Open Thread: Winning cures everything

Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II, AP

So that was a pleasing win today. Not gonna lie, the first oh, seven innings or so had me shouting expletives and wishing everyone not named Robinson could be DFA’d, but they pulled it off. I guess I was still aggravated over that disaster from yesterday. Give it up to A.J. Burnett, that was nothing short of an ace-like performance on a day with a short and unreliable bullpen behind him.

If you’re not out enjoying the long weekend, use this as your open thread. The ESPN Sunday Night Game is the Rangers at the Twins (Derek Holland vs. Scott Baker), and that’s pretty much it for sports. You know what so do, so take it away.

Hi-A prospects: Tampa

This is the third installment of our four-part What’s going on with some of my favorite minor leaguers? series. Today, we head down south to Tampa, Florida, where the Hi-A Tampa Yankees might actually be the most popular baseball team in town, which is really actually kind of sad. (I know the Trop sucks and it’s a hassle to go to, but c’mon Tampa fans, please watch your team play baseball. They’re really good. /unrelated rant)

Tampa features the most intriguing pitching staff in the Yankee farm with Adam Warren, Andrew Brackman, Graham Stoneburner and fan-favorite Pat Venditte. Among hitters, only Bradley Suttle and Corban Joseph really stick out at you, although Melky Mesa is also a fairly well-known name. I know he’s a fun novelty item, but I just don’t see Venditte (or Mesa) as a real prospect, so the list will only include Warren, Brackman, Stoneburner, Suttle and Joseph. We’ll start with the hitters.

Hitters:

Bradley Suttle, 3B

Drafted as an above-slot bonus baby in the 4th round of the 2007 MLB draft, Suttle was known for two things – 1) He had a fantastic hit tool, maybe the best in that entire draft; and 2) he also happens to be this man in disguise:

Suttle, before practice in 2010.

Suttle has Type-1 diabetes. Since coming into the system, he’s been pretty up and down and his time has been largely marred by injury. In 2008 at Charleston he put up a line of .272/.345/.457. I wouldn’t call it a bad season, but it’s not eye-catching either. You’d ideally like a bit more out of a guy considered by many to be the best pure hitter in college coming out of the draft, but he didn’t totally struggle either. Still, it seems odd that a guy known for great plate discipline would notch 91 strikeouts and only 42 walks in 372 plate appearances.

But where Suttle really struggled was against southpaws – he hit .219/.323/.324 against them while at Charleston. For a guy without a great defensive reputation, with average power and mediocre athleticism, that sort of thing isn’t what moves you up the levels. Still, all things considered, Suttle had a fairly decent season.

But ut-oh! 2009 was entirely missed due to multiple shoulder injuries, including labrum surgery. Not great for a guy that might not have profiled as a 3B anyway. Arm strength is kind of critical. So we fast forward to 2010. On the year, Suttle is hitting .242/.306/.327. As you can see, he’s not hitting for any power but he’s also hitting 46% of balls into the ground. If you don’t have very good speed, you’re not going to see a lot of those fall in for hits. He’s also struck out 44 times in 165 AB’s and walked 16 times. That approach will get you nowhere if you don’t at least make solid contact when you do hit the ball. As I’ve said, he doesn’t. But there are some bright spots. He’s hitting left-handers better this year at .317/.344/.362 but that’s also aided by a BABip of .404. Considering his age at the level, the injury issues and the regression in on-base skills, it’s hard to see Suttle going much further. Hopefully he’s still feeling the ill-effects of surgery and will bounce back and at least show off great hitting skills.

2010 season at Hi-A: .242/.306/.327

Last ten games: .206/.293/.206

Corban Joseph, 2B:

Corban Joseph Multi-Pass was the Yankees’ fourth-round pick of the 2008 draft. Originally drafted as a shorstop, it seems most people didn’t believe he could stay there, including the Yankees, who moved him to second base. He also rated negatively (per Total Zone on B-Ref) at Charleston in a limited sample, but he it’s unlikely he’d develop the power to play at a corner, so 2nd would likely be a position he’ll have to pick up to move up and be a big-league player at some point. But he was solid at the hot corner, so maybe the team would direct him along the path of Kevin Russo. Who knows.

Now, that said, CoJo can hit. Last year in Charleston he was one of the more consistent hitters, throwing a line up of .300/.381/.418. He had a line drive rate of 25% and was pretty even with his strikeouts to walks ratio (61/49). He did have a crazy-high BABip over the last few months which made up for early season struggles, so it really was a tale of two seasons. So what has 2010 looked like for the Tennessee native?

He’s again one of the better hitters on the team and still a young player at 21. He’s hitting .303/.354/.415 and has two home runs on the year. I don’t know how his defense has been on the season, but his stick has again been very solid. He’s really the only hitter I can see on the Tampa team realistically continuing to move up with a real shot in the show. At this rate anyway. Still, the defense will have to really improve.

2010 season at Hi-A: .300/.381/.418

Last ten games: .343/.425/.371

Pitchers

Adam Warren, SP

What can I say about Adam Warren that hasn’t already been said? The dude has just been straight rolling though Hi-A hitters. It’s not even fair. Selected out of the University of North Carolina (go Heels!) in the 4th round of the 2009 draft, Warren should be a guy that advances quickly. He was a polished college senior, had an uptick of velocity (hitting 96) and has the potential to impact the big club possibly as early as 2011. Last year at Staten Island he ran over New York Penn League hitters, holding them with an ERA of 1.43 and solid peripherals.

In Tampa, he’s thrown 54 innings with just 14 walks and has registered 40 strikeouts. Batters are hitting .235 against him, which jumped considerably due to a poor outing on Friday. Per MILBSPLITS, Warren has gotten tons of groundballs (60%) and has kept the ball in the park (3% HR/FB ratio). I’m not sold that will look the same in Trenton, but there’s nothing it seems Warren needs to learn here at Hi-A. Expect to see him in lovely Trenton very shortly. If anyone knows how his velocity has been and the look of his secondary pitches this year, please let me know. As you can see by his last two starts, he finally ran into some trouble this year. Hey, it happens. He was lopped for 5 runs in less than three innings before exiting the game. No biggie. He’ll be fine.

2010 season at Hi-A: 54 IP, 2.67 ERA, 48 hits, 18 runs, 40 K, 14 BB, 2.43 GB/AA

Last two starts: 7.2 IP, 7.83 ERA, 8 hits, 6 Runs, 3 K, 0BB

Andrew Brackman.

Andrew Brackman, SP

Maybe one of the more hated prospects in the Yankee system, Andrew Brackman has had a strange season thus far. Signed as a classic bust/boom player as the Yankees’ 1st round pick in 2007, I don’t think anyone really expected what they saw out of him last year. Plagued with wildness and diminished stuff last season, he needed to show some positive signs of development this year. And he has. Brackmonster started the season off as we saw him in the throes of last year: 20 runs in 16.2 innings. Still, despite the crazy amount of runs, he walked one batter in that time frame. I can’t begin to tell you how unbelievable that is.

And check this out: he’s gotten much, much better since that bad stretch. Brackman has had only one start since then in which he’s given up more than one run. The walks are still minuscule at 5(!) in 38 innings and he’s notched 29 strikeouts this year. That’s pretty good. But the weird thing is it hasn’t fallen in with his scouting report. Kevin Goldstein reported that he’s been in the low-90’s (touching 94) with bad breaking balls. I don’t quite know how someone is able to put numbers up like this with two bad breaking balls and a fastball in the low 90’s, so I’m thinking maybe Goldstein saw him earlier in the season when he was getting bombed.

In May, which sandwiched a few rough starts with the rest of his good starts, Brackmonster has gotten hitters to ground out in 58% of at bats, his FIP is a crisp 3.24 and he wasn’t getting battered by a BABip of .455 like he did in April. Yeah, .455. Wow! I’m not going to say he pitched very well in April, but that’s an unbelievably high BABip, even in the minors. His FIP in April, after all, was only 4.20. He really wasn’t as bad as the box score would indicate.

The stuff is perhaps more important than the results. If Brackman is hitting 96 with his nasty hammer curve (two pitches that once hit 80 on the scale), I’d rather have that than weak stuff but solid results. Andrew Brackman just isn’t a prospect without a great fastball and breaking ball. At best he becomes John Rausch, who while a productive baseball player with similar size, relies on control. Andrew Brackman has never featured that. It’s totally possible he could, but I wonder how far he could get without great stuff. I’m hoping he’ll regain that velocity and feel for his curve. If Brackman does develop (a huge if), that’s easily the best pitcher in the system in terms of talent. Definitely my favorite guy to watch not named Jesus.

2010 Hi-A season:

38 IP, 5.92 ERA, 48 hits, 28 runs, 29 K, 5BB

Last two starts: 12 IP, 0.83 ERA, 9 hits, 1 run, 9 K, 2 BB

Graham Stoneburner, SP

One of the overslot signings of the 2009 draft, Stoneburner, featuring a plus-name and a lot of potential, has unequivocally been one of the best pitchers in the Yankee farm this season. You may remember he started the year in Charleston, where he stole batters’ lunch money and did donuts in the faculty parking lot. He brutalized them until being promoted in mid-May. How’s he looked in his promotion?

Well, there’s such a thing as a free lunch still in Tampa. Stoneburner, in 22 innings, has an ERA of 3.68 and has struck out 24. He does have 10 walks and had two very sharp starts and two rocky outings, so the consistency is not quite completely there at Tampa. In Charleston he was able to use his heavy sinking fastball to register a GB% of 55% and it’s particularly high against righties. Lefties seem to fare better against Stoneburner. In Tampa they’ve racked up 7 runs in 9.2 innings and 8 walks. That’ll need to improve but there’s a lot to like about Stoneburner’s hot start this year. He has a great arm and he continues to rack up strikeouts and limit walks. Spare a couple poor outings, Stoneburner’s been unreal this season. He might end up a reliever if his breaking balls don’t fully develop, but even in that role, he could be a good one. And one that rises quickly.

2010 Hi-A season:

22 IP, 3.68 ERA, 11 hits, 9 runs, 24 K, 10 BB

Last two starts: 12 IP, 2.50 ERA, 6 hits, 3 runs, 13 K, 4 BB

Ok folks, that’s all from Tampa. When I get back from vacation we’ll do Charleston. You can check out some of my other work at http://www.mystiqueandaura.com/

Posada could be close to returning

Out with a hairline fracture on the bottom of his right foot, Jorge Posada appears to be close to returning to the Yankees lineup. “I think a lot of it is going to take care of itself when we see him run, which is real close,” said Joe Girardi. The perpetually optimistic Posada has been swinging the bat in the cage this weekend, and thinks he could be back in time for the team’s three game series in Toronto starting Friday. Girardi acknowledged that a rehab assignment is possible, however. Either way, it’s good to see him on his way back.

Yankee catchers are hitting just .227-.308-.295 (.294 wOBA) since Posada got hurt, so his return to lineup will be very, very welcome.

Game 50: What’s the opposite of a lefty killer?

The Yankees need a win today. It’s not a season-defining game by any stretch, but the best cure for yesterday’s meltdown is a decisive win. If they do that, we can forget yesterday and look to tomorrow. If they don’t, the harping over yesterday’s loss will only amplify.

In part one, A.J. Burnett needs to be more like Phil Hughes than CC Sabathia. He was rolling along in Minnesota last time out before the sky opened up. He was at a good pace pitch-wise, and had struck out five Twins in five innings. The biggest thing from him was the adjustment on the curveball. The big, looping, power curveball wasn’t working, so he went with a more subtle one. It acted as an off-speed pitch, which was all he needed it to do. If he does have that power curve today, watch out.

On the hill for the Indians is the former Red Sock Justin Masterson. The Indians acquired him in the Victor Martinez deal, and have had him in the rotation ever since. This year hasn’t gone too well for him, as he has allowed 37 runs, 32 earned, in 47 innings. The book on him says that lefties hit him hard. This year that has been his biggest weakness. Teams have stacked lefties against him — 122 of the 229 batters he has faced have been left-handed. They have hit a collective .386/.483/.545 against him, striking out just 14 times to 18 walks.

Masterson actually gets a bit lucky here. Normally the Yankees would have the switch-hitting Jorge Posada behind the plate, which would leave the lineup with just two righties, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. Instead they’ll have a third righty, Chad Moeller. That still means six left-handed hitters, with two of the righties representing two of the best hitters on the team.

In Chad Jennings’s pregame notes he notes that Joe Girardi will stick with Joba Chamberlain in the eighth inning. He’s had a rough stretch lately, but all relievers will. If this is the worst of it, Joba will be fine. But he has to continue pitching if they’re going to find out.

Lineup:

1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez. 3B
5. Robinson Cano, 2B
6. Nick Swisher, RF
7. Juan Miranda, DH
8. Brett Gardner, CF
9. Chad Moeller, C

And on the mound, number thirty-four, A.J. Burnett.

What’s up, ZZ?

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Remember when the year started? We began in Boston with Yankee ace Sabathia throwing the first game. Well, CC didn’t do so hot. He was bludgeoned with 5 runs in only 5 1/3 innings. We saw him struggle to start the year in 2009 as well. No reason to panic, right? By the end of April, fans and sportswriters were calling for Sabathia’s head on a pike. Well, as you may also remember, after the Boston series, Hey ZZ did fairly well, blowing out the Rays in April with an oh-so-close no-hitter that wasn’t. He followed it up with a gem of a game against the Rangers with nine strikeouts in 7 2/3rds of 3-hit ball. Things were looking good. And then the outings started to drop a bit. Oakland saw him issue six walks, Baltimore hit him 11 times and each successive game seemed to feature Sabathia “gritting” out a victory but not looking too sharp, or getting tagged for 5 runs in 5 or 6 innings. Over his last five starts, Sabathia has only had a positive WPA in one of them (the start against Boston on the 18th).

Let’s take a look at CC’s peripherals and see if we can figure out what’s at least changed, even if there’s nothing to worry about. What exactly has gone wrong?

The first thing you’ll probably notice with CC’s year thus far is his strikeouts and walks. He’s striking out less than seven batters per game (6.81 k/9) while giving up more walks than we’ve seen since 2004 (2.90 BB/9). His groundball rate is an oddly high 49% on the year, up 7 percentage points from 2009. Still, he threw up a GB% of 49.5 in 2004, so it’s not completely unheard of. And we’ll get to more of that later. He’s also benefited from fairly good defense and luck. His BABip is .272, which is the lowest it’s been at any point in his big league career.

CC's K/BB ratio taken from Fangraphs.com

He’s currently outperforming his peripherals with his ERA, which comes in at 4.16 on the season. His FIP in 2010 is a decidedly un-CC-like 4.46. The rub here though is his xFIP, which basically normalizes home runs and adjusts the FIP. Here we see CC fall in line closer with his ERA, notching a 4.11 xFIP. Why would this be? Well, his HR/FB rate is a wacky 13%, easily a career high by a fairly wide margin. This is not to say CC’s pitched like the guy we know he can, but he’s definitely been burned by the home run, and trends suggest it likely won’t continue at such a rate.

But here’s where it gets weird: you know how we talk about pitchers using all of their pitches effectively and mixing up counts to stymie hitters? Sure you do! Generally we say it about Hughes and his proclivity to  go fastball-cutter-fastball-cutter. Or Joba and the guess-what-3-2 slider. Well, Sabathia hasn’t fallen down that path. No, he’s gone the other way. Generally a guy known to throw his potent four-seamer 60% of the time, Sabathia has been throwing it 48% of the time this year. Instead, he’s been relying on his two-seam fastball 18% of the time, up from 3% last year. Unfortunately, no data is available (that I’m aware of) to suggest a trend or an outlier, but whatever the case, it’s clear that CC isn’t as comfortable with his primary fastball this year, unlike that of the recent past. Could it be that he’s feeling some tiredness due to his extreme workload the past few seasons?

On the year his velocity has been down by about 1 mph on the fastball. We’re only on the doorstop of June so as the weather heats up, we should expect it to rise in line with what we’ve seen in the past. Take a look at his average velocity through this point last year and in the two previous seasons. He’s been consistently higher in velocity, even in his first 10 starts of the season (where we’d expect the weather to be of similar natures). But it hasn’t been by concerning numbers. Remember, we’re talking about 1-2 mph and many pitchers go through periods of variation. Luckily, CC doesn’t seem to have much issue with velocity. He was consistently hitting 95-96 yesterday, though many of them were fouled off and the pitch count ran high. So the velocity issue may be overblown.

From March to June in ’08, Sabathia averaged 93.4 on the fastball, threw it 60% of the time and saw hitters swing at the pitch 45% of the time, whiffing 5% of swings. He had great movement, too. His fastball had 9.11 inches of vertical rise and it moved horizontally 6.66 inches. In ’09 in the same time period Sabathia averaged 93.9 on the fastball, threw it in 57% of the time, saw hitters swing 46% of the time and miss 5.3% of the time. He averaged 9.41 inches of vertical movement and 5.45 horizontally.

In 2010, he’s averaging 93.1 on the fastball, throwing it for less strikes and getting less whiffs on the pitch, down to 4.6%. The movement has registered at 9.28 inches vertically and only 3.81 horizontally. Slower and less movement.

So according to this, his fastball hasn’t been what it should be, even when only looking at the colder beginning months of the last two seasons (where PitchFX data is available). And I think he knows it, which is why he’s throwing it less often. Well, what about other data points we can get by the pitches themselves? Fangraphs has a nifty little pitch values chart, which essentially rates how effective pitchers are with their offerings and how hitters fare against them. His fastball this year rates as a negative pitch (-1.8) while his slider and changeup both rate as positives (3.2 and 3.5 respectively). So what about that two-seamer he’s been so fond of lately? Well, I believe that’s included in the overall fastball rate. Per Texas Leaguer’s Pitch FX data, it seems like it’s been effective for him. He’s getting 8% whiffs on it, has thrown it for strikes and often elicits groundballs.

The two-seamer seems to explain the uptick in groundballs, now approaching 50% on the year, as I previously mentioned. We know that pitchers need to evolve as they get older, so getting more groundball outs could be a way for CC to put less strain on his arm and adjust to hitters that see him many times over the years. Or it could be that he’s thrown it in the past but they haven’t classified the pitch as a two-seamer (or in TX Leaguers, a sinker). Hard to say.

Another odd point in the year is that lefties are hitting an extraordinary line against the big Californian, known to be death to lefties. A career .236/.297/.358 against southpaws, he’s been lit up for a line of .283/.377/.472. That absolutely cannot continue for the big fella to be a successful ace in New York. That’s almost Gaudin-ian.

Lastly, the plate discipline. CC isn’t getting batters to chase as many pitches he’s thrown but they’ve made contact at higher rates than we’ve seen in a while, checking in at a 79% contact percentage. His swinging strike percentage is also down to 8.5% – he’s usually in the double digits.

Now this could all be nothing. Again, when he got off to a poor start last year, people echoed similar concerns. “He’s thrown too many innings,” “stuff just isn’t the same” and the like.  But it’s too early to say anything is awry. Sure, we haven’t seen his struggles extend so far into the season yet, but CC has never been known as a 1st half pitcher. Maybe he just needs an extra month (like Teixiera?) to get hot and he’ll start looking like the CC we saw last year. The home runs will come down, the velocity should move up and it looks like he’s now relying on a pitch more to get grounball outs. How he approaches left-handers and the look of his four-seam fastball should be large factors in how CC does moving forward. He needs to be the ace on this staff.

Yanks blow a pair of six run leads, fall to Tribe

Photo Credit: Bill Kostroun, AP

The Yankees broke out of their offense slumber on Friday night, and there was plenty of reasons to feel good about Saturday’s game with CC Sabathia on the mound against one of the game’s worst teams. The offense was there again, putting 11 runs on the board, but the pitching staff completely blew this one, especially the bullpen. This might have been the Yanks’ worst loss of the season, but it feels like we’ve said that half a dozen times in the last two weeks.

What’s This … A Rally?

The game was very much in the Yankees’ favor early on, with Sabathia cruising and the offense pushing three runs across in the first three innings. The last place Indians wouldn’t go quietly though, putting a three spot on the board in the top of 4th to tie things up. Despite the eight run outburst on Friday, the Yanks’ are still trying to find some some consistency with the bats, so coughing up an early three run lead really stung.

Thankfully, the offense showed what made it the game’s base last season. Kevin Russo singled to left-center but ended up on second when Austin Kearns muffed the play, and 11 pitches later the bases were loaded following walks to Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter. A fly ball to bring in a run would have sufficed, but Nick Swisher got greedy, battling back from 0-1 and 1-2 counts to draw a walk and force in a run. Reliever Aaron Laffey then plunked Mark Teixeira after getting ahead 0-2 to bring another run in, but the big hit didn’t come until two batters later.

Alex Rodriguez swung through an 88 mph fastball for out number two, but the Yanks’ hottest hitter came to the plate with a trio of ducks on the pond. Laffey started him off with three straight fastballs, all off the plate for balls. Cano was taking all the way as Laffey threw a slider over for a strike, but he jumped all over the next pitch and drove it to the opposite field for a two run double.  Cervelli, up for the second time in the inning, bounced a ball back through the middle for two more runs after Marcus Thames walked, putting the Yanks up by six.

It was the team’s first sustained rally in who knows how long, probably going back to the 1st inning against Daisuke Matsuzaka 12 days ago. It was the first time the Yanks scored in the double digits since that game, so I feel good about my guess.

Photo Credit: Bill Kostroun, AP

The Bullpen Of Doom

Entering the 7th inning, the Yankees had a still comfortable five run lead and Joe Girardi was probably thinking about which veteran to pull for some extra rest in the late innings. David Robertson started the frame, but left after just seven pitches with a minor back strain. Sergio Mitre inherited a 1-0 count and threw three wide ones to put two men on with one run already in. Damaso Marte did his job by getting pinch hitter Russell Branyan to fly out, but then Girardi brought in Joba Chamberlain.

Ever since he exploded onto the scene in 2007, we’ve all expected to see great things from Joba. More than two full years later, those expectations still haven’t been met, and he’s not much more than another guy with a great arm failing to deliver on his promise. He entered today’s game with men on first and second, two outs, and a four run lead, and he yet he couldn’t preserve it. Let’s recap…

  1. Mark Grudzielanek singled in a run.
  2. Matt LaPorta walked on five pitches to load the bases.
  3. Lou Marson doubles in two after being behind in the count 0-2.
  4. Jason Donald doubles in two on a 0-1 count.
  5. Trevor Crowe singles in a run on a 1-2 count.
  6. Shin-Shoo Choo struck out to the end the inning.

Four hits and a walk scored six runs for the Indians, all with Joba on the mound and all with two outs. Three of the four hits, including the two doubles, came after Chamberlain got ahead of the hitter. His PA for the contest? How about -.701. This is the the third lead he’s either blown or contributed to blowing in his last five outings.

Joba’s been up and down all season, and given his performance in recent weeks, I can’t see how the Yankees could trust him in the late innings of a close game right now. At the very least, they should perhaps move him down in the pecking order into some lower leverage spots, but I also hope they’re seriously considering a demotion to Triple-A Scranton. You can’t keep running him out there if he’s going to keep blowing big leads, and you can’t let him sit around and think his job is safe.

If nothing else, hopefully this outing shows people who are hung on velocity that it isn’t everything. Joba was throwing 96-97 this afternoon, but it didn’t do him any good.

The Good

Cano and Swisher continue to mash, mash, and mash some more. They combined to go 6-for-9 with four runs driven in and three runs scored. Add in Jeter and A-Rod, and those four batters combined to go 11-for-18 with eight runs driven in. Tex was the only one of the top five batters in the lineup without multiple hits (or a single hit, for that matter), though he did reach twice on a walk and the hit by pitch mentioned above. When the top of your lineup does that, you should win.

It was good to see Shelley Duncan play in the game, he’ll always be a fave.

The Bad

Photo Credit: Bill Kostroun, AP

CC Sabathia wasn’t good Saturday afternoon, continuing a trend that goes back four starts now. After cruising through the first three innings on just 31 pitches while allowing just a lone hit, Sabathia really had to labor over the next three frames, needing 82 pitches to record to the next nine outs. Five runs in six innings is pretty bad, and it’s certainly not what we’ve come to expect from CC. He flirted with a 4.00 ERA until early August last year, so there’s no cause for concern. But when you start your ace against the third worst team in baseball, you have to win that game. Period.

Brett Gardner getting picked off first in the 5th inning. Can’t do that Brett, especially not with a righty on the mound. He now has one stolen base in the last 16 days. One! If he’s not stealing bases, then what is he good for?

The Ugly

Photo Credit: Bill Kostroun, AP

No, not the bullpen, this was much more serious. With men on first and second and one out in the 3rd, A-Rod took a first pitch changeup up in the zone from Indians’ start David Huff, and smacked it right back up the middle. Huff couldn’t get out of the way, and the ball hit him above the left ear and deflected all the way down the rightfield line. It was a double and a run for the Yanks, but no one seemed to care about that.

Huff laid on the mound faced down for a few minutes before being taken off the field on a stretcher. Updates after the game said that he never lost consciousness or experienced memory loss, and that the CT Scan came back negative. He was kept in the hospital for a few hours as a precaution, but has since been released. It sounds like Huff will be okay, but still, that was a really scary moment.

WPA Graph & Box Score

Brutal. Just brutal.

MLB.com has the traditional box score, FanGraphs the nontraditional box score.

Up Next

Another day game tomorrow, with A.J. Burnett taking on former Red Sox Justin Masterson. First pitch of the third game of this four game set is scheduled for 1:05pm ET. The Yanks need a big outing from their number two starter.

Montero vs. Strasburg, Montero wins

Sorry folks, had some technical difficulties and lost DotF with four of the five games done. Going to bullet point it now…