Saturday, October 6, 2018

See the Ball, Hit the Ball

If I had a nickel for every time I said some variation of "What are you looking at?" during a baseball game, I'd be a very wealthy man. I mean like Warren Buffet-wealthy.
The Yankees looked like they were dead in the water last night in Boston. But, down 5-0 to the Red Sox, they began to chip away. But they looked and looked and looked at strikes. And, a lot of the pitches they did swing at met nothing but air.

First, J.A. Happ put them in a hole because the "Red Sox killer" didn't show up. When you have two runners on base and J.D. Martinez up, you cannot fall behind 2-0 in the count. Happ did and Martinez destroyed him for a Green Monster-blast and a 3-0 lead in the 1st inning.

Back to the batters...

Giancarlo Stanton's first playoff experience went well in the Wild Card game but no so much last night. Though earning a Golden Sombrero is quite the accomplishment.

One of Stanton's problems, that which was shared by his teammates, was looking at too many strikes. The problem was then exacerbated by the swing and misses, especially those that were for strike three.

The Yankees struck out 13 times in all and despite all the talk of Chris Sale's diminished velocity, he looked just fine out there.

Gleyer Torres shared in Stanton's misery. Down 5-2 with the bases loaded and two outs, Torres waved at a Brandon Workman 80-mph offspeed pitch and ended up down on one as knee as he whiffed. The at-bat epitomized the night for the Yankees. Opportunity knocked and the Yankees didn't answer the door.

Aaron Judge looked like the only who came to play. He had three hits on the night including a solo home run in the 9th to get the Yankees to within one run of the lead.

Teams these days live and die by home runs and strikeouts, and on-base percentage rather than batting average. However, it helps to have a Mookie Betts on your team. While not every team can have a Betts-type, it helps to have a guy who hits well over .300 and K's less than 100 times. It would help the Yankees A LOT!

Positives were few and far between but Lance Lynn, Zach Britton, and David Robertson combined for four scoreless innings to give the Yankees the chance for a comeback.

Here's to better things for Game 2!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Boone second guessed no matter what

In his first game as a postseason manager, Aaron Boone opened himself up to second-guessing with his choice of starting pitcher.

It didn't matter who of the three contenders he picked to start the AL Wild Card game. If the Yankees don't win Wednesday night, Boone will be second-guessed unless it's the bullpen and/or offense that underwhelms.

Luis SeverinoMasahiro Tanaka, and J.A. Happ all have positive attributes and negative marks as to whether or not they should start.

Severino came into the season as the team's bonafide ace and held that position for the first half. He struggled in the second half but has pitched better of late.

He certainly is motivated to make up for his terrible Wild Card performance against the Minnesota Twins last year.

Tanaka is a dynamite pitcher but he serves home runs at Yankee Stadium like he's going to win a free car for each home run allowed.

Happ has been great for the Yankees since his acquisition from Toronto at the non-waiver trade deadline and has solid numbers against most of the A's lineup. His "stuff" is not as dominating as Severino's and perhaps Boone is thinking ahead that left-handers fare better against the Red Sox.

Of course, you first have to get the Division Series, but one would imagine that Boone will have a quick hook if Sevy struggles early. And, Boone will use Green, Betances, Robertson, and Chapman in any way he can.

Sorry, it's been so long since I posted here. My Pinstripes is coming up on its 13th anniversary in December!