Aug
24

Comeback falls just short as A’s tip Yanks

By

Close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades.

As I sat in Section 419 tonight and watched Coco Crisp spring back to the wall in deep left center field, I knew the A’s outfielder had a beat on the ball Nick Swisher had just blasted into the night. The only factor would be physics. Had Swisher hit the ball hard enough at the right angle so that it would just eke past the fence to give the Yanks a walk-off Grand Slam or would a ninth inning rally falter?

Crisp had his back against the wall as the ball settled into his glove. Frank Sinatra started blaring over the PA system as the remaining fans shuffled dejectedly away. The walkoff magic was not to be tonight as the A’s won 6-5. Instead, Joe Girardi‘s decisions are what doomed the Yankees, and now we’ll just have to hope that the O’Neill Theory will be in effect tomorrow.

Decision #1: Sticking with Big Bart

In the American League, a manager’s job once the game begins can be a limited one. Without the potential for a double switch, an AL manager must make some pitching changes, decide whether or not to send a runner and think about deploying the arsenal of hit and run or bunts that make up in-game strategies. Tonight, unfortunately, nothing Joe Girardi decided to do helped the Yanks win the game.

Girardi’s first decision concerned Bartolo Colon. After six innings, Colon had been reasonably effective. He wasn’t using his two-seamer, a decision he made based on the home runs Kansas City hit last week. Instead, he went to his slider, and two fat pitches were deposited over the right field wall. Through six, he had thrown over 90 pitches and had allowed three runs on six hits. That should have been fine, but with the Yanks struggling to score, Girardi pushed his pitcher for another inning.

In the seventh, facing the bottom of the lineup, Colon couldn’t get through it. After a strike out, Cliff Pennington singled and Kurt Suzuki doubled. With lefty Eric Sogard due up, Girardi went to Logan, and Bob Melvin went to right-handed Scott Sizmore. Generally, this year, Logan has been tough on righties, but Sizemore fought off a pitch that landed fair for a two-run double. It would prove costly.

I have no issue with the move to go to Logan, but I wonder about the decision to put Bart back on the mound. With his six innings tonight, Colon has now reached 130 for the first time since 2005, and the Yanks are concerned that he might be tiring. Since returning from his hamstring injury, he is 3-5 with a 4.61 ERA in just over 52 innings. He has also allowed six home runs over his last 22 innings. Before tonight, he was effective but not efficient. Now, he’s had back-to-back starts where he’s been neither effective nor efficient, and I’d love to see him get some extra rest. That, however, means more of A.J. Burnett.

Decision #2: Derek’s Big Bunt

I have spent far too much time wringing my hands over the Yanks’ bunting tendencies under Joe Girardi. An NL player who cut his teeth managing an NL team, Girardi loves to give up outs at inopportune moments. The Yankees, who entered the game leading the majors in runs scored, are seventh in the AL in sac bunts while the Red Sox, who started tonight with 670 runs, are last in the AL in bunts. The value of out, especially when only three remain, cannot be overstated.

To start the ninth, Jorge Posada homered, Russell Martin doubled and Brett Gardner reached on an error. Everyone in the stadium knew what was about to happen, and there was nothing we could to stop. Facing a pitcher who couldn’t locate his pitches and with a batter up who was 23 for his 46, Joe Girardi called for a bunt. As Steven Goldman wrote, he played for one run when he needed two, and it cost the Yanks.

When Derek Jeter made that pivotal first out of the ninth, the Yanks’ win expectancy dipped from 35 to 31. Even with two runners in scoring position, the A’s needed just a pair of outs. Curtis Granderson walked to load the bases, but Mark Teixeira popped out. Robinson Cano, showing uncharacteristic 3-2 patience, drew an RBI walk, and Nick Swisher missed that walkoff grand slam by a hair. The bunt loomed large.

After the game, Joe Girardi said calling for the bunt “wasn’t a tough decision” with the team’s big bats up next. But Jeter has been the club’s hottest hitter for weeks, and while Girardi may have been concerned over the double play, Derek hasn’t hit into many of those lately. Instead of rolling the dice on a positive outcome, Girardi went with the sure thing, and that sure thing cost the Yanks. As one of Twitter’s most vocal critics of bunting said, “That bunt guaranteed an out. That’s about it.” When outs are a scarce commodity, don’t just hand them away.

Goat: Mark Teixeira

Before we wrap up for the night, let us ponder Mark Teixeira’s evening. On a night during which the Yanks got all of one hit out of 14 chances with runners in scoring position, the Yanks’ cleanup hitter went 0 for 5 and stranded eight runners. After Granderson walked in the ninth, he took one pitch before fouling out to third. He didn’t make solid contact or get a good swing on the pitch, and that second out forced the Yanks to need a hit that never came.

Tonight, I just had to tip my cap to Brandon Allen and hope the Yanks’ decisions turn out better tomorrow. With the Yanks’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot at 27, this was a far tougher game to stomach than it shows in the standings.

Categories : Game Stories

122 Comments»

  1. Gonzo says:

    Lackey gets an ERA below 6, Montero-heavy is contributing on a ML roster, I was scared by an earthquake, and this.

  2. IRF says:

    Worst bunt of the year?

    Worst bunt of the year.

      • Moshe Mandel says:

        Really? You read Goldman’s post. It lowered them from probability of scoring 1.4 runs to 1.3 runs, and although Jeter was hot, he has been poor all year v. RHP. I wouldn’t have bunted there, but if that is the worst of the year, then they haven’t made very many poor ones at all.

        • That’s a seven percent decline in predicted offensive output. Pretty impressive to do that on one play with just three outs left in a close game.

          And you’re also not giving it a chance. I think Buck Funts’ point is a very good one. The bunt simply guarantees an out, and nothing else. Letting Jeter swing away has produced some very, very good results lately. Why stop now?

          • Moshe Mandel says:

            Which is why I wouldn’t have done it. But as I usually feel when it comes to bunts, I think the slam-dunk nature of the decision is being a tad overstated. Jamal Granger made some solid arguments for it on Twitter:

            “Jeter’s hot, but it’s still him against an elite RHP. I agree with this.Have to remember that hot/cold streaks provide little-to-no predic. value; Jeter is prone to DP; you get huge platoon swing in next two PA’s”

            I disagree, but I dont think it unreasonable.

        • tom says:

          While I don’t disagree with it being a poor decision those run expectancy #’s are misleading….

          1) It assumes league average hitters

          2) It ignores platoon effects

          3) It is measuring aggregate run expectancy but there are situations where playing for 1 run or 0 runs may make a play that doesn’t seem right, the better choice… obviously bunting cuts down on the odds of a multi run inning but there are cases where you are more concerned with the chance of scoring 1 run or 2 runs as opposed to the aggregate run expectancy.

          In this case (barring the chance of a triple play) this bunt is effectively the same as bunting while down 1 run with a guy on 1st. Not a terrible move, but a pretty marginal one, especially if the batter is not a subpar hitter.

          I wonder if the folks defending the move would think the bunt was the right play if it was 1st and 3rd? I suspect people would view it different (even though down 2 it really is no different than bunting with 1st and 2nd)

          Again I disagree with the decision to bunt, but the run expectancy is not really coverng the whole picture.

        • toad says:

          Simple run expectancy is largely irrelevant.

          Who cares about the difference between three runs and four in the inning, or no runs and one, yet both affect the run expectancy.

          What’s relevant is the chance of winning. Based on this table, you’ll win about 34% of the time if you don’t bunt, and 30% if you bunt successfully. That assumes you win half the time the game goes to extra innings.

          I guess Ben’s 35 to 31 number comes from the same kind of calculation. The main point is that all runs are not created equal, and this bunt significantly reduced the Yankees’ chance of winning. So yes, it was a very bad move.

          • Tim says:

            That table and Tango’s work on run expectancy are absolute horse manure. Any statistician worth his salt will tell you that very thing. In order to calculate his “win expectancy” or “run expectancy”, he basically went back in time and looked at every time there was a runner on first and second and no outs, then recorded how many runs scored in that situation. So when you compare first and second and no outs vs. second and third and one out, that’s how he figures on the run expectancy difference.

            This is a ludicrous, non-statistical piece of trash. In determining his “calculation”, there is no consideration for the inning, score, who’s hitting, who’s pitching, who’s the home team, where the game is played, what the batter has been doing lately, what the batter has done in his career against the pitcher, how many pitches the pitcher has thrown in the outing so far, etc, etc, etc.

            What Girardi did in calling for a bunt was ask the teams very best bunter to move the tying run into scoring position with one out, effectively giving the next FOUR Yankee hitters a shot a getting the one measly hit that would have tied or won the game. And they happen to be four of the very best hitters the Yankees have. You could argue that of those four hitters (all of whom were batting left-handed against a right-handed pitcher, BTW), three made an out (Cano should have been wrung up on that 3-2 pitch; it was clearly a strike).

            Using Tango’s run expectancy matrix to evaluate this decision is like flipping a coin 1000 times on tuesday, getting 590 heads and 410 tails, and then flipping a different coin a week later and expecting heads to come up 59% of the time. Utter nonsense.

            • Jim S says:

              Have you read Tango’s article about it? I doubt it.

              • Tim says:

                Yes, I have. And I’ve read “The Book”, too. What about what I just said above is not accurate?

                I am not opposed to sabermetrics and advanced statistical analyses, and I recognize the shortcomings of the “traditional” stats. But just like we mock those who cling to traditional stats as if they are gospel, looking at these new stats and calculations as if they are somehow better is a fool’s errand.

            • toad says:

              That table and Tango’s work on run expectancy are absolute horse manure. Any statistician worth his salt will tell you that very thing. In order to calculate his “win expectancy” or “run expectancy”, he basically went back in time and looked at every time there was a runner on first and second and no outs, then recorded how many runs scored in that situation. So when you compare first and second and no outs vs. second and third and one out, that’s how he figures on the run expectancy difference.

              I know what he did. So he took a very large sample of events and saw what happened. Why is that an atrocious idea? Sure it’s an average over lots of specific situations that vary a good bit, and it would be nice, very nice, if he put error bars around his numbers. But he didn’t.

              This is a ludicrous, non-statistical piece of trash. In determining his “calculation”, there is no consideration for the inning, score, who’s hitting, who’s pitching, who’s the home team, where the game is played, what the batter has been doing lately, what the batter has done in his career against the pitcher, how many pitches the pitcher has thrown in the outing so far, etc, etc, etc.

              Any statistician worth his salt will tell you that about half of what you list here is not very helpful. “What the batter has been doing lately?” “How he does against this pitcher?” These are not very reliable numbers. Further, win expectancy takes into account the score, inning, etc.

              Sure, there are situations where these expectancy numbers aren’t very useful. The hitter may be weak – bunt – or a high average bad bunter – swing away, for example. It’s a rough guide, neither divine writ nor trash.

              • toad says:

                Having said all that, and looked a little more closely at the numbers, let me make a comment in Girardi’s defense.

                Instead of looking at Jeter’s GDP numbers, which are affected by runners on base and so on, let’s look at his ground ball rate. In 2011, about 37% of his PA’s have resulted in ground ball outs. So the chance of a DP was pretty high, in which case the main chance is a HR from Granderson – certainly not hopeless, but still only a little better than 6%. Add in some other psoosibilities and you get to maybe 10%, and that’s for a tie.

                If the bunt works you have better than 50% to get a hit from either Granderson or Tex. With Gardner running from second that will most often produce two runs.

                So I guess the bunt call is not as bad as all that after all.

    • Brian S. says:

      I think that bunt by Granderson around May or June, I forget when it was but it happened, was worse. Granderson the MVP candidate bunting=immediate firing of Joe Girardi. That being said, this one was pretty shitty. And I may be wrong about this, but I don’t think our WPA has ever increased with any of our bunts this year.

      • Had the Yanks been down one run, I think their WPA increases with that bunt tonight. But they weren’t. And they had Derek Jeter at the plate. It was just so frustrating.

        • johnnybk says:

          I was following on gameday and it showed nothing but thigh high fastball with a lot of the plate. That’s whats frustrating. They gave a pitcher on the ropes a vital out. Had this been papelbon pitching well and the yanks getting positive results on tough pitches I could understand(still not like it) but he was firing pitches begging to be hit hard, and they were doing it. Why give him breathing room?

        • CP says:

          It’s amazing how times have changed. In May, no one would have said: “Don’t bunt because Jeter is up!”

      • IRF says:

        I vaguely remember what you’re talking about. Wish I could find the game.

        Still, this one was worse. Even if Jeter were to GIDP, you still have a a runner on third and a guy with 35 HR at the plate. I don’t get how the manager could put the outcome of the game in his hands instead of the players.

        • Tim says:

          He DID put the outcome of the game in the hands of his players. FOUR of them. FOUR of their very best hitters. And none of them got a hit. Let’s not forget why they lost the game. It wasn’t because of a bunt. It was because Teixeira popped out to third and Swisher flew out to center.

  3. Brian S. says:

    Mark Teixeira is a bum. Less than .350 OBP FTW!

  4. Dino Velvet says:

    It’s really frustrating watching the Yanks sputter simply because they’re not familiar with a pitcher.

  5. Greg says:

    So we lose our slim division lead. We’ll see what happens. By the way, according to the pythag theory we should be 81-44. Where has the difference been?

  6. Man, people need to relax. We’re still in first place. We still have a firm grip on a playoff spot. Can’t beat the bad teams all the time, baseball doesn’t work that way.

  7. Jesse says:

    Yet another gem by O’Connor: http://espn.go.com/newyork/con.....ctive-ways

    I just love ESPN. Everything they say is so spot on.

    /Extreme Sarcasm’d

    • That O’Connor piece has nothing to do with the game, does it? My solution: Don’t read his stuff. It’s worked wonders, and I’m not missing out on any news or analysis.

      • Jesse says:

        I know, I know. I loved your recap, and I love all your recaps you and Axisa do. But seriously, it was beyond ridiculous how O’Connor completely forgot that A.J Burnett was left off the ALDS roster and so was Javy Vazquez who was shifted in and out of the bullpen during the regular season, yet O’Connor says that Girardi needs to stop protecting his players and he pretty much says that he wanted Girardi to chew out Burnett to the media after their supposed shouting match when A.J got pulled. It just boggles my mind how he completely whiffed on that and he gets paid by the “Worldwide Leader in Sports”.

    • Ethan says:

      I was just reading the piece and one thing that I really don’t like with baseball scoring. If a relief pitcher comes on with a runner on first, that isn’t in scoring position, why does that count as an earned run for the pitcher who left? I mean really the guy that comes on has to have done a worse job than the guy who left. The relief pitcher gives up 3 bases and the original pitcher only gave up one. I think that ER should go to the relief pitcher.

      Only came to thought when it said in the article that Ayala cleared the bases on Burnett’s outing giving AJ 7 ER and Ayala none (or one maybe?). I think Burnett should be responsible for the runners on 2nd and 3rd but not really for the guy on first. If the relief pitcher comes on and is so bad that he allows that runner on first to score it should be his own fault and add it to his ER. Just my two cents.

      • Ethan says:

        That was a bit of a random comment I now realize.

      • Ralph says:

        That is kind of thinking through the SP or pitcher who left runner on eyes. Consider this, if the relief pitcher comes on with a runner on 1st base and no outs, strikes out the first two guys he faces then gives up a booming doouble that plats the guy on first base and then comes out and strikes the next guy out for out 3. Did he really pitch more poorly than the man he relieved? Had he come on with no one and no one out, despite giving up a double he wouldn’t have pitched worse than the pitcher before and he wouldn’t have given up any runs. So why should be be charged with an earned run cause a guy scored that he wasn’t responsible for putting on base?

  8. Kevin says:

    Bottom line, when you’re down by two, there is NO excuse to give up an out,none.
    And Tex needs to be moved down in the lineup. Time and time again in a clutch spot, he chokes.

  9. Rey22 says:

    That 9th inning was heartbreaking. I’d rather lose 6-0 than gets my hopes so up only to see them crushed.

  10. Jesse says:

    I think we all know everyone hated the bunt. Just look at the Game Thread.

    Anyways, a little off topic, but it’s a question worth asking. But does anyone know what the rotation will look like come the Boston series? I’m sure I can find out on my own, but if I find out that Burnett is supposed to pitch one of the games on my own I’ll puke.

    • Tim says:

      Yes, because the game threads on this website are indicative of the intelligent, sane Yankee fans out there in the world.

  11. dkidd says:

    jeter now has a higher obp than gardner

    /dogs and cats sleeping together’d

  12. tom says:

    How can you not have a problem with bringing in Logan?

    There is ZERO chance the A’s let their worst lefty hitter hit against a lefty… surely Girardi could have predicted he’d be pinch hit for? (with a better hitter)

    I don’t mind the decision to pull Bartolo… but bring in a righty! You want the #9 lefty batting (with a sub .200avg and an ~.600 OPS)… forcing the opposing manager to pinch hit for the guy is just dumb. (with Crisp on deck that is when you bring in Logan). Logan’s outlier performance this year against righties (in less than 50AB’s) not withstanding, I’d rather have a righty like Wade against a lefty than Logan against a righty. And if they do bring in a lefty hitter, they burn 2 players (I don’t think they had any lefty infielders on the bench, maybe one weak hitting switch hitter?) and you always have the option of walking them.

    Girardi did the same thing earlier in the year (I think it was the Rays?) and it cost them then too… bringing in a LOOGY for a bottom of the order weak hitting lefty is brain dead when you know a better right handed hitter is coming in and you lose the platoon advantage anyway.

    It’s like Girardi is playing checkers against folks playing chess (and seeing more than one move ahead)

    And could he drop Tex in the order vs righthanded starters? He’s batting ~.225 lefty and has an OPS of .290 to left field as a lefty hitter… the guy has become an absurd one dimensional hitter from the left side and should not be hitting 3rd. Against lefties I’m fine with him batting 3rd as he’s hitting .300, has an OPS over .700 to all fields and is not a one dimensional pull hitter. If/when ARodis back in the lineup, Tex should be hitting 6th vs righties (if he goes with Gardner as leadoff)

    • Logan has been better against righties than lefties this year. He’s not a pitcher with extreme splits. I could see going to Cory Wade, who gets out lefties as well, but I can’t fault him for going to Logan there, not with the way he’s been pitching of late.

      Of course, pinch hitting there was the most obvious move in the history of obvious moves.

      • tom says:

        I’d go with 3 years of data over the less than 50 AB’s this year (and the split is indeed massive when you look at a real sample size)

        Logan vs righties from ’08-10 has an over .900OPS against (and a 240point OPS split)…. unless he’s started throwing a changeup this year (or he did something else dramatic), 46AB’s is noise…. and in keeping with the Girardi ‘logic’ of applying stats and numbers.

        • In that case, it should be decision #3 that backfired. Go with Cory Wade and believe that he can get out the crappy lefty Eric Sogard. I’m putting too much faith in Logan’s recent numbers and not enough in his overall body of work.

          • Dan says:

            I agreed. I had a major problem with going to Logan. I was at the game last night and the second I saw Girardi going to Logan and not Wade I knew it was going to backfire. Why allow the A’s to pinch hit with a better hitter against a lefty? I could see it if the next two or three batters were going to be left handed hitters, but he stayed in to face two more righty hitters. What was the purpose of even having Wade getting warmed up if you aren’t going to bring him in there. I don’t see how you can’t fault Girardi for making that move, he had to know that the A’s were going to pinch hit for Sogard and bring in a hitter that hits lefties well.

  13. Kevin says:

    Girardi made several poor choices tonight. BUt it is what it is. Let’s just put this aside and focus on winning the series.

  14. Karl Krawfid says:

    I wish A-Rod was in the lineup.

    I wish Tex would bat 5th.

    Tex sucks.

  15. Rich in NJ says:

    Bunt is a four-letter word for reason.

  16. Phife Dawg says:

    I was at the game and sat in the bleachers (201) and legit thought Swisher’s fly out was leaving the yard. Sigh.

    I was surprised that everyone in my section wasn’t flipping out over the bunt. Pretty much fucked up the entire inning.

  17. Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

    How come no one is talking about the offense in the first 7 innings, completely getting shut down by Mccarthy. I get that he’s good and all, but the Yankees offense should do better than 5 hits and no runs through 7 innings.

  18. forensic says:

    First game since May 2nd (yes, MAY 2nd) that the A’s hit more than 2 homers in one game. Well done pitching…

  19. Tackaberry says:

    I really feel that the only way to stop this bunting madness is to get the stadium to chant “DO NOT BUNT! DO NOT BUNT!” every time the situation arises. Bottom of the 7th down 2 runs, 1st and 2nd with 0 outs and Grandy at the plate? “DO NOT BUNT!” Maybe Girardi will catch the drift or Curtis will listen.

    #crazyideadepartment

    • Short Porch says:

      At this point, it is up to the fans to stop the madness.

      No help from those pinheads in the booth on this of course, or Sterling/Waldman.

      “So you’re playing strategist, what do you do now?” “Bunt.” Idiots.

  20. Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan says:

    I’m not a fan of sac bunts, but in this case it wasn’t the end of the world for me. I was more irritated by Mark Teixeira’s pathetic attempt to be productive. Yeesh, that popup was fucking frustrating to watch.

    • Greg says:

      Agreed. It was a really tough call and you can see the logic both ways. On one side you let the hottest hitter bat and on the other side you get the ting run into scoring position with you rmost productive players up.

  21. Monteroisdinero says:

    One would think that Girardi’s analytical mind would be able to synthesize the data as the RABbi’s do and not give up an out in the 9th down by two. Have your hottest hitter bunt when that guy is the DJ3K hit machine (of late)? Amazing. How about a hit and run to shake things up? How about pinch running Nunez for Martin?

    Joe is from the nice guy-old school manager heap. He is predictable.

  22. JohnC says:

    I had no problem with the decision to have Jeter bunt. AS hot as he’s been, you always fear the DP with him. With your 3 and 4 hitters coming up, thought it was the right move. One hit ties the game. Lets not let Tex off the hook here. He’s been abysmal all year in these situations

    • the Other Steve S. says:

      I guarantee you if Jeter had hit into a double play all these jokers would be talking about how, maybe, it would have been a good idea for him to bunt.

      • Jim S says:

        You’re just not right, then. At least concerning the authors of the site.

        • the Other Steve S. says:

          ‘all these jokers’ refers to the commenters. The authors have made their disdain for bunting clear ‘ad nauseum’. I don’t even think they would approve of Tex bunting for doubles down the third base line.

  23. LarryM.,Fl. says:

    1. The bunt IMHO is correct play.
    2. All players did something positive except Tex.
    3. tex. needs to be dropped in the lineup to 5 or 6.
    4. Jeter is hot but after 3 hits and prone to ground balls up the middle, bunt. One out with two more to get the job done.
    5. Bailey was ripe for the picking. No control.
    6. Swisher could have shown more patience but I can’t find fault with his swing and result.
    7. If Girardi errored its with Bartolo staying in the game after 90 pitches. I questioned this move.
    8. Today is a new day with more info for Girardi to get this team in playoff mode.

    • Jim S says:

      Your reason #5 contradicts reason #1. Jeter is patient, odds are he would have been in a hitter’s count, and he hasn’t grounded in to many DPs lately, vs RHP or LHP.

      • LarryM.,Fl. says:

        I don’t think so because IMHO Jeter’s sacrifice placed two runners in scoring position. Bailey being wild and ripe for the pickimg meant he would have to groove pitches to Granderson and Tex. Two shots at the apple. Worst case scenario Jeter who hits many ground balls hits into the DP then we have man on third and the need for HR. Now second and third one single from either player, one double from either player. Many more possibilities to score two.

        Its not and easy decision but a safe one. Unfortunately it fell a bit short. The learning experience from all this strategy review. Tex. needs to be moved down in the lineup. He’ll have more RBI’s with a .290 Ave. in the three hole than .248. So move him back and make the back end more threatening.

        Cano, Arod, Swisher and Tex. sounds more efficient than the present lineup. Tex. believes the focus is HR and RBi’s. Yes. but situational hitting is much more productive. He’s trying to lift everything into the seats AKA Adan Dunn with less strikeouts. How much of Dunn can you take.

        • Jim S says:

          Either way you need a hit to score the tying run. If you bunt, you have 2 opportunities to get that hit. If you don’t, you have 3 opportunities.

          I think we have different definitions of “many more possibilities”.

        • David, Jr. says:

          I like your lineup change, Larry. Cano is ideal at #3. It won’t happen because The Binder just doesn’t do things that way. Texy is his 3-guy.

      • Jorge says:

        No it doesn’t. I disagree with #1, but #5 does not contradict it. He could be saying that a two-out-single with RISP was a pretty reasonable outcome.

  24. ArchStanton says:

    To me, Tex’s continued struggles were the bigger issue to me then the bunt, which was frustrating as well. But it’s time to drop this guy in the order.

  25. MUIDATS EEKNAY says:

    That ball 4 to Cano absolutely looked like strike 3, and Gameday at least showed it as borderline. I kinda wished he’d protected the plate there a little more and maybe done something with that pitch.

    The real gut-punch, though, was the 93-mph meatball right down the middle that Granderson *just missed*. He was all over the pitcher in that at-bat.

  26. David, Jr. says:

    With all the talk about the bunt and Tex and Girardi, no mention of the biggest story from the game. Bart was one of the best surprises of the year, but he is looking just about done. I see them going in the playoffs with CC, Nova, Hughes, and Garcia.

    • Mike HC says:

      He was still pumping some 95 mph fastballs in there and was consistently well above 90. I wouldn’t call that just about done.

      He did throw some 2 seamers last night that just never really had the movement he got earlier in the year. It is a concern, definitely agree with that, but not one to call him done on yet.

      • David, Jr. says:

        Agree with what you say, but don’t like the recent trending when you look at it with an eye on his innings count compared to recent years.

  27. Monteroisdinero says:

    Bart without his 2 seamer just cannot dominate like he did earlier in the year. I would have him skip a start after the doubleheader weekend and then come back stronger hopefully with the 2 seamer. He will get crushed in the post season without it.

    As for the last inning-having Nunez pinch run at 2B and faking a bunt with a double steal or hit and running with Jeter would have been nice to see. Put the pressure on!

    • David, Jr. says:

      I thought the pinch run was a no brainer. Nunie has shown this year that he scores on virtually anything. Why in the world didn’t The Binder do that?

    • Jim S says:

      Doing something like that with the heart of your order coming up? IMO worse than bunting.

  28. Bronx Byte says:

    This year’s Yankees don’t have the knack for walkoff wins or many come from behind wins. Live by the home run – die by the home run.

    • Monteroisdinero says:

      True. I thought I heard the stat was 2 wins/41 losses when losing after 8 innings.

      • Jim S says:

        That stat means almost nothing. There are so many contextual clues you’re leaving out, I can’t read any actual information out of that.

    • Jim S says:

      That “knack” is mostly luck.

      We haven’t been lucky this year. And yet we’re in the hunt for the AL East and have a playoff spot nearly wrapped up.

      Also we aren’t even the most hr-dependent team in the league now, that meme died in June.

    • Jorge says:

      Optical illusion. AJ’s pies just aren’t hitting them square in the face in the anymore.

      /AJisworthless

  29. Mike HC says:

    Watching that bunt happen was definitely the most frustrating part of this game. We not only needed 2 runs to tie, but 3 to win. How did giving up 1 of our only 3 outs left make any sense at all?

    Swisher’s grand slam bid falling a couple of feet short was pretty frustrating too, but that wasn’t a decision made by our manager.

    And agreed with the poster above who pointed out that Granderson’s bunt earlier in the season also stands out as a horrible bunting decision.

  30. Ted Nelson says:

    You can make a strong argument against bunting without building a strawman out of both the chances of succeeding without bunting and the chances of succeeding with bunting.

    • Jim S says:

      So instead of criticizing the way the article went about attacking the bunt, why not show us how to make that argument? Wouldn’t that add more to the discussion?

      Plus 80% of the comments in this thread have been about exactly that. Although strawmen have been plentiful there too.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Instead of criticizing my comment, why not make your own comment? Wouldn’t that add more to the discussion?

        I read the article and that’s what I felt like writing. So that’s what I wrote. If you don’t like it, I really couldn’t care less. By the same token, Ben might not care less what I felt about his argument. I was just offering my opinion since this is an open forum.

        • Jim S says:

          Because you do this all the time and it’s irritating, because you have so much more to add(which you also do frequently).

        • Jim S says:

          And you didn’t even both explaining how Ben was creating a Strawman. You just said he was, as if it were fact.

          • Jim S says:

            bother*

          • Tim says:

            OK. I will then. Posted above by me:

            That table and Tango’s work on run expectancy are absolute horse manure. Any statistician worth his salt will tell you that very thing. In order to calculate his “win expectancy” or “run expectancy”, he basically went back in time and looked at every time there was a runner on first and second and no outs, then recorded how many runs scored in that situation. So when you compare first and second and no outs vs. second and third and one out, that’s how he figures on the run expectancy difference.

            This is a ludicrous, non-statistical piece of trash. In determining his “calculation”, there is no consideration for the inning, score, who’s hitting, who’s pitching, who’s the home team, where the game is played, what the batter has been doing lately, what the batter has done in his career against the pitcher, how many pitches the pitcher has thrown in the outing so far, etc, etc, etc.

            What Girardi did in calling for a bunt was ask the teams very best bunter to move the tying run into scoring position with one out, effectively giving the next FOUR Yankee hitters a shot a getting the one measly hit that would have tied or won the game. And they happen to be four of the very best hitters the Yankees have. You could argue that of those four hitters (all of whom were batting left-handed against a right-handed pitcher, BTW), three made an out (Cano should have been wrung up on that 3-2 pitch; it was clearly a strike).

            Using Tango’s run expectancy matrix to evaluate this decision is like flipping a coin 1000 times on tuesday, getting 590 heads and 410 tails, and then flipping a different coin a week later and expecting heads to come up 59% of the time. Utter nonsense.

            • Jim S says:

              I saw your comment. No need to post it twice.

              “Facing a pitcher who couldn’t locate his pitches and with a batter up who was 23 for his 46″

              If anything, win expectancy is UNDER-rating how much that bunt hurt us, since the batter at the plate is batting ~.300, hitting a lot better than that as of late, the pitcher couldn’t locate for shit, and we had Gardner on 1st, who is, anecdotally, as good as anyone at breaking up double plays.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            I was trying not to spend too much time or too many words on it.

            “Instead of rolling the dice on a positive outcome, Girardi went with the sure thing, and that sure thing cost the Yanks.”

            It did lower their chances of winning according to the accepted predictor (which is very simplistic and perhaps Girardi and the Yankees’ stats people disagree with… or perhaps not), but it *may* have ultimately hurt them and probably left them in much the same position they would have been in had Jeter hit or a better position (he’s going to make an out about 65% of the time, and probably a lot of those outs don’t even advance the runners).

            “with a batter up who was 23 for his 46″

            You’re hot until you’re cold.

            “he played for one run when he needed two, and it cost the Yankees”

            Again… I’m willing to bet it probably did not cost the Yankees, and probably did not change the outcome of the game. Hurt their chances maybe, but if it did it was marginal.

            How is getting runners on 3rd AND 2nd… two runners in scoring position… with maybe the fastest man in the league on 2nd playing for one run and not two??????????? A hit now scores how many runs? With runners on 1st and 2nd one out or worse (what I’m willing to bet is the most likely outcome with Jeter hitting… either making an out that doesn’t advance the runners or worse GIDP)… how many runs score on a single? One.

            If one wants to point to run expectancy and say that one disagrees with Girardi’s decision… ok. If one wants to question it as a long-term strategy… fine. If one wants to act like Girardi cost them the game… not ok. May have, may not have. If one wants to act like the difference between bunting and not bunting is night and day… 100% success vs. 100% failure… not fine.

            • Jim S says:

              Thanks, and I mostly agree with everything you just said.

              I’m against the bunt, but even in the case that win expectancy were absolutely accurate, it’s not the biggest swing in that game. And I don’t think you can just calculate it as simply as people do, I think it needs to be weighted against the likely outcomes.

              For instance, let’s say there’s a 10% chance Jeter GIDPs, a 20% chance he makes an out but advances the runners anyway, a 40% chance he makes an unproductive out, and a 30% chance he gets a hit. Wouldn’t we have to weight the WE for all those scenarios?

              I agree, it’s not cut and dry. I’m on the side that believes the bunt hurt, but if I said at the time that the GIDP wasn’t in the back of my head, I’d be lying. I was more frustrated at Tex than anything.

  31. Kilgore Trout says:

    Girardi left Colon out to dry. His job is to take these guys out when they become tired and he pulled a Grady Little. Best bullpen in baseball and he refuses to use them until the damage is already done.

    The bunt was a horrific decision with your hottest hitter. The manager doesn’t win games for you but he sure as hell can lose them and Girardi lost one last night. I just hope that doesn’t happen in the playoffs.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      You know that Girardi usually gets criticized for overusing his pen and underusing his starters, right?

      • Kilgore Trout says:

        Not by me he don’t. Anytime he wants to go to the best bullpen in baseball is fine by me, especially a well rested pen. I hope that with no need to save the arms in the pen in the playoffs that in a similar situation Girardi would go to his relievers.

    • Mike HC says:

      I don’t think you can completely blame Girardi for not having Colon on like a 90 pitch count from here on out. If you trust the guy to go out and start, you have to trust that he can throw more than 90 pitches.

  32. Frank says:

    The primary focus here has been on the bunt vs. no bunt, but let’s not forget the Yanks went 2-20 with runners on base last night, 1-13 with RISP. You can focus on the 9th inning and who didn’t come through, or which decision is correct, but the simple fact is they left a village on base throughout the previous 8 innings. As for Colon, I agree 100% with Ben on this one. This man has pitched more innings this season than the last 3 seasons combined. It’s clear as day he’s hit a wall and is running on fumes. He gave them 6 serviceable innings. The Yanks had a rested BP. Wade should gave come in to start the 7th- had that happened, I’m convinced it’s a different outcome. Why the hell is Girardi trying to squeeze one more inning out of Colon? Inexcusable. As for Texeira, I think it’s time we accept the fact this guy is just not having a very good year. Yes, he has 30+ HRS and 90+ RBIs, but this guy is a streaky hitter. But quite often, and last night was a perfect example, his ABs have just not been very good. And I really wonder about him in the clutch. Everybody used to get on A-Rod, but somehow Tex gets a pass.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Is hitting with RISP a skill or luck?

      Girardi gets criticized to death for not leaving his starters in long enough. I agree with taking Colon out… but I just think that goes to show that people need to stop criticizing so much for taking guys out. Everyone in the rotation besides CC is someone I would rather see come out too early than too late.

    • Jim S says:

      Teams that get a lot of men on base will tend to leave a lot more men on base. Would it have been less frustrating to go 1-2 with RISP? I’m not so sure.

      I agree re: Tex, even though rationally I know he’s still producing(HRs are valuable any way you slice it), and that his BABIP is below is career norms, I still hate seeing him at the plate in big situations.

  33. Jorge says:

    Wow. To me, this was the kind of game which hurts to holy hell when it ends, but you wake the next morning feeling proud of the team’s effort and the life they showed at the end. It suddenly doesn’t feel so bad. Sabathia/Cahill is either a sure thing or certain doom, but I’m betting on the former tonight. Go Yanks!

    The bunt was terrible. Whether to leave Bartolo in or not fades a bit for me knowing the team was able to come back.

    • Jim S says:

      Yeah why in the world would people be complaining about how unclutch and awful we are? Down by 6 that late in the game, and we made it a 1 run game with a real chance to tie/win?

      I think it proves the resiliency of the team, if anything.

    • Kilgore Trout says:

      I think the unclutch arguments are directly at just one person- Teixera.

      We’ve done well against Cahill, real well. I think we’ll crush him again tonight. Last time he pitched in Yankee Stadium we did a number on him.

  34. Jorge says:

    Also, Ian O’Connor feels like one of those fake Pro Wrestling Illustrated writers from the 80′s – literally making things up. Idiot.

  35. Prof. Plum says:

    Bartolo has faought the good fight, but he is fading. I believe he will be in the bullpen for the playoffs.

  36. Dave says:

    All the defensive team ever wants is to get an out without giving up a run (sometimes they’re even willing to give up a run to get that out). If you had said to the A’s before the bunt, you get an out but we get to put our runners wherever we want, they would have jumped at it. Their pitcher was struggling, our hitter was red hot and hasn’t hit into a double play in two weeks. That play made no sense. Not sure it’s all on Giardi though. Likely Jeter does it even if doesn’t get the call from the bench.

    • Monteroisdinero says:

      I’m betting it was a manager-called bunt. I’d have pinch run Nunez at second and gone for the hit and run or fake bunt double steal (in that order).

      • Dan says:

        When I saw them trying to bunt, I was thinking the same thing. Though I thought with Martin at 2nd they should still try a double steal. Martin is fast for a catcher and has shown he can steal a few bases and closers are usually pretty bad at holding runners so he should get a good jump and its easier to steal 3rd with a right handed hitter up.

        • Dave says:

          Nearly half of Granderson/Texeira’s hits this year have been doubles or better. If they’re going to get a hit, it’s just as likely it will be for extra bases as a single. With Gardner on 1st there’s no reason to risk a steal. Just let Jeter hit away against a pitcher who’s on the ropes.

  37. first time lawng time says:

    I got bored so I changed the channel during the 7th. I guess I missed a heartbreaker, huh?

  38. Jimmy says:

    How about a single up the middle. Two runs score. Yankees win. That is what I want there.

    Not that I fault Swisher, it was a good at bat. But I do think that too much is made of the bunt/not bunt. I didn’t want Jeter to bunt because he is completely locked in, seemingly hitting everything solid since he came back. But the point that the 2 league leaders in RBI are following him with men on 2nd and 3rd and one out (with Cano and Swisher to follow) and all batting left handed is a reasonable assessment that should not be so quickly dismissed.

    • jay destro says:

      hey jimmy, swisher hit a home run to make the game interesting. how about you just live with the fact that they didn’t win, move on and be done with it…

      • Didn’t you realize that those 3 runs didn’t matter since we didn’t win?

        /sigh

        Of all the people to blame, Swisher is the most laughable.

      • Jimmy says:

        Sorry for the misunderstood post. I wasn’t blaming Swisher for the loss or for his out (I stated it was a good at bat), I was just a poor attempt at humor in responding to Ben’s question from above when he asked “what more do you want there?” regarding the Swisher final at bat, and if I am honest about the question-with the benefit of hindsight-I would have preferred to win with a single. But my point was actually more in line with your response in that the bunt didn’t pay off (and I didn’t agree with it) but it was not that unreasonable of a call and we should all “move on and be done with it” and hope that CC can limit the A’s to single digit hits tonight.

    • seimiya says:

      “Not that I fault Swisher, but it really is his fault.”

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.