Jun
21

Nova dominates as Yanks take series opener

By

When I looked at the three guys the Yankees have lined up to start this series against the Reds, I couldn’t help but think that winning one of three games would be an acceptable outcome. Ivan Nova reminded us all why they don’t play the games on paper Monday night, throwing the best game of his career against one of the NL’s better offenses in a park that plays to the hitter.

That's a mistake.

All They Needed

Whenever the Yankees faced a pitcher they haven’t seen before, particularly a lefty, we all cringe. We’re conditioned to do so by now, because the Yanks just don’t ever seem to beat those guys. When the first pitch of the game was called a strike despite darting in just below Nick Swisher‘s knees, I figured it was going to be a really long day. It was hard not too.

But then, of course, the Yankees proved all us doubters wrong. They not only hung a four spot on Travis Wood in the first inning, but four of their five hits in the frame came with two strikes. They didn’t flail at some little changeup off the plate or chase fastballs over their head, they took some borderline pitches for balls and attacked the pitches that missed their spots. Robinson Cano had the only extra base hit of the inning, an 0-2 double on a pitch that came it letter high but was supposed to be up at eye level. Wood flat out missed his spot, and Robbie drove it into the left field corner for a two-bagger. Even Andruw Jones singled in a run, an all too uncommon occurrence. The four first inning runs were all the Yankees would ultimately need because…

Throw strikes with four pitches, and good things happen.

[insert Super Nova cliched title here]

I’m certain this was Nova’s best start as a big leaguer. I’m not referring to the overall stat line (8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 15 GB, 3 GB) or anything like that (77 Game Score, his best ever), but just in terms of how he looked. Yes, I understand that’s completely subjective, but it’s okay to be subjective sometimes. It seemed like Ivan had all his pitches working, including his changeup, curveball, and that little cutter/slider we heard about earlier in the year (that he seemed to abandon). He was in total command.

The Reds did, however, threatened in the first when Drew Stubbs and Brandon Phillips singled to set up a first and third situation with Joey Votto and Jay Bruce due up. The game had a “here we go” feel to it at that point, like that big first inning lead was ready to disappear right before our eyes. Nova limited the damage though, he got Votto to roll over on a changeup (according to Martin anyway, PitchFX says it was an 87 mph fastball) and ground into a double play, then Bruce grounded out the end the inning. A run scored on the double play, but that’s fine, Ivan limited the damage to just one run.

Nova went on the retire 13 of the next 14 batters (the one exception was a strikeout, but the batter reached on a wild pitch strike three) before Paul Janish singled with two outs in the fifth. That was pretty much it. He got the last out in the fifth, retired the side in order in the sixth and seventh, then surrendered a two out single to Fred Lewis in the eighth before ending the inning. The Reds simply couldn’t lift any of his pitches or work any deep counts; Nova threw more than 15 pitches in an inning just once (18 in the third), more than 13 pitches in an inning just three times, and more than a dozen pitches just four times. That’s pretty nutso. This was one of those starts where Ivan had it all working and he could put the ball anywhere he wanted. The Reds had no chance.

LOLpen

Seriously, how bad is Boone Logan? Luis Ayala allowed a single to Phillips to start the ninth inning, then Joe Girardi went to Logan for the lefties Votto and Bruce. So, naturally, Boone hit Votto on his first and only pitch of the night. With two men on and the tying run on deck, the skipper went to Mariano Rivera, who gave up some runs on ground balls but eventually got out of the inning to preserve the win.

Can Logan use rust an excuse? This was his first game action in eight days after all, though he did warm up several times in between appearances. Votto was the 18th left-handed batter he’s allowed to reach base this year, which works out to a .383 OBP over 47 plate appearances. The only lefty relievers that have been in the bigs all year that have allowed a worse OBP to left-handed batters are Craig Breslow (.426) and David Purcey (.395). I guess it’s not a secret why those three have played for eleven different organizations in 16 total seasons.

Leftovers

The strike zone in this game was … interesting, for both teams. I’ll just leave it at the that. The plot above (via Brooks) tells the whole story.

Andruw Jones failed to run out an inning (and rally) ending double play in the third, and my immediate reaction was to yank him from the game. Phillips couldn’t get the throw off at second because Martin slid in hard, but had enough time to recover to get Andruw anyway. It was embarrassingly bad, and for a platoon guy that plays once or maybe twice a week, he has to run every ball out. I don’t care how stacked his resume is. The trainer did come out and both Jones and Joe Girardi said he rolled his ankle getting out of the box after the game, which sounds believable enough when watching the replay. Either way, it was ugly.

It’ll be forgotten because Janish didn’t bother to catch the throw, but Curtis Granderson was out trying to steal second in the seventh. I mean he was out by a good ten feet, the only way he would have been safe was if … Janish botched the play. It won’t show up as a caught stealing in the stat sheet, but if we count it as one, Grandy has been successful in just two of his last seven steal attempts. Also, why exactly did they pinch-run for Alex Rodriguez that inning? The Yankees were up 5-1 with two innings to go, and as we saw in the ninth, the game was far from over.

Swisher reached base twice (a hit and a walk), and Yankees’ leadoff hitters are now hitting .423/.559/.654 since Derek Jeter hit the disabled list. In a related stat, the Yankee went from averaging 5.16 runs per game before Jeter’s injury to 6.71 runs per game since. The Cap’n is eligible to come off the disabled list next Wednesday, by the way.

Within the span of three pitches in the fourth, Eduardo Nunez missed a hit-and-run sign and got picked off first. Something about rookie mistakes and/or bad players goes here. Also frustrating: Wood threw 52 pitches in the first and second inning, and then just 55 over the next five innings. I can’t believe he completed seven innings. I hate it when the offense lets these guys off the hook like that.

WPA Graph & Box Score

MLB.com has the box score and video, FanGraphs the nerd score.

Up Next

Game two of this three-game set will be played Tuesday evening, when Brian Gordon makes his second start as a Yankee against Johnny Cueto. RAB Tickets can get you into the game dirt cheap, if you happen to be in or near Cincinnati.

Categories : Game Stories
  • http://www.CarlsYankeeDugout.com Carl

    HA HA! The booneno.jpg on this really is justifiable. Something’s gotta be done with this guy. He’s not doing his job.

  • Pat D

    Yea, I’m not going to try and defend Logan anymore. It’s beyond inexcusable now.

    I’m not going to fully assume Cueto starts tomorrow either. Maybe his neck doesn’t feel better.

  • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

    Today was a nice win (besides that bottom of the ninth that is.) Hopefully tomorrow the Yankees will bring Cueto’s shiny ERA back to his career norms.

  • mike c

    jones has got to go… gardner should be the everyday LF, regardless of what handness the pitcher is. are they just trying to boost jones’s stat line so that somebody picks him up when they put him on waivers?

    • jayd808

      How did General Joe comment on how Jonesy “twisted” his ankle? Miracle that he could stay in the game….

      • Jorge

        He rolled his ankle. He didn’t twist it. Happens to me about once a week and, no, I can’t sprint immediately afterwards. Not trying to make excuses for the guy, but it’s completely plausible.

  • pat

    I remember everyone, myself very much included, getting to this point with Logan last year. It wasn’t until mid July (the 18th to be exact)that he finally got his shit together and started a string of 25 straight appearances that lowered his ERA (crude, I know) from 4.05 to 2.29 on September 13th. I’m not saying that’s indicative of any trend we should expect to occur, but it’s not completely inconceivable that he could get back to the form we saw post-ASG last year.

    • Brooklyn Ed

      Righties suck against Logan, while lefties don’t. That’s some lopsided platoon splits right there.

    • first time lawng time

      Why is ERA a crude stat?

      • http://twitter.com/karcotte karcotte

        There’s a lot of noise what with the defense behind you and luck on batted balls. For relievers it is especially crude because they pitch such few innings. They also often come in with runners already on base which ERA doesn’t measure how successful they are at preventing those runners from scoring.

        • first time lawng time

          Okay. But I feel as though the entire game is based on luck and if you take that into account, every stat unreliable.

          I mean, I think it shows the quality of a SP. A pitcher with an ERA of 1.50 is obiously a better pitcher than one with an ERA of 4.00.

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

            A pitcher with an ERA of 1.50 is obiously a better pitcher than one with an ERA of 4.00.

            I’d agree with that. The problem is, a pitcher with an ERA of 3.00 is frequently actually worse than a pitcher with an ERA of 4.00, because there’s too many confounding variables.

            It’s why ERA isn’t “useless” or “horrible”, just “crude”. Crude stats are descriptive in an extreme sense (like your 1.50 v 4.00 extremes), but they get muddled and lose much of their effective descriptive value once you move away form the poles.

            Other stats that attempt to do what ERA attempts to do (like FIP, xFIP, tERA, etc.) are less crude than ERA is, because they attempt to isolate and exclude those confounding variables and more closely correlate the denotative with the connotative.

            • first time lawng time

              I see. I just never follow those stats you just mentioned, because they never discuss them during the broadcasts and I don’t really understand them.

              I usually just look at the ERA and judge the pitcher.

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

                Not to beat a dead horse, but you really should just Google some of these statistics and concepts (and players) you’re not familiar with and teach yourself a bit about them. There’s tons of great articles across the interwebs explaining how stats like xFIP and tERA offer more descriptive (and predictive) value over a crude stat like ERA.

                Instead of just being spoonfed information that might be flawed and making your judgment based only on what you’ve been told (by an often unreliable narrator), just do like 5 minutes of your own independent investigating and see what you find.

                You’ll understand things on a much deeper and richer level.

                • first time lawng time

                  I actually have googled those stats and I have clicked the link here. The stats seem weird. I just don’t get it.

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

                    If you read something confusing, keep reading it. You’ll get it eventually.

                • Jeter = Wally Pipp

                  I think alot of the stats go overboard. Most of the stats try to dissect who is dominate over who is merely good and having a better year than expected. A pitcher who has a 3 ERA is having a very good season regardless of what the other stats are saying. Can the pitcher repeat that performance over multiple years is where the extra stats are useful but not always correct.

                  • guest

                    +1.

  • Brooklyn Ed

    It would seriously be nice if Nova pitch like this every 4 days. Maybe he’s finally putting it altogether?

    • Thomas Cassidy

      Don’t get your hopes up, it’s only one start. I think he will be a solid four starter though.

      • Jeter = Wally Pipp

        Nova has pitched pretty well over the last month and being a solid number 4 is exactly what the Yanks have been lacking for quite sometime.

        • guest

          He’s pitched pretty well in general. He get’s dumped on a lot by some posters in this blog. If we threw his current stat line out in spring training and said this is where he’d be in late June, I think we’d all have signed up for this. He’s not being asked to be CC or Halladay; he’s being asked to be a solid #4 starter. That’s what he’s doing. He’s thrown a couple of great games and a couple of clunkers, and many of his starts have been solid. He has 21 big league starts and 122 innings pitched; he seems to be progressing and he seems to have some moxie and a decent makeup. I don’t pretend to know what his ceiling is, but I do know I look forward to his starts.

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

            If we threw his current stat line out in spring training and said this is where he’d be in late June, I think we’d all have signed up for this.

            14 starts, 80 IP (5.71 IP/S), 4.05/4.15/4.21 E/F/x? Yeah, I’d have happily taken that from our 4th/5th starter (whatever number you want to assign to Nova).

            I’d like a little more length per start and better control, but he’s a work in progress.

            • guest

              “….but he’s a work in progress.”

              As are most 24 year olds in their first full major league season.

              • Woody Sweats

                yeah, tommie, you idiot… jeez… doesn’t EVERYONE know that?

  • Craig

    When Hughes comes back I’d still want Nova in the pen. His stuff plays better in spurts IMHO. I’m also tired of the Phillies jerkfest going on- there’s other good teams too, Atlanta has a better team ERA and there’s plenty of teams better offensively- like Cincinnatti. Why build some team up so much when they’re usually destined to fail? Did anyone pick a SF-Tex WS last year?

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      You can’t predict baseball, you know that ;)

      • Craig

        OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS…..you’re right

    • Rainbow Connection

      “His stuff plays better in spurts”

      TWSS

  • CMP

    I know Logan is pretty young and throws hard for a lefty but he has been completely useless this year and really doesn’t belong on the roster. If they don’t want to give up on him completely they should send him to AAA and give someone else a chance as LOOGY.

    • Thomas Cassidy

      If Greg Smith has another start or two like he did the other night in AAA then I’d have to guess that Logan would be DFA’d. But I don’t know what the Yankees will do, especially with that jackass Cashman.

      • pat

        What makes him a jackass?

        • Thomas Cassidy

          He’s a shitty GM, I don’t care what anybody has to say about that. He is also a scumbag. Look at how he treated Jeter. I don’t care if he’s honest. He’s a piece of shit.

          • FIPster Doofus

            How did he treat Jeter?

            • http://twitter.com/AnaMariana42 Ana

              He didn’t give him a blank check, guys! Market value be damned, that’s no way to treat your captain!

          • Zack

            Lol

          • Jim S

            Anytime you say “I don’t care what anybody says”, no one will take you seriously.

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

              Nor should they. It’s a preemptive admission of anti-intellectualism.

              • http://twitter.com/AnaMariana42 Ana

                Should be an automatic ban/roundhouse kick to the face.

            • pete

              so much this

          • Jon in CUO

            Why don’t you tell us how you really feel?

          • David, Jr.

            The team’s recent performance shows how valuable Jeter is, and therefore how poorly he was treated by Cashman. Six years times 25M would have been fair to both sides.

          • jsbrendog

            this is the exact definition of oaktag.

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    It’d be awesome if Nova kept this up and mostly be able to work out of jams like he did in the 1st. Lots of times this year we’ve seen him implode in those spots. How cool would it be to have CC, Burnett, Colon, Hughes (assuming he pitches well) and Garcia/Nova(if they do not fall off a cliff or something) down the stretch. Theres also Brian Gordon who pitched pretty well against a good Ranger’s team, although we’ll learn more about him tomorrow. With the offense the way it is(Jeterless), this is a pretty good team.

  • Chris13

    Does Mike have anything nice to say about Nunez ever?

    • nunez fan

      another day with nunez at short, another win. WHAT NOW HATERS?

      • Tampa Yankee

        Therefore because he has 2 WS rings, Edgar Renteria is a better SS then Robin Yount (0), Honus Wagner(1), Cal Ripken (1) and Ernie Banks (0)!1!!111!eleventy!

      • Rock

        Another win…despite Nunez at SS makes more sense to me.

    • Monteroisdinero

      Following a HOF’er who has been SS for most of our 25 ( or so) year old fans’ lives is tough. As long as the Yanks go 12-3 with the crappy Nunez, who cares?

      I like Nunez-warts and all.

      • first time lawng time

        I like him, too. I cringe everytime he throws the ball, but I still like him.

    • Jeter = Wally Pipp

      He doesn’t like anyone that hasn’t won 5 championships with the Yanks or isn’t being paid 10 million + by the Yanks. Nunez is fine at SS.

      • Cris Pengiuci

        Nunez is a fine replacement while Jeter is on the DL. He might even be an acceptable replacement once Jeter is unable to play short. He will never be the equal of Jeter when Jeter was near the top of his game. It’s still a small sample, but it’s defintely debatable if he’s Jeter’s equal now. I can see a time where he’s better than Jeter coming within the next couple of years, but that time has not yet arrived in my opinion.

    • Rock

      What has he done to merit anything good to say? Avg under 250, OBP under 300, error after error, missing signs, picked off first….on and on and on…I’m just glad her really has only cost us that one game in Detroit so far.

  • M-Three

    Enjoy seeing Brian Gordon while you can. WhenHughes and Colon return that guy will be going back to what he knows best: Triple-A. There won’t be any room to caring him as a long man/mop-up guy since Garcia will probably be going to the pen with those 2 returning. We will then have a bullpen of Mo being set-up by Noesi in the 7th and D-Rob in the 8th, Wade pitching middle relief, Garcia as the long man and what either 2 other relievers you want to put here(atleast one of them being a lefty).

    • DSFC

      Do you really think Hughes, Colon and Garcia are all good bets to be healthy and effective for the duration? I suspect you’ll see more of Gordon than you expect.

      • M-Three

        All I am saying is there will be no room keep Gordon up here when those guy come back. Theres no point in just keeping him up here taking up a roster spot as a mop-up guy. Gordon will go back to his old job as a minor league filler at Scranton. And if need another start then that oppertunity will go to hope ever is pitching best. Whether thats Gordon or someone like Adam Warren, someone who actually has a chance to be part of the long term future.

        I think sending Garcia to the pen to be our long man will help him stay health. With Colon, as long as his are is healthy and his hamstrain doesn’t flare up again he should be ok. Finally Hughes was never injuried. He was on the dl for 2 reasons: lack of fastball velocity and a 13.00 era. There was never anything structurally wrong with Hughes. He most have just not done as much long tossing during spring training he should have.

        • CP

          Hughes was diagnosed with shoulder inflammation and received a cortisone shot.

          • Rainbow Connection

            Oh well that totally clears it up.

  • mbonzo

    As of tonight, the third place team in the AL East would be in first place in the AL Central, the AL West, the NL Central, and the NL West. This is why divisions need to come to an end. Anyone who takes the stance that divisions help keep the fans in the game because of the ease to compete, need to look at the Rays. This is a team that would probably have twice the amount of fans over the last 4 years in any other division.

    • first time lawng time

      I agree. Rays also need a new stadium. The Trop is crap.

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

      The current divisional setup puts the Rays, Orioles, and Blue Jays at a competitive disadvantage. This has been the case for the past twenty years or so (the period of time where both the Yankees and Red Sox were good simultaneously and began the current modern arms race in baseball.

      The other 25 teams NOT in the AL East, however, benefit quite well from the current divisional format. Those teams all get effective divisional rivalries and have no strategic impediments towards securing a playoff berth. They also avoid the ignominy of finishing in 10th place in their divisionless league.

      The current structure benefits 27 teams and penalizes three. And those three penalized teams have only been penalized in that fashion for 20 of the 51 years of the divisional era.

      Scrapping the divisions that work for the majority of baseball just to make life easier on the Rays, Jays, and Orioles doesn’t make sense.

      • first time lawng time

        It does make sense, though, because the shitty teams in shitty divisions shouldn’t go to the playoffs. Who plays in the playoffs should be determined by the 4 teams with th best records in each league.

        Also, Selig needs to base HFA during the playoffs and WS on who has the better record.

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

          It’s not as simple as “Who plays in the playoffs should be determined by the 4 teams with th best records in each league.”

          Baseball as a sport needs to worry not only about the fairness aspect of “how do we ensure the best teams get rewarded with access to the playoffs”, they also need to worry about the overall health of all 30 franchises. Creating pathways to relevance is an important part of that health maintenance.

          You have to balance competitive fairness with supportive parity. It’s why there are things like the Rule 4 and Rule 5 drafts, compensation picks, luxury tax, revenue sharing, etc.

          The league has a vested interest in the best teams making the playoffs, but it has a concurrent vested interest in bad teams having a realistic shot at making the playoffs as well. The longer that teams like the Pirates/Royals/Nationals/Padres/etc. remain in a playoff race during the year, the better for them.

          • first time lawng time

            I just think it’s seriously flawed that there are teams that make the playoffs an better teams that don’t.

            Also, with eliminated divisions, all teams could play eachother an equalish amount of games. So you have decent teams like the Blue Jays playing fewer games vs the Yankees and Red Sox. I think that divisions at flawed in the scheduling aspect like that.

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

              And what I’m trying to say is, that serious flaw serves a seriously beneficial purpose to the long-term health of baseball.

              There’s a reason all 4 North American sports leagues have moved away from the single-division formats they started in to a 6 or 8 division format they all use now: Emphasizing local rivalries and creating multiple 4-6 team silos that each guarantee playoff berths sustains seasonlong interest. For most every single team, not just for the 6-7 best teams in each league.

              Divisional play makes Rays, Jays, and Orioles fans bemoan their bad luck. It’s also what has allowed fans of the Twins, White Sox, Mariners, Angels, A’s, Mets, Nationals, Reds, Pirates, Diamondbacks, and Rockies to sustain hope this year; because they don’t have to climb over the 10 or so teams in front of them in the league standings, they only have to get hot enough to climb over one or two teams in their little 5 team silo to be relevant and play in October.

              That is worth a tremendous amount to a sports league that wants all 30 fanbases to be engaged and profitable.

              • jsbrendog

                and as long as revenue sharing exists the jays and orioles complaints aren’t too loud

                • James

                  Also, not sure how much the Jays, Rays and Orioles have to complain about… The Rays have won the devision two of the past three seasons. The Jays, but anyone’s accounts are a year or two away from being very very competitive and the Orioles are a much improved team. There is still parody in the AL East… it’s just the best division in Baseball.

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

                    And like I pointed out, the Rays/Jays/Orioles having the Yankee/Red Sock mountain to climb is not something that has always existed. Not that long ago, the Sox and Yankees both sucked a little bit and the Jays and Orioles were the class of the division.

          • http://www.twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Just one more point to add regarding why MLB might prefer the divisional set-up… We have to consider geography. Having a divisional format allows (in theory) each league to have at least one playoff team from each of the general geographic regions represented by the divisional format. MLB probably doesn’t love the idea of having a postseason without a team from a third or two-thirds of the country (or a season in which there isn’t any sort of playoff race during the regular season in a third or two-thirds of the country).

          • jsbrendog

            +everything i have in my wallet

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

          Also, Selig needs to base HFA during the playoffs and WS on who has the better record.

          No argument there.

          • TMiller

            But then the all-star game won’t “count”!

            • AdamParker

              This time it counts!

            • jsbrendog

              i think i cared the slightest bit about it when it didnt count, but now that it does it is just stupid

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    More needs to be written about how Boone Logan is the biggest piece of shit ever.

    • Rainbow Connection

      I’d say DiMaggio beating a woman is worse.

      • Jorge

        But Brett Myers hid behind a bush afterwards.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Has Captain Jeter been on the bench/traveling with the team? Haven’t seen him the last 4 games.

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

      I believe he has been in Tampa.

    • David, Jr.

      That is the same thing people ask when he plays.

      • pat

        Hahahah

      • jsbrendog

        clap it up

  • YanksFan in MA

    I like how Mike cherry picks an extrememly small sample size to further his agenda to blast Jeter.

    • David, Jr.

      How about the last two baseball seasons? Enough of a sample size for you?

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

      Jeter as a leadoff hitter is mostly indefensible this year. And if you think that Mike wants Nunez to replace Jeter, you clearly haven’t been reading RAB for too long.

    • Dropped third superstar

      Yea me too. Since jeet left swisher, arod, and gardner all seem to be hitting better (correct me if im wrong) and martins come back.

      Plus mike tells stats to show how the team plays better with out jeter then blasts his replacement nunez in the same breath.

    • YanksFan in MA

      “Yankees’ leadoff hitters are now hitting .423/.559/.654 since Derek Jeter hit the disabled list”

      Yea that’s a relevant stat and a clear indicator of how the rest of the season will go if Jeter is replaced. I know Mike dislikes Nunez, I’ve been reading the blog long enough to know that. I’ve also followed him on Twitter and on RAB long enough to know he is not a Jeter fan and every opportunity he gets to bash him he takes. I don’t think anyone here could legitimately argue that. It is what it is, just believe RAB should be better than continued pot shots at a guy who has been an all time great and as recently as 2009 was an MVP caliber player. But that is my humble opinion, so be it. Maybe I’m just more sensitive to constant criticism because where I live that is all I hear about the Yankees.

      • David, Jr.

        Is this 2009?

        • YanksFan in MA

          Not that I’m aware of. Does that preclude me from having an opinion?

          • Chris13

            i completely agree with Mike on the leadoff hitter point. That’s a solid argument.

          • David, Jr.

            No. You can continue to believe that Jeter should somehow be insulated from critical analysis. Hopefully the Yankees don’t share that opinion, because they have a chance to win the World Series this year, and doing things like keeping him leading off and playing him almost every day seem designed more to cater to Jeter’s ego instead of giving the team it’s best chance to win. This will become even more obvious in the remaining years of his contract.

      • CS Yankee

        +1

  • Sayid J

    The strike zone in this game was … interesting, for both teams. I’ll just leave it at the that. The plot above (via Brooks) tells the whole story

    I don’t know what I’m missing, but that looks like a pretty good strike zone to me.

    • Across the pond

      Am I right in thinking squares are balls and triangles are strikes? I’ve asked this a few times but I always get mixed up.

      • the tenth inning stretch

        Green are balls, red are strikes. Squares are pitches thrown by Cincy, triangles are thrown by the Yankees.

        • Across the pond

          Thanking you!

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

      I think it’s the stuff off the corners that’s perplexing, especially the pitches that would be outside to RHB. There are a bunch of pitches there that were sometimes called balls an sometimes called strikes.

      • Sayid J

        Yea I mean there are definitely some inconsistencies, but it seems like anything in the actualy strike zone was called a strike 95% of the time, and then the balls that were within 1 inch of the corner were called strikes 50% of the time. Sure, you wish there could be more consistency (pitches .5 inches off the plate called strikes 80% of the time and nothing called a strike more than .5 inches off the plate – or something like that), but as far as strike zones go, it doesn’t seem bad.

        We have to remember that umps call pitches situationally. For example, those pitches that were called strikes 1 inch off the plate might have been 2-0 or 3-0 counts. Granted, it still is an ‘incorrect’ call, but that doesn’t mean it’s an inconsistent zone (IMO), because the umps aren’t missing calls, but rather purposefully calling borderline pitches strikes in certain situations to aid the pace of the game. In all likelihood, those calls go both ways.

        Obviously, this strike zone is a relatively minor issue, but I just can’t help but look at that zone and think “wow, that’s pretty consistent,” so it made me wonder what Mike was thinking.

        • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

          We have to remember that umps call pitches situationally. For example, those pitches that were called strikes 1 inch off the plate might have been 2-0 or 3-0 counts. Granted, it still is an ‘incorrect’ call, but that doesn’t mean it’s an inconsistent zone (IMO), because the umps aren’t missing calls, but rather purposefully calling borderline pitches strikes in certain situations to aid the pace of the game

          And stuff like that needs to stop, don’t you think? A pitch should be a ball or a strike, regardless of the count. The “auto-strike” thing is ridiculous. The umpire should not be overly concerned with the pace of the game in regards to non-mound-visit/stepping out stuff, but calling the game properly. If a ball is off the plate, it’s a ball.

          • Sayid J

            I tend to agree with you here that something should be done to limit this. But for the purposes of this conversation though, because umpires tend to be doing it on purpose in certain situations it makes me look at the above strike zone and think it’s perfectly acceptable, if not above average.

            I also find it entertaining that the ESPN KZone must be half the size because they were showing bad calls all night on ballsout of the zone that just don’t really translate here.

      • Sayid J

        Essentially what I’m saying is, if you go to Brook’s Baseball and just look at a random game,you’ll be quite likely to end up with a zone like last night’s or a worse zone. That doesn’t mean this zone was perfect, but as far as MLB strike zones go, it seems pretty good.

        For example: http://www.brooksbaseball.net/.....type=7.gif

        • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

          LOL that’s embarrassing.

          • Sayid J

            Yea, it’s certainly not good. And mind you, I just went to Brook’s baseball and clicked on a random game from last week and that’s what came up. So I’d imagine you could find some that are plenty worse throughout the course of a season.

  • steve s

    Mike, not sure why you think pulling Arod for a pinch runner in the 8th should be such a mystery or ill-conceived move. It’s been well-discussed (even by Arod) that he is hurting right now. Saving some wear and tear running the bases in the 8th with a 4 run lead seemed quite prudent under the circumstances.

  • Jeter = Wally Pipp
  • Ted Nelson

    Just speculating here, but A-Rod dove for a ball in the game (and to his left I believe) and reportedly that’s when the shoulder bugs him: diving for balls.

    I give Martin a lot of credit for playing through getting hit in the head with a bat and playing the next day as well… but I would have sat him immediately after that.

  • http://twitter.com/AnaMariana42 Ana

    Great win. I’m still not sold on Nova’s potential as a consistent starter, but he certainly did the job yesterday, and it’s flashes of brilliance like that that keep hope alive. He’s pitching pretty much in line with his peripherals, which is very encouraging.

    Hughes’ velocity is also encouraging, can’t wait to get him back… any word on Colon’s recovery?

    Our negative-WAR savior at shortstop is still an adventure.

  • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

    Over/under on Andruw Jones’ release date?

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

      Whatever it is, I’ll take the over.

    • Jd

      I don’t buy the rolled ankle, but the point was made. I don’t see anyone at aaa screaming for a call up. Montero needs to begin to produce more at the plate. Hopefully he will take off in the second half.

      • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

        Melky is sure to be on the block…haha.