Aug
24

Getting the third out

By

When the Yankees lost on Saturday to the Red Sox, they did so in rather dubious fashion. The 14 runs allowed wasn’t pretty, but what made the game worse were the 13 two-out runs the team allowed. If only someone could have gotten the third out, the Yanks would have had a chance.

For the Bombers’ pitchers, though, this two-out phenomenon was nothing new and would constitute a weekend theme. Yesterday, CC Sabathia allowed all four of the Red Sox’s runs to score with two outs, and on Friday, 11 of 11 Boston runs would cross the plate with but one out left in the inning.

Beyond Boston, the Yanks’ recent road trip was marred by two-out follies. In Seattle last weekend, Joba Chamberlain and the bullpen lost 10-3 to the Mariners with all ten Seattle runs coming with two outs. In total, the Yanks had a very successful 7-3 road trip, but 41 of the 51 runs they allowed — or 80 percent — came with two outs. While the Yanks escaped unscathed this time around, all of these two-out runs are good for no one’s heart.

On the season, the Yankees have been unable to slam the door on innings. The team has allowed 589 runs, and 248 of those have come with two outs. That’s 42 percent of all runs. Comparatively, the Yanks have allowed 143 runs with no one out and 198 runs with one man out. Across all three situations, the team’s OPS against ranges from .741 with no one out to .749 with two men out, and the team’s walk rate increases from one walk every 12.4 plate appearances with no one out to one walk every 11.7 plate appearance with one out to one walk every 9.1 plate appearances with two outs.

While these variations seem relatively minor, by comparing the Yanks’ two out numbers to the league’s, we can start to see why the team is struggling. With two outs, the team’s sOPS+, a measure of the team’s OPS as compared to the league average for that split, is 104. For both no outs and one out, the team’s sOPS+ is 95. In other words, the Yanks are better than league average with zero and one outs but worse with two outs. Overall in the AL, just 36.8 percent of runs have scored with two outs.

Individually, A.J. Burnett is one of the worst offenders, as we saw on Saturday. He has allowed 37 runs with two outs. That’s just a hair under 50 percent of his total runs allowed. He has walked 33 batters with two outs but just 22 each with no outs or one out. Pettitte, too, has been much worse with two outs than he is earlier in innings.

It’s tough to draw many conclusions from here. We’re looking at a rather selective sample that isn’t really indicative of anything other than past frustration. Will A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte always struggle with two outs? Probably not.

We can, however, confirm what we have long suspected: The Yankees have been worse at getting the third out than they are at getting to two outs. We saw it in Seattle; we saw it in Boston. Even when the team won, we saw those two-out rallies, two-out hits and two-out errors lead to more runs. It goes without saying that the Yankee hurlers need to get that third out. Hopefully, it won’t remain as elusive for some as it has been so far.

Categories : Pitching
  • Dela G

    i wanted to jump a cliff on saturday as AJ burnett suffered from sergio mitre disease, unable to get the damn third out after getting through the first 2 outs.

    Sabathia was able to limit them after the 2nd inning yesterday, and did a great job limiting damage.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Small sample size warning, but Mitre is the worst. Opponents are hitting .419/.468/.721 off of him with two outs.

      • Dela G

        my god, that is incredibly bad. putrid is being nice

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

        I’m glad that the numbers back up my subjective impression of Mitre. It seems like he does fine until after two outs are made.

        • Salty Buggah

          Especially in the 1st inning. Damn that Jorge.

  • Salty Buggah

    It’s ALL Jorge’s fault!

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      You didn’t hear this from me, but Jorge caused global warming.

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

        He’s a Red Sox mole. Has been all along.

        The four titles, and all the big hits against the Sox… all just to lull us into a false sense of security.

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

          So Mom and Pop’s plan was to establish trust…for 48 years?!

          • Drew

            You mean Mom and Pop aren’t even a Mom and Pop!!!?

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

              What’s the matter, cowboy? Lost your horse?

              • Drew

                Just drivin’ ’round in Jon Voight’s car..

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

                  “Next Stop Pottersville.”

                • Drew

                  You’re a trouble-maker.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          That bloop double in 03’…oh my Mo, we’ve been fooled all along. He was trying to make an out, which is why the ball was so badly hit, and it dropped in for a dramtic game-tying double. It’sso obvious now. How could we have been so stupid?

      • Salty Buggah

        YSIII a bandbox? All because of Jorge’s game-calling, which is so bad it is contagious and ends up affecting the opposing catcher/pitcher too.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      If the Yankees didn’t have Jorge or Melky, they would be undefeated right now.

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

        Nevermind that: just imagine how good this ’09 team would be with my boy Scotty Bro.

        • Salty Buggah

          Without A-rod and with him, not only would be undefeated but for every win, we would get credit for 2 wins in standings.

    • YankeeScribe

      A kitten dies every time Jorge gets a passed ball

  • SEK

    Does this have to do with tiring during the inning…I wonder what the numbers would be after 12 to 15 pitches and after 18+ pitches per inning.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      The problem with that examination is one of corrrelation. That longer the inning last, the more likely it is that the pitcher is giving up baserunners, hits and runs. But is he giving up runs because he is tiring or is he tiring because he’s facing too many hitters?

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

        +1

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

        But is he giving up runs because he is tiring or is he tiring because he’s facing too many hitters?

        A little from Column A, a little from Column B.

  • Danny

    Jorge loves to catch, so he always calls pitches down the middle when there are 2 outs, how selfish of him!!

  • Drew

    I’d say it’s part coincidence, part regular flow of the inning.

    I’d guess you’re more likely to have a man in scoring position with two outs than with no outs.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      True.

    • Klemy

      This was my thought on it as I read. Later in an inning, you’re more likely to have people who have gotten on base. They had 2 outs to work people on. So, chances are probably better with 2 outs that someone scores on a hit.

      I guess, while this weekend was certainly frustrating and there may be something to mental toughness with 2 outs, the chances would probably be higher to give up runs with 2 outs. No?

  • Joba or Hughes-To-the-pen

    All of our starters are good but not great.I mean CC ain’t pitching like last year because he was in the NL.He’s strikeout rate is very low.CC looks a little differant.

    Same thing of Joba.He is very solid but he only throws 92-93mph like Hughes as a starter.Joba with he’s 1.46 WHIP and 109 strikeouts is just good but Joba hasn’t lived up to the hype.

    As long as the bullpen is dominate the rotation needs just to be solid.

    • Dela G

      CC had 8ks last night… I guess you missed that part too, right?

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      CC Sabathia in August: 5-0, 2.65 ERA, 39 K, 5 BB, 37.1 IP.

      Some people demand the universe when they get the world.

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

        Some people think Joba or Hughes should go to the bullpen.

        • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

          Hughes really does need to be in the bullpen.

          I bet he can’t even throw 6 major league innings right now, much less 7 or 8.

          Oh, and somebody will chime in ‘he doesnt even need a curve that he was working on before’ meme too…

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      I believe that ESPN’s Cy Young generator gives CC the best chance to win the Cy Young, although tit doesn’t take ERA into account.

      CC’s strikeout rate has been improving dramtically.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        Please ignore the slightly inappropriate word that should be it.

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

        I love CC but unless he is just flat out insane for the next month, he shouldn’t win the CY. It’s gotta be Greinke.

        • zs190

          There are 7-8 starts left for these guys. We just saw Beckett blow up the last 2 starts and gained like half a run on his ERA, who’s to say Greinke can’t have a month like that? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

        • YankeeScribe

          CC has really stepped it up a notch or two in the second half. If he reaches 20 wins he’ll get consideration…

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

            I’m sure he will, regardless of getting 20 wins, but if things stay as they are, I don’t think he should win.

    • Salty Buggah

      “As long as the bullpen is dominate the rotation needs just to be solid.”

      I’d prefer it if was the other way around.

      And CC has a 9+ K/9 in the 2nd half so far.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Call me crazy but I’d rather have a rotation consisting of Johan, Halladay, Sabathia, Tim Lincecum and King Felix with a mediocre bullpen than Tim Wakefield, Andy Pettitte, David Price, Rick Porcello and Brad Penny with a bullpen of Mo, Joe Nathan, Papelbon, Wagner, Heath Bell and K-Rod.

  • Hobbes

    One would expect more runs with two outs, no? Other than a home run, it takes a few hits to score a run, and the odds say a team will throw in a few outs along the way.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      I’d say one would expect fewer runs with two outs. With no outs or one out, the team at bat can score on an out. With two outs, teams can’t score on outs.

      • Klemy

        Yes, but the chances of someone being on base 2 outs later would be higher. So any hit given up would seemingly do more damage? I don’t know the statsics, but off the cuff I’d tend to agree with Hobbes.

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

        Benjamin Kabak says:
        August 24th, 2009 at 4:22 pm
        [Read Comment]

        I’d say one would expect fewer runs with two outs. With no outs or one out, the team at bat can score on an out. With two outs, teams can’t score on outs.

        and when, exactly, can the team not at bat score?

        (cue tjsc)

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

          Um, why are you cuing me? You lost me.

          • jsbrendog

            you obviously don’t understand cues because you are so young and misuse stats

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

              I was going to throw that meme in somewhere, but I’m trying to let that convo die rather than rekindling it.

              • jsbrendog

                true. did you go back and read whats all there now? it only makes the whole thing sad.

            • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

              hey that wasnt me :)

              i figured if somebody was going to make a comment on ‘scoring’ when you’re not at bat, it would be you…

              and that still wasnt me…i actually think we should just pay him 10m and be done with it–i dont even want the appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest when he says he can take the mound today…

      • Former RAB Lurker

        Does a sac fly with one out and a man on third count as a run with one out, or with two?

  • Januz

    I believe the likely Cy Young Award winner may very well be Justin Verlander (13-7 3.29 ERA, 204 Strikeouts). However, a VERY strong case could be made for Mariano Rivera, who has been robbed from Cy Young Awards before. I would love to see Mariano win.

    • Klemy

      I don’t know that we’d ever see a day where a closer wins that award though. I don’t see enough people who vote going that direction.

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

        Well, it’s happened before.

        All the times it’s happened before, though, it’s also been pretty stupid. Case in point:

        http://www.baseball-reference......html#NLcya

        No, Mark Davis was not a better pitcher than Greg Maddux, Mike Scott, Orel Hersheiser, Joe Magrane, or Tim Belcher. That’s retarded.

        • jsbrendog

          wow a reliever won rookie of the yr in the al too, beating out flash gordon

          disgusting

        • zs190

          Eric Gagne won too, that’s even more recent, it has been done before.

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

            Davis, Gagne, Dennis Eckersley, Steve Bedrosian, Bruce Sutter all won Cy Youngs as releivers in the past 25 years.

            All of those choices were horrible choices. None of them deserved it.

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

      However, a VERY strong case could be made for Mariano Rivera

      No, it couldn’t.

      who has been robbed from Cy Young Awards before.

      No, he hasn’t.

      • Januz

        Look at 2005 when Colon was 21-8 with a 3.48 ERA while Mariano was 7-4 with a 1.38 ERA and 43 SAVES (EXCUSE me a 1.38 ERA, and much of the season he was BELOW a run per game).

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

          You’re right, Bartolo Colon had no business winning the Cy Young in 2005 over Mariano Rivera.

          They both should have came in tied for 3rd behind Johan Santana and Mark Buerhle.

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

            Randy Johnson has twice been robbed of the CY (’93 and ’04).

          • PinstripesForeverDouglas

            I strongly disagree, with your opinion. Rivera was definitely robbed of the award.

    • zs190

      Eh, I don’t think he deserves it this season. For a closer to win a Cy Young, the closer has to give you the feeling that wow, he’s just been historically good this year and everyone else is having an average season so let’s give it to him, see Eric Gagne.

      Mo’s been very very good this season, but it’s not really that special a season. You could easily make an argument that Joe Nathan has been just as good or better this season.

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

        For a closer to win a Cy Young, the closer has to give you the feeling that wow, he’s just been historically good this year and everyone else is having an average season so let’s give it to him, see Eric Gagne.

        Even Gagne’s Cy Young was BS.

        Jason Schmidt went 17-5 with a 2.34 ERA and 208 strikeouts. Mark Prior went 18-6 with a 2.43 and 245 strikeouts. That’s not “everyone else having an average season”.

        2003 Schmidt or Prior >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 2005 Eric Gagne

        • zs190

          No 20 game winner! (Words cannot describe how stupid 20 wins is but it seems like a huge deal)

          • zs190

            My bad, I guess Russ Ortiz did win 20 that year (crazy stuff) but his ERA was way too high for him to get that phantom benefit.

        • zs190

          To follow up my above comment, if CC wins 20 and has an ERA below 3.5, I think he’s a very good bet to win it. Even if Greinke somehow keeps his ERA below 2.5 (it has been trending up a bit because it’s insanely hard to keep up)

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

            Yup. That’s how Colon won his back in 2005, even though he wasn’t one of the top three pitchers in the AL.

            Win 20 games, you’re the automatic favorite.

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

          In 2003 when EG won the CY, he was the 9th most valuable pitcher by FanGraphs’ WAR.

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

            Exactly.

            I have yet to see a reliever, including Mariano Rivera at the absolute zenith of his abilities, who has ever been the best pitcher in his league in any single year.

        • Jud

          Well, Gagne’s WPA was 5.62 vs. 4.47 for Schmidt and 4.13 for Prior. I admit that WPA over-values leverage, but to discount it completely (like WAR does), seems to go too much in the opposite direction.

      • Januz

        Joe Nathan has NOT been better than Mariano this season (A Friday Night Choke job at the Stadium comes to mind). As for the past, what we have seen down through the years is an anti-NY bias in voting for awards (Palmerio and his dozen games at first, winning the “Gold Glove” over Tino Martinez comes to mind). I have little doubt that Joe Mauer will win the MVP over Tex for the same reason.

  • http://twitter.com/JamalG Jamal G.

    Am I misremembering, or was the allowance of two-out runs a very common occurrence in the 2007 ALDS by the Yankees, against the Indians?

  • Tank Foster

    Hasn’t fangraphs or some similar site tracked data like this for all teams?

    I might be wrong, but here’s what I’m thinking…

    EVERY team should give up more runs with 2 outs than any other situation. Zero outs? Well, to do that, you need either a lead off homer, or a string of hits/walks without making any outs first. Since the overall rate of reaching base safely is well under .500, stringing even 2 consecutive “safes” is hard. To continue to string them together and get lots of zero-out runs is going to be very hard.

    Similarly, you should score more runs with 2 outs than one, since with each successive batter, the likelihood of making an out is greater than getting a hit.

    As for this particular weekend, it’s probably just variance.

    Another way of looking at this is that the Yankees have great pitching. Teams can’t score on them easily, they need to use up 2 outs before they can plate anyone.

    • http://twitter.com/JamalG Jamal G.

      That makes quite a good deal of sense.

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

        Agreed.

        That just happened, Tank. My mind is blown.

        • Tank Foster

          Can you explain the inside joke “That just happened. My mind is blown” ? I keep reading it, but I don’t get it.

          ;-)

          • Chris

            Here is where “that just happened” came from:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrrx5CgdZaA

            It was John Mayer doing some announcing when the Red Sox opened the season in Japan.

            • Tank Foster

              So TSJC was basically saying I’m an idiot, and my comment was akin to the guy announcing a game who has no idea about baseball?

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

              Uh, no. No, that’s not at all what I’m talking about.

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wacmF9_6WqU

              “That just happened, is your mind blown?” is one of Will Ferrell’s signature phrases. It’s in a ton of his movies.

              • Tank Foster

                So – again, forgive my obvious doltish lack of a sense of humor, or whatever, but how is that phrase used in this blog? What are people trying to say when they quote it?

                • jsbrendog

                  tjsc drafted brett favre and tj duckett.

                  THAT JUST HAPPENED. it sure as shit blew my mind

                • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

                  it’ll help if you watch talladega nights…

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

                  Ricky Bobby: Wow. I feel like I’m Highlander!
                  Jean Girard: What is this “Highlander”?
                  Ricky Bobby: It’s a movie. It won the Academy Award.
                  Jean Girard: Oh? For what?
                  Ricky Bobby: Best movie… ever made.

    • Klemy

      This is what I was trying to say in my posts, but didn’t get across nearly as clearly. +1

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      The AL numbers show that 36.8 percent of runs scored with two outs. The Yankees have allowed 42.1 percent of their runs to score with two outs. Only the Orioles have allowed more two-out runs. So clearly, the Yanks are on the wrong side of average here.

      I also don’t agree that more runs should score with two outs for reasons explained above.

      • Tank Foster

        Ok, so from that number, 36.8, I think we can conclude that most runs are probably scored with 1 out. I doubt there are more zero out runs than one out runs. And since 2 outs is just over 1/3 of the total, 1 out must have the most.

  • James

    with a 7-3 road trip…i don’t care if the opposing teams scored 1000 runs with 2 outs. Sometimes you just got to tip your cap.

    it would be intresting to know how many times the yankees score runs after an inning they gave up a 2 out run.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      And when the moon is in retrograde.

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

        And when the moon is in retrograde the seventh house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars.

        • handtius

          In the age of aquarius…la da da la da…. wonderful.

        • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

          I was going to go with the Hair reference, but I thought it would be too esoteric.

  • RZG

    “…by comparing the Yanks’ two out numbers to the league’s, we can start to see why the team is struggling”

    And which team is struggling, the team with the best winning record in baseball?

    Ahh, off days – a chance for people to complain about the picture frame on the MONA LISA

  • Pingback: Series Preview: Rangers at Yankees « wire2