The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Halfway home

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on May 31, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post


Tonight’s game will be mid-point of the Yankees nine-game West Coast trip. When this trip started, the individual names stood out. The Yankees were scheduled to face some of the very best starting pitchers in the game, and that was impossible to ignore, but Joe Girardi seemed to focus on the big picture rather than the specific names.

“Recently, we’ve done pretty good on the West Coast,” Girardi said before that first game in Seattle. “You’re probably not going to see as many high-scoring games. Execution becomes very important. You can’t give them extra base runners. Your execution — moving guys over, getting a guy in with runners in scoring position — it becomes really important in these parks.”

Four games down and five to go, the opposing starters really haven’t been the deciding factor at this point, but execution has been key.

When the Yankees beat Trevor Cahill yesterday, it was by taking advantage of some first-inning mistakes, cashing in on a handful of late-inning opportunities, and getting a walk-free start from Bartolo Colon. When the Yankees beat the Mariners on Sunday, it was with one game-changing, two-out burst of efficiency. In the two wins, the Yankees pitching staff allowed a total of three free base runners, all of them CC Sabathia walks that were left stranded.

In the two losses, the Yankees were a combined 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position, and they also walked 11 batters, hit two batters and threw two wild pitches.

“After losing two tough games, you come out and win two games in a row against tough pitching, I think it does a lot,” Girardi said. “And then you try to carry that into tomorrow.”

Associated Press photo

 
 

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63 Responses to “Halfway home”

  1. Erin May 31st, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Another late game tonight. And I’ll be stuck at work for tomorrow’s game. :x

  2. Shame Spencer May 31st, 2011 at 9:03 am

    repost: # Shame Spencer May 31st, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Did they blake? I got confused with Boston’s double-header the other day.

  3. ADam May 31st, 2011 at 9:22 am

    As frustrating as this team has been, being in first place in the toughest division in baseball is a pretty amazing feat for the first third of the season…

  4. blake May 31st, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Yea they are basically tied but the Yanks are ahead by percentage points and a game up in the loss column.

  5. Erin May 31st, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Come to think of it, I should at least be able to catch some of tomorrow’s game, since it’s kind of a “late” afternoon game. It seems like I haven’t been able to watch a whole game in a long time-I completely missed Sunday and Monday’s games. I hate West Coast games. LOL

  6. blake May 31st, 2011 at 9:32 am

    The Yanks are in first place despite the fact that they still haven’t clicked and played as well as they can…..of course Boston’s start had something to do with that but that said…..the Yanks had a stretch nearly as bad as Boston did and survived it as well.

    I think they have better baseball in them than they have played……the big question is will the pitching hold up and will they be able to fortify it if it doesn’t? I think the offense is about to break out and hit stride…..Swisher, Cano, Tex, and Jeter are all looking better a bit. They just have to get Alex going and figure out what to do at DH.

    Funny thing about Jeter’s splits is that he’s been much better on the road this year……his terrible numbers at the stadium are dragging his stat line down which is a bit strange. I expect that to change.

  7. Shame Spencer May 31st, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Well however small the margin may be, I’m glad we’re still in 1st.

    Erin – I commiserate with you re: these WC trips. Its much more satisfying being up at 2am when your team ends up winning. When they lose in those cases, I take it as a personal insult :D

  8. Erin May 31st, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Shame-exactly!! LOL I still remember one game last season (I think against the Angels) I was like “I lost sleep for this??”

  9. MG May 31st, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I took a 3 day break from reading LoHud and it looks like that break will be permanent. I just don’t need to read all the complaints and whines that are posted here on a regular basis during and after games.

    Good luck, everyone, hopefully the Yankees win #28 this year.

  10. Doc Iac May 31st, 2011 at 9:49 am

    ok cya…

  11. blake May 31st, 2011 at 9:58 am

    RAB has a post up that summarizes the last 5 CG shutouts the Yankees have had. Its amazing that #5 was 6 years ago when Pavano shut out the Mariners. Actually 3 of the last 5 we’re from 2005. Of course they mention Rivera being a big reason for the lack of shut outs but still that’s pretty crazy that Colon’s was only the 6th Yankee shut out in the last 6 years.

    http://www.riveraveblues.com

    MG,

    If you’re gone for good then good luck to ya….I enjoyed your posts.

  12. upstate kate May 31st, 2011 at 10:00 am

    MG
    do what I do…avoid the game posts

  13. Erin May 31st, 2011 at 10:03 am

    MG, avoid game posts at all costs. It’s so much more pleasant that way. ;)

  14. Irreverent Discourse May 31st, 2011 at 10:05 am

    A big reason why the Yankees have had so few complete games (shutouts or otherwise) in recent years is Mariano Rivera, and that’s a pretty damn good reason.

    It would have been nice if they qualified that. I am having a hard time remembering all of these 8 inning shutouts that Mo “interrupted”.

  15. ron May 31st, 2011 at 10:07 am

    You need 3 good to great starters if you wan’t to advance deep into the postseason.

    We have cc & colon.

    If we can get 1 more,wether it be by trade or in house,i think we will be fine.
    Not sure how good hughes will be when he returns but i don’t see him taking a spot from garcia or colon,so it will probably be nova.

    Also if nova can’t get it together after 1 or 2 more starts,i think girardi should give noesi a chance.

    Posada should be benched for good if he can’t turn it around very soon,maybe give him june.

  16. ron May 31st, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Last byear our 3 good to great pitchers were,cc,pettitte,hughes.

    That was good enough & we were doing well til pettitte got hurt & hughes regressed.

    We still somehow took texas to 6 games in the 2nd round.

  17. blake May 31st, 2011 at 10:11 am

    I think part of the reason is the same reason Colon doesn’t have 2 shutouts this year. If the starter goes 8 innings and its a save situation they always go to Rivera…..Torre did the same thing.

    I can’t remember specific games but I can remember it happening a few times. Its tough to argue with going to Mo…..but a lot of times when a starter has gone 8 shutout, the best thing you can do for the opposing team is to take that guy out.

  18. LGY May 31st, 2011 at 10:13 am

    So Boston is giving Lester extra rest after last night so now he will pitch against us next week. Shocker. I’m sure we will face Beckett as well

    ——

    Pretty annoying considering the Yanks have a perfect opp to skip Nova and set up AJ-CC-Colon for Boston

  19. Shame Spencer May 31st, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I almost forgot Phil Hughes was on our team..

  20. Irreverent Discourse May 31st, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Let them mess with their rotation and take their guys off regular rest. It only shows that they are scared of the Yankees. All things being equal (and making the playoffs obviously) i would rather they didn’t see our top3 5-6 times during the year.

  21. upstate kate May 31st, 2011 at 10:17 am

    can we put in a request to face Wakie?

  22. Jerkface May 31st, 2011 at 10:18 am

    It would have been nice if they qualified that. I am having a hard time remembering all of these 8 inning shutouts that Mo “interrupted”.

    The yankees have thrown 14 games of 8 IP 0 R ball since 2005. Shawn Chacon had 3 of them but no Mo. Randy Johnson threw a 97 pitch 8 inning 2 hit 11 k shut out that Tom Gordon closed out. A Chien Ming Wang 8 ip 85 pitch SHO got closed out by Mariano. Aj Burnett had 1 that got closed out by Mo. CC had 2 in 2010, one got closed by Mo, one by someone else. Hughes on memorial day vs the rangers, but Ace closed that out.

    Basically, the evidence suggests that the Yankees value simply winning a game and not collecting CG SHO and using blow outs (which a CG SHO combined with the yankee offense it usually equals) to give a reliever some work.

    I don’t think having Mariano Rivera has done anything as usually any CG SHO isn’t a save situation for the yankees due to offensive awesomeness.

  23. Joe from Long Island May 31st, 2011 at 10:19 am

    where’s MG going?

  24. G-C May 31st, 2011 at 10:20 am

    It’s really ridiculous that the Yankees aren’t skipping Nova this weekend.

    They are basically throwing 2 games, the one in which he’ll pitch against Weaver in Anaheim and then one game in the Boston series.

    Extreme groundballing, pitch to contact guys is a recipe for disaster against Boston. Until Nova starts missing a couple of bats, pitting him against Boston when you have the opportunity to skip him without altering anything else in the rotation is just stupid.

    I’d really like to take these next two in Oakland and go 4-1 for the duration of this roadtrip. With a 6-3 trip, you really feel like you made some progress. 5-4 is more keeping your head above water. It would be nice if this team could use these next five games to get on the type of extended roll that has become typical of them in June over the past several years.

  25. LGY May 31st, 2011 at 10:21 am

    It isn’t fear. It’s smart strategy.

  26. ron May 31st, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Nova is going to get yanked out of the rotation soon,imo.

    Hughes,noesi,or someone else will take his spot.

    Give him 1 more start,then go with noesi til hughes gets back.

  27. blake May 31st, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I like Noesi….

  28. EA May 31st, 2011 at 10:31 am

    How is skipping your worst pitcher “fear” and having him avoid two tough teams/pitchers?

  29. Doc Iac May 31st, 2011 at 10:32 am

    noesi is not the answer for replacin nova…

  30. Irreverent Discourse May 31st, 2011 at 10:35 am

    It is fear, otherwise they wouldn’t be shuffling their rotation for no reason. Let’s see how Lester pitches with 2 extra off days before we assume it’s a good move for them.

  31. upstate kate May 31st, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Lestah pitched 127 pitches yesterday. I can understand why they would want to give him some extra rest.

  32. G-C May 31st, 2011 at 10:38 am

    All along I’ve heard that Nova has better stuff than Noesi, but I’m not sure I agree based on what I’ve seen so far.

    Nova has a great fastball, but his solid mechanics almost do him more harm than good. Watch how much time both righties and lefties have to get a great look at the ball. There’s almost no deception at all in his delivery, and IMO, that’s why his 93-95 MPH fastballs don’t miss any bats. I really do like his curveball, but so far he’s shown it to be more of a solid, get-me-over pitch than a wipe-out pitch. This type of pitch is, don’t get me wrong, extremely useful. But without a fastball that he can use to put batters away, it would behoove him to have an off-speed pitch that could accomplish that purpose, and he doesn’t yet. I’d like to see him tighten it up occasionally and focus on burying it down in the zone. Then again, the lack of deception in his delivery may mean that he could have a difficult time getting swinging strikes on buried curveballs in the dirt.

    In time, I really do think Nova will be a solid major league pitcher. He has his limitations, but 94 MPH fastballs and solid curveballs don’t grow on trees. I’m just not sure if he’ll get a chance to be that guy here. Our lack of patience in developing pitching pains me most of the time, but when you have young guys like Noesi who are too clamoring for chances at the rotation, AND you’re simultaneously trying to compete in the most difficult division in baseball, preaching patience begins to get difficult.

  33. LGY May 31st, 2011 at 10:42 am

    It is fear, otherwise they wouldn’t be shuffling their rotation for no reason. Let’s see how Lester pitches with 2 extra off days before we assume it’s a good move for them

    ——

    Fear of what?

    How is it no reason? Shuffling the rotation against your toughest opponent is simply smart strategy. You don’t get bonus points in the division race for winning with your backend pitchers.

    Plus Lestah gets extra rest after a tough and long outing.

  34. Irreverent Discourse May 31st, 2011 at 10:44 am

    jerkface – TY for that, taking your cue i looked at the rest of the list on the B-R play index, or at least what it would show me.

    I saw a few where Mo came in, but did not get a save (Contreras 9/23/03, Moose 8/12/03)

    Do you have a play index account? I’ve contemplated doing the $36/year deal so many times.

  35. Shame Spencer May 31st, 2011 at 10:52 am

    What have the latest updates on Hughes been? Does anyone know how far off he is or if he’ll get some work in the minors before coming back up?

  36. Jerkface May 31st, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Do you have a play index account? I’ve contemplated doing the $36/year deal so many times.

    Nah I just manipulate the data and then use ascending/descending lists until I see everything. I bought it for 2 years but didnt get enough use out of it.

  37. Robert May 31st, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Keep pitching Nova thats how young pitchers are developed…..

    Use Noesi to give Freddy a rest!!!!!

  38. Jerkface May 31st, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I think BB-Ref used to give you a free PI account if you sponsored a page, so maybe try to find cheap unsponsored players. I think I did that and saved 10 or 15 bucks the first time I got it.

  39. J. Alfred Prufrock May 31st, 2011 at 10:56 am

    # MG May 31st, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I took a 3 day break from reading LoHud and it looks like that break will be permanent. I just don’t need to read all the complaints and whines that are posted here on a regular basis during and after games.

    Good luck, everyone, hopefully the Yankees win #28 this year.
    ///

    Same to you, though I hope you reconsider. The place sorely needs the variety in POV. Personally, when I check in here & feel indifferent to the discussion or am turned off by the lack of civility, or feel that one or two posters is/are holding the threads hostage, I just leave & come back later. Works for me :) .

  40. Erin May 31st, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Shame-from Chad’s pregame notes yesterday:

    Phil Hughes played catch today and could face hitters this weekend, but Joe Girardi said Hughes is still a long, long way from rejoining the rotation. He said it might not be a full six-week spring training program, but it will probably be similar.

    “It’s got to be pretty close to that to get built up,? Girardi said. ?Do you need six starts? I don’t know, but you’re going to need at least, I would say, four or five. At least. So when you’re coming into a game and you’re coming to helps us, you’re not going three innings and then we got to go to somebody else. You’ve got to be able to give some distance and then bounce back.”

    • Girardi said he?d sign up for having Hughes back at the all-star break. It might be earlier than that, Girardi said, but if right now you could guarantee the all-star break, Girardi would be onboard.

  41. Tom in N.J. May 31st, 2011 at 11:02 am

    “I think BB-Ref used to give you a free PI account if you sponsored a page, so maybe try to find cheap unsponsored players. I think I did that and saved 10 or 15 bucks the first time I got it.”

    Lee Guetterman, he of the team leading 11 wins for the 1990 Yankees.

    http://www.baseball-reference......le01.shtml

  42. Irreverent Discourse May 31st, 2011 at 11:08 am

    subscriptions are discounted for those sponsoring at least $35 in pages.

    Looks like they changed that policy :/ oh well

  43. Against All Odds May 31st, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Robert May 31st, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Keep pitching Nova thats how young pitchers are developed…..

    ———————————

    I was listening to WFAN over the weekend and Steven from Bayside stated how the Yankees are starting to get uneasy when it comes to Nova starting. Not sure if it was mentioned on here or not but I just wanted to see if anyone else has heard about it.

  44. Irreverent Discourse May 31st, 2011 at 11:10 am

    http://nymag.com/daily/sports/.....ats_t.html

    Cone is a member of the stats club, womp womp.

  45. Irreverent Discourse May 31st, 2011 at 11:12 am

    The Yankees plan to start Ivan Nova on Friday against the Angels.

    The team has an off day on Thursday but will choose not to skip over the struggling Nova, who has failed to go five innings in 4 of his last 10 starts. Friday will likely be his last chance to prove he deserves to stay in the rotation. May 29, 10:16 PM
    Source: Newark Star-Ledger

    I never understood why people call up the FAN and ask questions in such a way that you can literally tell what they “read” right before they called”.

  46. LGY May 31st, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Starting to really wonder if Nova’s velo spike last year was just a temporary thing.

  47. Shame Spencer May 31st, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Thanks Erin, I haven’t been reading the blog as closely lately. Glad to hear he’s sorta on his way back. Should be very interesting to see if he comes back with any improvement. It’d be hard to imagine him being any worse than in the early goings.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing what Noesi could do on the mound for a couple games either. Does anyone think his inconsistent pitching time over the past couple weeks would be a problem, though?

  48. Mell May 31st, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Can we safely assume the hats worn in yesterday’s game were incinerated by 8PM Eastern?

  49. Mell May 31st, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I wouldn’t mind seeing what Noesi could do on the mound for a couple games either. Does anyone think his inconsistent pitching time over the past couple weeks would be a problem, though?

    ====================

    Hasn’t reflected in his work. He’s been quite good each time out. Twice giving his team an opportunity to win and once stemming the tide in a game that had gotten away from Colon. Unfortunately, the role he’s in right now seems to require either a poor effort from the day’s starter, or extra innings.

  50. Shame Spencer May 31st, 2011 at 11:36 am

    # Mell May 31st, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Can we safely assume the hats worn in yesterday’s game were incinerated by 8PM Eastern?

    ——————————–

    Good god I hope so. They look so…. little league! And I think that might even be offensive to little leaguers because my hats were way more fly than those when I was a kid.

    And thanks for the thoughts on Noesi.

  51. LGY May 31st, 2011 at 11:37 am

    If they want to remove Nova from the rotation it would make sense to make him the long man in the meantime and send Noesi to AAA for a start or two to get stretched out and on a starter’s schedule.

  52. West Coast Yankee Fan May 31st, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Nova could not go deep into games last season . . . and he can’t go deep into games this season. What about this is surprising to anyone?

    - In 2011 he has failed to pitch into the 6th inning 6 out of 11 times.

    - In 2010 he failed to pitch into the 6th inning 9 out of 10 times.

    That is 15 out of 21 times in the last two seasons that Nova has failed to pitch more than 5 innings.

  53. LGY May 31st, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Nova could not go deep into games last season . . . and he can’t go deep into games this season. What about this is surprising to anyone?

    ——————-

    One of the main problems last year was that Girardi never gave him a shot to pitch deep into games.

    This year, he just doesn’t have the stuff or command capable of pitching deep into games.

  54. blake May 31st, 2011 at 11:41 am

    If they wind up sending Nova down then I don’t think it would be because he has struggled some because that was to be expected…….it would be because he doesn’t repeat his delivery well and that’s the reason for the inconsistencies. He has the pitches and he has the stuff….but he could perhaps benefit from refining his mechanics at SWB at bit more……not saying they should act on this now.

  55. ron May 31st, 2011 at 11:42 am

    We don’t know if noesi is not the answer.
    Nova also might be a good or even great pitcher in time.

    Nova gave up 62 hits in 54 innings,24 bb,27 k,the league is batting .283 against him.

    To many bb,not enough k.

    With hughes coming back,noesi & the plethora of other pitchers we have,at the very least girardi will give 1 or more pitchers a chance to do better.

    There is already wispers of another pitcher taking his spot.

  56. Jerkface May 31st, 2011 at 11:42 am

    What about this is surprising to anyone?

    - In 2011 he has failed to pitch into the 6th inning 6 out of 11 times.

    - In 2010 he failed to pitch into the 6th inning 9 out of 10 times.

    This isn’t true and you’re skewing your numbers by including relief appearances.

    2010: 7 starts, pitched into the 6th inning in 4 of them.
    2011: 10 starts, pitched into the 6th inning in 6 of them.

    So 10 out of 17 starts he pitched into the 6th inning. The yankees have to be patient if they want to develop pitching at the major league level. A starter like Ivan Nova could bring back a quality piece in a trade for a small market team. He is valuable. They can’t just abandon him.

  57. Jerkface May 31st, 2011 at 11:44 am

    He has the pitches and he has the stuff….but he could perhaps benefit from refining his mechanics at SWB at bit more……not saying they should act on this now.

    He has been in pro ball for a long time, I think its time that he has to make his gravy at the major league level. The more time he needs to spend back in AAA, the less prospecty he becomes. If that is the case they should be preparing to deal him at the trade deadline,.

  58. Mell May 31st, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Nova could not go deep into games last season . . . and he can’t go deep into games this season. What about this is surprising to anyone?

    ==========================

    Sometimes pitchers, especially young ones, improve as their experience and opportunities increase. Nova’s ceiling was never much more than 4/5 starting pitcher, but I don’t think expectations of being able to record 18 outs more often than not were especially out of line. He’s been disappointing.

  59. Erin May 31st, 2011 at 11:45 am

    New Post: Jones showing his value

    :arrow:

  60. Mell May 31st, 2011 at 11:45 am

    A starter like Ivan Nova could bring back a quality piece in a trade for a small market team.

    ==========================

    Not if he’s the centerpiece.

  61. blake May 31st, 2011 at 11:46 am

    What will be intersting is if they add a starter via trade and Hughes comes back as well…..who’s spot does Phil take? No way you can take Colon or Garcia out of the rotation if they are still doing what they have been.

  62. blake May 31st, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Jerkface,

    That may be true….but as long as he throws the ball differently from pitch to pitch he’s going to have trouble with consistency and.avoiding the blowup innings that knock him out early a lot. He can improve that in the big leagues…..but are the Yankees and their fanbase patient enough?

  63. West Coast Yankee Fan May 31st, 2011 at 11:49 am

    No one said to abandon Nova but the najor leagues in the midst of a pennant race is not the time to be patient developing pitchers at the major league level. If you’re going to need an arm – go get a Colon or Garcia or make a deal for a proven nmber 3 or 4. We have plenty of trade chips. Or deal Nova while he still has value as a starter. See Joba C.


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