Tagged: Red Sox

Missed Opportunities as Yank’s lose lead, game to Sox

I will not write much on the loss tonight. I will only give my thoughts on two aspects.

Missed Opportunities
I do not mean to repeat what I wrote in the other post I gave today. I am not saying “I told you so”.
But I cannot go without mentioning the 21 runners left on base. The 1 for 11 with RISP. Brad Penny did not pitch as well as it looks, once you study the the Yankee half of all nine innings:
1st Inning: First and Third, 2 out. No runs scored.
2nd Inning: First and Second, none out. No runs scored, baserunning error on Nick Swisher
3rd Inning: First with no out. No runs 
4th Inning: First and Second with two out. No runs
5th Inning: Penny’s only 1-2-3
6th Inning: First with one out. No runs
It was not by any means a performance that deserved the 0 runs it yielded. But it got that number because, aside from the 1 for 11 and the 21 LOB, the 2-3-4 hitters went 1 for 12. 
So with that,
This is Where The Yankees Turn It Around

This is where the team turns it around. Let’s be optimistic: It’s not even the All Star break yet. The Yankees have always played better after the break, and with that, the Yankees can erase these dismal runners-stranded performances from our memories. The Yankees can be clutch, but it can’t just be streaky moments vs. the Twins. They will need to find it in them to make it against everything – because lets be real, we know the lineup is capable. 
Extra Note: 
We are all thankful for the ace that C.C. has become

Runners Left on Base, Chien-Ming Wang

Runners Left on Base
Wang is an isolated problem, but LOB is not. The entire lineup is suffering. And it’s making the different in about every single game, with the Red Sox battles being no exception.
Yesterday, the Yankees left on 20. But what’s even more eyebrow-raising is the average LOB against the Red Sox this season (not including the 11-inning game, in which the Yank’s had 31 LOB, and Beckett’s masterpiece, no one got on anyway): 
19 per game
Another astonishing number is how the Yankees have been hitting with runners in scoring position (including the extra-inning game and Beckett’s game with this one):
10 for 71, or BA of .140

The Yankees will not beat the Red Sox until they perform considerably better than these numbers during the game. Although, to be honest, sometimes it takes that 1 in every 7 hits to win a ballgame.
Topic: Chien-Ming Wang

I believe in the magic of baseball. Every fan does. But I perhaps stretched the magic when I thought that the reason Wang’s start last night would work was because it just seemed so bleak.

If only baseball was that magical. But as yesterday proved, it isn’t always. At least not for the Yankees. Over 2.2 innings pitched, Wang gave up four earned runs. That’s not as bad as his first three starts – the most nightmarish pitching performances so far this season (I hate to remind people; six innings and 23 ER). It’s not a good start by any standards, but it could serve as the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Someone in Yankees management thinks so anyway, because it appears Wang is set for his next scheduled start.
It’s worth imagining the rotation with the return of 2007-style Wang. Obviously, it would be good. BUt what’s important is it would relieve the pressure of Burnett and Sabathia to be godly aces. Who knows how well that would affect the performance. But it would also give Joba Chamberlain a chance to grow. With that breathing room in the rotation it would become one of the most important seasons of Joba’s career.
Side Notes
Notice the 3 HRs launched by men in pinstripes last night. Looks like the New House isn’t the only house we can launch them out of.

What went wrong against Boston last night

The Yankees were shutout for the first time this year by Josh Beckett (7-2) last night. And the reason why is as simple as that fact might make it seem: Josh Beckett. 
Beckett has in his past 47.2 innings, gone 5-0, given up only 9 earned runs, 31 hits, and 16 walks. To put it simply, he has become the Red Sox ace.
So with the way he pitched last night, no one should be overly surprised. However, it is worth wondering why the Yankee bats were so quiet. Two hits the entire game is dismal for anyone’s standards, especially an offense with the second most runs scored in the American League. 
And so I went about inspecting the pitching that the Yankee’s have been hitting so well as of late, and the following is what I found. Given is the list of pitchers that started against the Yankees in all of the Yankee wins since May 13, along with their current ERA:

Richmond, 4.28

Tallet, 4.68

Liriano, 5.21

Blackburn, 4.38

Slowey, 4.50

Guthrie, 5.37

Eaton, 8.56

Happ, 2.60 

Harrison, 5.43

Holland, 5.70

Lee, 3.16 

Carmona, 6.60

Sowers, 6.16

McCarthy 4.92

Garza, 3.55

Sonnanstine, 7.00

In all of the Yankee wins since May 13, the Yankees have only faced three starters with an ERA below 4.28. And when they faced the three pitchers below that number (J.A. Happ, Cliff Lee, Matt Garza), the offense was relatively quiet, never scoring more than three earned runs against them. 
But everyone knows that the Yankees won’t be crushing good pitchers. No one consistently hits good pitcherst. It’s the Yankees specialty so far this season to simply take their bats to the relief, where they win games (see: Minnesota Twins, May 15-19, 2009)
The answer to question of how good the Yankees offense is lies in how other teams fair against the same pitchers that the Yankees struggle against. Specifically, look at the Boston Red Sox. 
AJ Happ? While Boston hasn’t seen him this year, in his past four starts, both the Mets and Nationals have scored three runs off of him, 1 more than the Yankees did. 
Slowey? In his past 46.1 innings (he had bad start) he has given up 21 earned runs. So not many, including the Red Sox, have scored well on him in his past eight starts. 
Tallet? The Red Sox have played to game against him so far this year, scoring 5 earned runs against him over thirteen innings…roughly a 3.46 ERA
Those are pitchers from Yankee wins. Here are some arms that the Yankees lost to since May 13;
Pavano gave up 2 ER over six to Boston
Millwood shut down Boston over seven innings
So without beating to death the issue of the Yankee Offense, and their performance against above-par pitchers, one can rest their head at night knowing that our lineup has posted as good numbers as any other – and truly beast against relief.