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Postgame notes: “The velocity will keep coming back”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Apr 01, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

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Four runs and four walks through five innings. In the short term, those are the CC Sabathia numbers that mattered this afternoon. He let the Red Sox bottom four hitters reach base in the second, which opened the door to a four-run inning, and that was pretty much the end of the line for the Yankees.

Big picture, though, these Sabathia numbers might have been of greater concern: A fastball that sat in the upper 80s and topped out at 91 mph.

“I think that was probably the case last year as well, early on,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Early on you don’t see a lot of velocity from him. It seems to take him really a month for that velocity to bump up. We saw 93s in spring training, so I think you’ll see it go up as time goes on, but we’re pretty used to seeing him not have the same velocity in April as he does in June and July.”

Sabathia’s velocity has always fluctuated quite a bit, and it’s true that he’s had a lot of early season starts when his fastball has been a bit slow. Of course, the diminished velocity stands out a little more this season for two reasons: 1. Offseason elbow surgery, and 2. A diminished Yankees lineup that puts pitching at a premium.

Sabathia addressed his health: “I’m sure that the velocity will keep coming back and the arm strength will keep building up the more I throw,” he said. “Health-wise, I feel fine, elbow, shoulder and everything. It’s just time I guess to build the arm strength back up. … It’s always what it is at the beginning of the year, 88 to 92. That’s what I’ll work with right now and hopefully it gets a little better.”

Girardi addressed the expectations: “I think it’s somewhat common for power pitchers. It’s been in his DNA his whole career. We deal with it and we understand it. We know what we’re dealing with. My feeling is, he’ll be better next time out. … The pitching is extremely important like it is every year. We have some new faces in the lineup that are going to get a chance to step up, and they’re going to have to do that for us. That’s the bottom line.”

• The Yankees low point came in the seventh when they were trailing by three and back-to-back walks brought the tying run to the plate with no outs. Eduardo Nunez, Robinson Cano and Kevin Youkilis — their 2, 3 and 4 hitters — each struck out to end the threat. “We didn’t capitalize when we needed to,” Youkilis said. “They got timely hitting — some of the balls weren’t hit that hard and some were — but timely hitting is the key. We just didn’t have that today.”

• This was pretty much the offensive display the Yankees critics were expecting and their fans were fearing. The team had just one extra-base hit — a Youkilis double — while striking out 10 times. Doesn’t help that eight of those strikeouts came from the top eight hitters in the order.

• Certainly unusual to see David Phelps pitch out of the bullpen when he’s currently in the rotation, but he’s still on track to start Saturday on normal rest, and the Yankees sent Phelps to the pen specifically so he would be available this afternoon. “I assumed I would be getting some work in,” Phelps said.

• Why got to Phelps in the sixth? “He’s a guy that pitched very well out of the bullpen for us,” Girardi said. “He was going to face some righties and some lefties, and that’s why I went to him. He’s used to seeing that kind of lineup.”

• Yankee Stadium was a ghost town by the end of the game. “In the end it was ugly out, on the field and off,” Vernon Well said. “So I don’t blame them for heading home a little early.” Or, as Francisco Cervelli put it: “If I was a fan and it started to rain, I would run, too.”

• One big pitch for Sabathia was the 1-2 pitch to Jackie Bradley Jr. in the second inning. Sabathia wanted the call, didn’t get it, and wound up walking Bradley in what turned out to be a huge inning for Boston. “I thought it was a strike,” Sabathia said. “But I still need to make better pitches whether he called it a strike or not. That’s no excuse for giving up the runs after. I just didn’t make the pitches.”

• Cervelli on Sabathia’s outing: “Early in the game, I say the key for CC is the fastball command. So we miss a couple pitches there, couple fastballs, in the second inning, but after that he was pretty good. But this is the big leagues. We need to make pitches all the time. We start to mix everything, a lot of changeups, the way we get back on the line. Only (allowed) four runs. We’ve got to hit.”

• Youkilis on his former teammate Jon Lester: “He’s a guy that’s going to throw his cutter, and if he’s commanding his cutter and getting guys to swing at the pitches he wants, that’s when he’s effective. He threw the ball well. There’s a lot to learn from it. We can bounce back. We’re going to face him a few more times, probably. Hopefully we’ll get him the next time. We got him out of the game, too. You want to get these pitchers out and we got his pitch count up, got him out of the game and he didn’t last too late. That was a good thing, we just didn’t get timely hitting. We need to get that the next time out.”

• Joba Chamberlain on his own rocky ninth inning: “Walks kill you. Just wasn’t making pitches. Got ahead early, just wasn’t able to finish them. Put up good at-bats, but that’s it. Walks kill you. Started off the inning well, but you can’t walk guys.”

• According to Elias Sports Bureau, this was the first Yankees opener without a switch-hitter in the lineup since 1992.

• Also from Elias, the Yankees snapped a Major League record streak of homering in 14 consecutive Opening Day games.

• Six players made their Yankees debut today: Youkilis, Wells, Ben Francisco, Shawn Kelley, Travis Hafner and Lyle Overbay.

• Youkilis joined Johnny Damon and Wade Boggs as the only players to start an opener for the Yankees one year after doing so for the Red Sox since Steve O’Neill did it in 1925. “Yankee Stadium is a place where people dream to come play at,” Youkilis said. “It was very enjoyable to go out there. It stunk at the end to come up short, but this is a great place to play, great fans. We just didn’t play the best ball possible today to win a game.”

Associated Press photos

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49 Responses to “Postgame notes: “The velocity will keep coming back””

  1. Yankee Trader April 1st, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    “The velocity will keep coming back.”

    However, will the fans keep coming back? They left in the ninth per this photo:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/.....1;mlb.html

  2. itsgonnabealongseason April 1st, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    The Yankees are what they are. There won’t be any pleasant surprises. Just have to try and not let it get too depressing.

  3. fantasygame101 April 1st, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    I hope the simulation game instead of regular spring training game is not the cause of too many walks for c.c. He was not really sharp and was not able to wiggle away bec. of the diminished velocity.

  4. Mike in Harrisburg April 1st, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Absolutely embarrassing to see the stadium empty out like it did. It’s bad enough seeing the empty seats behind home plate.

    Today set a poor tone for the season. There are losses and there are losses. This was a bad loss.

  5. Jerkface April 1st, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Sabathia’s velocity has always fluctuated quite a bit, and it’s true that he’s had a lot of early season starts when his fastball has been a bit slow. Of course, the diminished velocity stands out a little more this season for two reasons: 1. Offseason elbow surgery, and 2. A diminished Yankees lineup that puts pitching at a premium.

    Sabathia addressed his health: “I’m sure that the velocity will keep coming back and the arm strength will keep building up the more I throw,” he said. “Health-wise, I feel fine, elbow, shoulder and everything. It’s just time I guess to build the arm strength back up. … It’s always what it is at the beginning of the year, 88 to 92. That’s what I’ll work with right now and hopefully it gets a little better.”

    Girardi addressed the expectations: “I think it’s somewhat common for power pitchers”

    Compared to that chart this start will be under the 90 number on the velocity chart. And what is Girardi talking about? Did he not see all the other power pitcher #1′s in baseball throwing their normal velocity?

    Only on the Yankees is velocity something that the pitchers are always chasing.

  6. blake April 1st, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    blake says:
    April 1, 2013 at 7:56 pm
    “I agree – look, if you don’t want to sign Josh Hamilton to a big money contract for 5 years fine, but if you can get young players like Chapman, Cespedes, Darvish into your system – if you can spend heavily on high impact players in the draft then you have to do it.”

    Even Puig looks like he’s gonna pan out maybe….it just seems silly to have a payroll this high for 2013 but being unwilling to put any money on the books beyond it……and the funny thing is they say that 2014 isn’t affecting their decision making! Please…..

  7. Jerkface April 1st, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Not getting even 1 of the Cuban outfielders is atrocious.

  8. Bronx Jeers April 1st, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Brian Cashman told Derek Jeter to go out and find a better deal if he could.
    He slammed Robinson Cano for wanting to talk about a new contract a couple of years ago.
    He just mocked Eduardo Nunez

    ———————

    What did he say about Nunez?

  9. Yankee Trader April 1st, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Compared to that chart this start will be under the 90 number on the velocity chart. And what is Girardi talking about? Did he not see all the other power pitcher #1?s in baseball throwing their normal velocity?
    ———-
    And some of those pitchers probably didn’t have the luxury of pitching in game time 62 degree weather.

  10. Shame Spencer April 1st, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    blake April 1st, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    ….it just seems silly to have a payroll this high for 2013 but being unwilling to put any money on the books beyond it……and the funny thing is they say that 2014 isn’t affecting their decision making! Please…..

    ————–

    I know I rant and rave a lot on here about various Yankee-related items, (mostly because I can’t get any real life people to listen to me..) HOWEVER – I don’t think I’ve ever felt like a team that I’m a fan of has been more outwardly insulting of the fanbase’s intelligence until that line.

    Why are they not smart enough to spin it…? Like… spin it better.

    I don’t think I’ve heard one complaint about being tired of supporting other teams via the luxury tax.

  11. charlestonchew April 1st, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Prediction: Kevin Youkilis takes Nick Swisher’s spot as “guy who gives lots of quotables to media after games.” I expect that Youk will be better liked by his teammates than Swisher was (not to say Swish was hated… but he was polarizing).

    Wednesday will be a different kind of day.

  12. Shame Spencer April 1st, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    He just mocked Eduardo Nunez

    —————

    He mocked Yogi Berra for saying nice things about Nunez.

    A story that gets funnier every time it’s rehashed.

  13. Jerkface April 1st, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    CC’s fastest pitch today is below his Yankee opening day average velocity. I’m willing to give CC the benefit of the doubt because he did have surgery, but the Yankees take a very nonchalant approach to velocity despite it never turning out well.

  14. blake April 1st, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Jerkface says:
    April 1, 2013 at 8:04 pm
    Not getting even 1 of the Cuban outfielders is atrocious.

    It really was….kind of risk they should be taking

  15. Yankee Trader April 1st, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Bottom 4th Yankees down 4-0, bases loaded, Mustelier up, oops no, Nix up-strikeout!
    Luckily Cervelli came thru. Yankees 2 for 9 with RISP

  16. Yankee Trader April 1st, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Yankees got a Cuban outfielder-Adonis Garcia.
    Then there is Ronnier Mustelier who might have done a better job today making contact and driving the ball the other way, than striking out 3 times in the two hole.

  17. Bronx Jeers April 1st, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    He mocked Yogi Berra for saying nice things about Nunez.

    A story that gets funnier every time it’s rehashed.

    ———————–

    I wish I could find the quote. I google it and all I get are old LoHud threads where it gets mentioned. :shock:

  18. Jerkface April 1st, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Yankees got a Cuban outfielder-Adonis Garcia.

    Oh yea I meant one of the cuban outfielders that the rest of baseball was also interested in :)

  19. Yankee Trader April 1st, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    JF-

    I knew that! :)

  20. blake April 1st, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    It does seem that when Yankee starters start off without their velo it kinda never comes….CC does usually build slow and if he’s really really healthy then he will be ok……but I do think it’s probably time to start considering that CC may be in decline …..doesn’t mean he still can the good…..but he’s thrown a bunch of innings and it may be that he’s settling into being a good pitcher instead of a true ace type

  21. UpState April 1st, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Yankees outfielder Adonis Garcia suffers broken left wrist
    Drew Silva
    NBCSPORTS
    Mar 5, 2013

    Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger reports that Yankees outfield prospect Adonis Garcia has been diagnosed with a broken left wrist and will have surgery on Thursday. He suffered the injury Sunday while taking batting practice in Tampa.

    It’s not clear how long the 27-year-old will be out.

    Garcia, a Cuban defector, signed for $400,000 last spring and went on to bat .263/.311/.424 with five home runs in 57 games between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. He was 4-for-10 (.400) with a walk, two runs and an RBI in this year’s Grapefruit League.

    Garcia will probably report back to Double-A Trenton once he is recovered from this injury.

  22. blake April 1st, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    I love how having a newsletter makes Joe Sheehan think he’s the smartest baseball mind ever

  23. Josh Lueke fan April 1st, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Trashman has mocked the Yankees organization and fans with the roster he has constructed.

  24. RadioKev April 1st, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Jerkface April 1st, 2013 at 8:15 pm
    CC’s fastest pitch today is below his Yankee opening day average velocity. I’m willing to give CC the benefit of the doubt because he did have surgery, but the Yankees take a very nonchalant approach to velocity despite it never turning out well.
    ———

    Joe is conflating CC’s velocity today with some of his opening day control issues, which we have seen before. Probably intentional…

  25. CompassRosy April 1st, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Hey, Yankee fans!

    I just walked into Safeco Field….
    Yes, the M’s open their season in Oakland tonight but, they opened the stadium (for free! $5 beers and $5 hot dogs) so we can check out the new fences, Edgar’s Restaurant and – best of all – watch the game on the brand new video board (largest in MLB)

    Play Ball!!

  26. Jerkface April 1st, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    JUpton homers :x

  27. blake April 1st, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    See Justin Upton has already homered

  28. austinmac April 1st, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    The Yankees don’t take risks anymore. They fear mistakes from past failures. I can think of no other reason not to pursue the talented Cubans. How can the small market teams afford the risk and the Yankees cannot?

  29. blake April 1st, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    The Braves hit too many homers

  30. mick April 1st, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    are you guys gonna cry all year?

  31. Mike in Harrisburg April 1st, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    @austinmac I think other teams over the last decade or so have made significant investments in Caribbean/Cuban scouting, because it was one area they could have a comparative advantage over the Yankees. I know Pittsburgh for example spent a ton of money on an academy in the Dominican. I think they’ve done their homework there and the Yankees really haven’t.

  32. blake April 1st, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Their phillies outfield D is so bad

  33. Against All Odds April 1st, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    No one is crying

  34. mick April 1st, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    the yanks have never had to be creative. they just scooped up the most expensive player on the market and ran with it.
    now that hal ok’ed the new cba he gave permission and joined in with the rest of baseball in leading the destruction of the yankees as we knew them.
    welcome to the new age of parity in baseball–at least til hal can’t stand it anymore.

  35. UnKnown April 1st, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Sounds like a great time Rosy have fun.

  36. mick April 1st, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    now that’s how you cry…

  37. mick April 1st, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    .500 ball til jeter gets back, that’s our new battle cry!

  38. mick April 1st, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    then grandy….then tex (altho’ i think he will need surgery) …then arod and get a 1st baseman at the deadline.

    how can you doubt a team with this talent?

  39. RadioKev April 1st, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Maybe Chipper Jones will unretire.

  40. mick April 1st, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Maybe Chipper Jones will unretire.
    ========================
    they would have to pay him much money and that aint happnin

  41. RadioKev April 1st, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I’m kidding

  42. Barry April 1st, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    I A-Rod actually does come back Youkilis is the 1st baseman. Not to be critical, but was Verlander’s velocity down…?

  43. Barry April 1st, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    If Arod…

  44. mick April 1st, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    they would sign chipper in a heartbeat

    not introducing a dressed arod, how low can it go?

  45. blake April 1st, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Rakin ramerio Pena up for the braves!

  46. mick April 1st, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    hal does have the built in excuses of being an injured team.

    it won’t help him if they don’t hit.

    if he kept filling the park, he could care less if they lost.

    but if they lose, he won’t fill the park.

    then he alienates the season ticket holders by telling them they can’t use stubhub to resell.

    who is advising this man?

  47. RadioKev April 1st, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    There just isn’t a pitcher as filthy as Kimbrel in the American League. Every time I watch him I’m surprised.

  48. filthy slider April 1st, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    this is a Cashman built team, can’t hit, can’t field, can’t pitch. Welcome to Boss Cashman’s small market mentality.The real Boss is spinning in Yankee heaven.

  49. Tackelberry April 2nd, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Against the righty Bucholz I guess we’ll see Ichiro batting 2nd, Youk 3rd and Cano 4th?

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