key. For as many times as Jeter GIDP’s, he still gets the “Captain Clutch” love when the game is close and he’s up. It’s like his Captain Clutchiness will overcome his Captain Double Play every single time. It’s like we believe Captain Clutch is at the plate until Captain DP shows up.

      With Arod it’s the opposite. We tend to think Afail is up until ASuccess comes through in the clutch.

      So even if we see it with “our own eyes” we still believe our perception of players and remember when our perception is enforced more than when it’s not.

      • JP

        So even if we see it with “our own eyes” we still believe our perception of players and remember when our perception is enforced more than when it’s not.

        Maybe you weren’t referring to me directly, but I spent about 10,000 words trying to prove that it’s not just my eyes telling me ARod underperforms in the clutch. He does.underperform.in.the.clutch.by.the.numbers.his.whole.career.

        • LiveFromNewYork

          I said even if…meaning that even if it was just NOT borne out by the numbers, the perception is that he does not and what is memorable is when that perception is confirmed, not when it is invalidated.

          EVEN IF the numbers bore out that Jeter was not clutch or it was even (clutch/unclutch), the base perception of him is clutch and people remember when it’s validated rather than when it is not.

      • RAB poster

        You’re right.

    • RAB poster

      Don’t buy it. A-Rod has been clutch.

      Is a three run HR to put us in the game in the third as big as one in the late innings? I don’t think so.

      • JP

        Better go back and read it again. He hasn’t been clutch. Not by the most generous way of looking at it, grading him on a curve of his own standard. He underperforms in the clutch.

        • RAB poster

          In 07′ he was clutch player of the year. He hits over 340 with bases loaded. He hits great in close and late. He has a ton of walkoff and game tying HR’s (if I can find the exact number I’ll look it up). Fangraphs has a nice statistic but I don’t think it’s the alpha and the omega.

          • JP

            For Mo’s sake then what is? You guys are constantly arguing points with WOBA, OPS+, etc., defending players against irrational attacks. When someone puts hard numbers up there that fairly look at clutch ability, you discount it.

            You pick and choose statistics to support your predetermined biases.

            • RAB poster

              There IS no alpha and omega. It’s all opinion.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          What’s odd is the discrepancy between clutch per Fan Graphs, which is based on high leverage situations, and his high leverage splits per baseball-reference:

          .303/.393/.582/.975, which is essentially his career average.

    • MattG

      Too often ‘clutch’ metrics value hits as equal to home runs, because in those situations, a single can be all you need to win a game.

      For this reason, singles hitters, who get more hits than home run hitters, fair better in these metrics. And from a subjective standpoint, the home run hitter is more likely to fail with a strikeout than the singles hitter, and psychologically that always seems like a bigger failure than a sharp 6-4-3 DP.

      It is not fair to expect a player to change his approach to a situation. I know “situational hitting” is a big catch phrase, but you will not find big power hitters with big contact skills very often (and situational hitting is 90% about contact).

      It is frustrating to see Rodriguez fail to get a single, when that is all that is needed to win a game. But I doubt that Rodriguez’s home run rate is significantly different in any situation, clutch or unclutch.

      What is comes down to is in certain situations, tying run on second, you prefer Jeter at the plate, and in others, tying run at the plate, you prefer Rodriguez.

      • RAB poster

        Excellent point.

    • YankeeScribe

      Great hitters don’t get a lot of good pitches to hit in high leverage situations(see Barry Bonds). David Ortiz had the fortune of having Manny Ramirez hitting behind him in most of those situations.

      How many times have we seen A-Rod get walked with men on(A lot more often these days since he has no lineup protection)? How many times have we seen managers make strategic pitching changes before A-Rod’s at-bats(like last night)?

      What about solo homeruns that tie the game or give the team the lead? Or what about clutch defensive plays that prevent the opposing team from scoring?

      I haven’t seen any stats that adequately quantify “clutchness”.

      As far as A-Rod goes, he makes our offense AND defense better all around and I’d rather have him in those high leverage situations than Aaron Boone, Charlie hayes, or Scott Brosius…

      • JP

        Great hitters don’t get a lot of good pitches to hit in high leverage situations(see Barry Bonds). David Ortiz had the fortune of having Manny Ramirez hitting behind him in most of those situations.

        First off, the “protecting” influence of the batter behind you has been debunked as a myth. In general, you don’t get better pitches to hit just because a better hitter is behind you. If it does happen, it is not evident from the data.

        Second, if it is true that great hitters don’t get good pitches to hit in high leverage situations (I think that’s a good point, a reasonable assumption), then you can still compare great hitters to other great hitters. Even among the stars, Alex doesn’t rate well, at least as far as I’ve researched it.

        Also, remember that walks are a positive in terms of a clutch output. The formula for the clutch index is posted on fangraphs, and getting lots of walks and a high OBP would definitely be a positive for the clutch number.

        • RAB poster

          Tell that to Babe Ruth. He never hit 60 HR’s until Gehrig protected him.

          You get walked less.

          • RAB poster

            As much of a positive as a gamewinning hit?

          • JP

            No, but he hit 54 and 59. Come on.

            • RAB poster

              And then they stopped pitching to him.

              • RAB poster

                Because of Gehrig.

  • JP

    More career fangraph clutch numbers:

    Manny Ramirez (-5.05)
    Craig Biggio (-3.88)
    Tony Gwynn (9.49)
    Kevin Youkilis (-0.89)
    Kevin Millaaaaaaah (-0.37)
    Joe Mauer (-0.18)
    Reggie Jackson (-0.60)
    Willie Randolph (0.34)
    Thurman Munson (3.06)
    Rickey Henderson (4.91)

    These are cumulative…but they go positive and negative, so if you are an average clutch performer, your number should be about zero (meaning you do the same in the clutch as in non-leverage situations). The longer your career, the more chance there is for a “real” trend to show up as a big positive or negative number.

    These stats suggest many highly valuable players have piled up much of their value in the lowest stress situations, and, like any other schmuck, tighten up in the clutch. ARod, Barry, Manny, Biggio, all with definite negative numbers built up over long careers. The guys with + numbers are impressive. Tony Gwynn! Paul O’Neill!

    • RAB poster

      Manny not clutch? Exactly my point. Manny is the single most clutch hitter in the game.

      • JP

        Depends on how you define it. In clutch situations, he does worse than he does in non-clutch situations. That’s all the number says. He still does better, I’m sure, than 90% of the league, and that’s because, at baseline, he is one of the 2-3 best hitters in the league, every year.

        So it’s ok for you to conclude “with your eyes” that Manny is the single most clutch hitter in the game, but someone else can’t do the same in evaluating, say, Jeter’s or Cano’s defense?

        • MattG

          All of this supposes the numbers do what they’re supposed to: sum up clutch hitting. That is not a good assumption. How are these numbers collected? Tie game, bases loaded, bottom of the ninth–does a home run count the same as a walk?

          I have no doubt that if a guy like Derek Jeter wanted to put up a .340/.340/.340 line, he probably could. Hell, the pitchers would probably serve it to him, as a .680 OPS sucks. But if you need a single to win a game, a .340 batting average is exactly what you want to see.

          Conversely, anybody here think Rodriguez could hit .340 for a whole season? Not with a reasonable BABIP he couldn’t. He’s not capable of becoming a singles hitter when a single is needed.

          • JP

            See below. They collect these numbers today in the same way they collect everything else. People are charting every single bseball game played.

            The number is a ratio which uses the complex “win expectancy” formula in the numerator. If there is a more valid way of looking at the effectiveness of a baseball player than looking at win expectancy, I am not aware of it.

            • MattG

              WE would value a BB and a HR in exactly the same way then, since either boosts the WE to 100% in that example. Since the metric is weighted to evaluate the player against themself, Rodriguez, who would succeed in 38.9% of those situatons, would need to succeed more often to boost his ‘score.’

              Derek Jeter would need to improve on a 38.6% rate.

              Derek Jeter skill set allows him to better approach this task. He has the slap swing in the tool box, and in any one at bat, he is something akin to a .340 hitter. Tack on the sustained walk rate, and he’s over .400, and going to appear the superior clutch player.

              You would probably ask why I would say Jeter is a .340 hitter, when his career average is .315. This is because Jeter cannot simply look to spray a single in every at bat. If he did, without working the count, without trying to drive the ball, he would need a .370 average to even approach a positive offensive contribution. But in ONE at bat, where all that is needed is a single, I’m saying his BA is better than his .315 career average.

              Rodriguez does not have the slap hit in his tool box. He is a .389 OBP guy, with no chance to improve his ‘clutch’ metric. The 3 run homer in the first inning is going to boost his WE, but not nearly as significantly as the single in the ninth. He can’t compete in this metric.

              This does not make Jeter more clutch. He has a skill Rodriguez does not have–but that skill is not ‘clutch’ hitting.

              • JP

                Well written, Matt, and those are thought provoking comments. But you are making some assumptions that are unfounded, and your logic is a bit shaky.

                1. Win expectancy numbers are not all or none; as I understand it. A single in the 9th may not weigh as much as a 3 run homer in the fourth.

                2. Your contention that ARod doesn’t have singles in his skill set is also, I think, a stretch. Getting hits of any sort, I believe, are most closely tied to line drive percentage. I haven’t checked these numbers, but usually power hitters like ARod also have high line drive percentages.
                3. If it is a skill set issue, it still doesn’t follow that Jeter has an advantage. Yes, there will be leverage situations where a single will advance win expectancy significantly. But overall, singles will advance WE much less than will extrabase hits. So for every instance where Jeter’s skill set is favored, there may be 3 or 4 where ARod’s skill set of EBH and HRs will give him a distinct advantage.

                • MattG

                  But we are not comparing Jeter’s ‘WE plus/minus” against Rodriguez’s, we are comparing them against themselves.

                  My point being, Jeter can do what he does well EVEN BETTER in a key situation. Rodriguez cannot. Sure, Rodriguez hits singles, but Jeter can actually purposely slap a single to right field with a skill that Rodriguez does not have.

                  Jeter’s skills allow him the ability to raise his game when a single is what is required. This would appear to be ‘clutch’ performance, but its not.

                  In order to prove my theory, I would need to prove a correlation exists between this fangraph metric and contact rates. I expect this metric, since it measures players against themselves, will favor contact hitters. Contact hitters are not really good hitters (unless they are hitting .350+), but they are great hitters in certain situations.

                  I don’t know how to do this research.

                • JP

                  And ARod can “purposely” hit a double or a homer when it would help the team, when Jeter cannot.

                  Why should Jeter’s skill of slapping singles work even better in the clutch? Don’t pitchers try to prevent singles just like they try to prevent EBH and homers? You don’t think they’re not pitching Jeter tougher in leverage situations than in non-leverage ones?

                  Plus, you’re missing the point about opportunity. The total number of situations in which one of Jeter’s slap singles will have a large impact on the WE will be far, far lower than the total number of situations in which ARod’s repertoire of EBH and HR will have a large potential impact. Even if Jeter is more able to gut out one of his slap singles (and I don’t concede this is true…but for argument let’s say your’re right), over the course of a season he will not have the opportunity to alter WE as much as ARod does.

                  And I am, definitely, comparing Jeter to ARod, and ARod to Gwynn and Gwynn to Pedroia. The numbers are calculated by referencing a player to himself, but once the ratio is set, it’s perfectly fair to compare one guy to another. What we are asking is, relative to your ability, how well do you perform in the clutch?

                  You don’t hold Scott Brosius to the same standard as ARod, so it isn’t fair, in one sense, to compare their RISP OPS numbers, for example. What the fangraph clutch number does is give us a normalized representation of clutch ability. It also removes us from the fantasy of expecting ARod to hit a homer every time he’s in a clutch situation. It merely measures how well he does compared to himself.

                • MattG

                  At first, I liked the point about opportunity. But then I thought about it further. We are not arguing over who has a better Win Probability figure. That’d be the power hitter. We’re discussing who has a better WE relative to himself in non-clutch situations.

                  Jeter is a .315 lifetime hitter. I am suggesting that Jeter could be a .340 hitter if he wanted to, by punching balls to the outfield. I am further saying the reason he does not do this is because, even though he would have a higher average, it would make him a poorer offensive player. By working the count, and trying to drive the ball, he attains a higher OBP and SP.

                  This gives him the opportunity to exceed his normal WE in a situation where a single is of paramount importance. He has exceptional bat control, and when not concerned about driving the ball, can increase his opportunity of slapping a single.

                  Rodriguez does not have any such opportunity. As much as fans would like it, he can’t cut down on his swing and slap the ball to right–anymore than Giambi could chop a ball down the third base line. This does not make him less clutch than Jeter, instead, it is just a difference in skills.

                  My point is that I would expect Jeter, and all players with bat control, to excel by Fangraph’s metric. I would love to test the correlation, but I don’t have the resources.

                • RAB poster

                  What he said.

          • Bob Stone

            ARod has hit over .340 in the past. Granted that it’s a long time ago but in 1996 he hit .358avg, .414obp, .631ops with 36 homers. More recently, in 2005 he hit .321avg, .421obp, .610ops with 48 homers. Hitting for power is usually at odds with hitting for average. ARod has shown that he can do both. So I beleive that he could hit .340 for a whole season, but it would have to come with the loss of home runs.

      • YankeeScribe

        Yeah. Those fangraph clutch numbers are suspect…

        Hitters like ARod, Bonds, Ramirez, Pujols etc. usually bat in the middle of the lineup so they get far more opportunities to drive in or not drive in runs than most hitters. You can’t compare Pujols to Pedroia in those situations.

        In most cases, the middle of the lineup guy is the best hitter on their respective teams so teams will either pitch around them or give them nothing but bad pitches to swing at.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Pujols is a middle of the order guy…

          • YankeeScribe

            I know. That’s why you compare his fangrah stat to Pedroia or Jeter’s. Their sample size of opportunities isn’t as large as Pujols’

        • JP

          And they might do that to them in low leverage situations, too. And you can still compare one middle of the order player to another, can’t you? Why do Paul O’Neill and Munson do so much better than Manny or Barry? Tony Gwynn was by far the best hitter in San Diego for years, I can’t imagine them not trying to pitch around him in leverage situations.

          I think you guys are doing exactly what you accuse others of doing when you trot out statistics to defend someone like Nick Swisher or ARod. You are ignoring numbers or attempting to discredit them because they conflict with your predetermined opinions…

          • YankeeScribe

            Do you think Jeter should bat 4th instead of ARod?

            • JP

              With respect, do you read anything I’m writing? I”ve said in at least 3 different places that ARod at less than his average is still better than 90% of players in the league. No, I don’t want Jeter batting cleanup.

              I want ARod to perform as well in the high leverage situations as he does normally.

              • YankeeScribe

                Everybody wants that but I don’t think the numbers prove he is or isn’t “clutch”. It’s all about perception. ARod gets more opportunities to drive in runs than anyone else on the team so he’s going to fail to drive in runs more often than most players on the team. I’d like ARod to be a better hitter in those situations but hitting at or near his career numbers in those situations isn’t unclutch…

                • JP

                  YankeeScribe: I wish the numbers showed that he performed at or near his career numbers in the clutch. The fangraph stats show that ARod performs below his career numbers in the clutch.

  • RAB poster

    Jeter and Cano play excellent defense, especially this year.

    UZR is one of the worst stats I’ve ever seen.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      I believe Jeter is actually having his best season by UZR this year.

  • JP

    Let me ask one question for those who object to my discussion of ARod:

    What is wrong with saying he’s “not clutch”?

    Is this so awful? Does it make him an inferior human being? We know it doesn’t make him a bad ballplayer…Alex at 80% of his average is still better than probably 90% of baseball players.

    Why is it so difficult for you guys to admit that he doesn’t perform at his customary level of greatness in high leverage situations?

    • RAB poster

      No, it doesn’t. But I have always noticed him being clutch.

    • MattG

      He’s also not “Sasquatch.” Neither one exists.

      • RAB poster

        Good point.

    • YankeeScribe

      I think it’s wrong to base your conclusion on one flawed statistic…

      • JP

        It’s actually not “one” statistic. It’s a complex ratio, which has as part of the numerator the linear weights “win probablity” number. This is generally regarded as the best, fairest way to evaluate the effectiveness of a baseball player. It looks at how much a given event, be it a homerun, a walk, a productive out, a stolen base, etc., increases the team’s probability of winning. It’s weighted, with a homer obviously counting more than a sac fly, and a 3 run homer late in the game to tie the game counting more than a grand slam in the top of the ninth when you’re already ahead 7-1.

        If this number is “flawed” or “suspect,” then by extension so is WOBA, OPS, etc., because this number is related, directly or indirectly, to all of those other statistics.

        • YankeeScribe

          Ok but does it treat all game situations equally?

          Is Cano hitting a grand slam when the Yanks are already up 7 runs weighted the same as ARod hitting a walkoff homer?

          Both situations are clutch but some situations are more clutch than others. I wouldn’t put much stock into a stat that doesn’t take into account different game situations…

          • JP

            You will have to look into the win expectancy numbers to get the most detailed answer, but the short answer is no, it definitely does not treat all game situatiosn equally. It’s called “win expectancy” because it puts a number on an event based on how much the event increases a team’s chance of winning. I don’t know the precise math, but from the description, I’d imagine that, say, a 2-run single to tie the game in the 8th inning would be more valuable, maybe, than a 3 run homer in the 8th which increases your lead from 7-1 to 10-1. The devil is in the details, and I don’t know the details.

            But the concept “win expectancy” is perfrect for a discussion of “clutch.”

  • Evan NYC

    Did Tony Pena managing last night have anything to do with this spark of offense? Last night YES showed a shot of the dugout and Jeter had his arm around Pena laughing and joking. Pena fired ARod up before his AB, yelling at him to get it going. I think the shots of the dugout were a lot more relaxed and guys smiling. Maybe this has to do with the fact that they scored runs and were starting to hit and a lot of pressure was lifted, or maybe it was the fact that Girardi wasn’t there for once. I guess we will find out tonight.

    • JP

      Maybe Girardi is like the boss everyone hates, and when he’s out sick everyone jokes and has fun.

      I think probably the Tony Pena party would likely end if he became the real boss…but I don’t know.

      You’re asking the same question that’s been raised in other threads–is there a problem with Girardi and the veteran stars with rings, and could that be hurting the team?

      • Evan NYC

        I don’t know and maybe we never will. I was just making an observation about last night’s game. To me, it seemed that they were having more fun.

        • Evan NYC

          But on the flip side they do lead the MLB in come from behind wins, so they are obviously playing hard for Girardi too.

        • JP

          And you’re right–they did look that way. Chicken-egg, though…they were actually WINNING!

      • Jesus

        Or maybe managers of winning teams look better than managers of losing teams, as the transformation from clueless joe to Saint Joe (sender of pitchers to birmingham) has shown.

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