Kuroda allows two runs: What an a**hole

July 1, 2014 | 10 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Hiroki Kuroda NoMaas Yankees Dick

Thoughts before tonight’s game (July 1, 2014)

July 1, 2014 | 8 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Rupert Pupkin

Thoughts on both teams before tonight’s game against Tampa Bay:

Before I get into my little hopes and dreams section, I just want to say that I find it truly pathetic that this team has somehow managed to play worse than last year’s. They were in better shape this time last year and they didn’t have Jeter, Teixeira, Ellsbury, Beltran or McCann as “upgrades” at their current positions. Just an abysmal first half. They’re one game over .500 and only 2.5 games back of Toronto for the division lead. Disgusting.

I’m just gonna come out and say it: this wouldn’t be happening if A-Rod was out there everyday, allowed to play. Now that I got that out of the way…

Yankees

Thing I’m Expecting: Low scoring offense. Maybe they’ll bump Brian Roberts up in the order for hitting that game tying HR in the 9th last night. I know I picked him to suck again – well, he made me eat it, alright. I bet we’ll all be rewarded with another month of his futile bat thanks to that (ultimately) meaningless dinger. Sorry, Rob Refsnyder, but you’re no veteran!

Thing I Hope to See: A win. That’s all. It’s too much to ask for anyway. I don’t care if they piece together 4 sac flies and win 4-3. Maybe they can get some length out of Kuroda considering the Yankees used 6 pitchers in 12 innings last night, but y’know, we’re probably not going to get any of this.

Player I Want To Watch: I’m looking forward to seeing Alfonso Soriano bailing and wailing in all his ABs against David Price. I expect nothing but horrific output, and that’s what I want now because maybe it’ll convince the front office to dump him once and for all. This team has turned me masochistic.

Rays

Thing I’m Expecting Tonight: David Price has a career ERA of 3.84 against the Yankees in 145.1 IP. He’s had a sensational season so far and seems to have a chip on his shoulder due to all the trade rumors swirling around him. As the deadline approaches, I expect him to go all out to dominate the Yankees, which shouldn’t be difficult as they’re mostly pitiful at driving in runs.

Thing I Hope To See: I’d like to see Kuroda dominate Tampa Bay’s short, weak lineup. But anything positive seems to be out of the question right now as far as the Yankees are concerned. I hope to see them turn it around, but I also hope the entire of city of Boston mysteriously disappears like people on that new HBO show “The Leftovers.”

Player I’m Afraid Of: Matt Joyce. I don’t know why I neglected him when I wrote this yesterday. He was 5-6 on Sunday (against Baltimore) with 2 HR, 1 2B, and 4 RBI. Joyce smashed a bomb off David Phelps in the top of the 1st last night to build upon that, but went hitless for the rest of the night. I worry about his powerful lefty swing in Yankee Stadium, opposing Kuroda who can tend to leave his sinker up at times.

Tuesday morning humor

July 1, 2014 | 2 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

CBS New York:

As the third-place Yankees (41-40) hit the midpoint of their season just off the pace in the muddled AL East, general manager Brian Cashman reiterated he’s eager to upgrade the roster via trade.

“There are some things I need to do,” Cashman said before the game. “I’m ready to rock and roll. But again, I think those who have, are taking their time. Certain pieces, it’s been communicated that if they get what they want, which would be an extreme haul, they’re ready to move sooner than later. For those who want to step up and really pay the price a month before the (trade) deadline hits, obviously there’s going to be a higher price for that.”

Surprise! Yanks lose another low scoring game!

July 1, 2014 | 6 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Kevin Long Lap Dance NoMaas Yankees
What, me worry?

But let’s continue to talk about how the Yankees want to acquire more pitching.

Thoughts before tonight’s game (June 29, 2014)

June 30, 2014 | 4 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Rupert Pupkin

Thoughts on both teams before tonight’s series opener against Tampa Bay:

Yankees:

Impression Lately: Pretty obvious. They’re blundering offensively and can only rely on two of their starting pitchers to keep them in games. If they can’t figure out a way to start scoring more runs, they’ll have to learn to enjoy watching Whitley, Nuno and Phelps get torched beyond their offense’s scoring ability on any given start. They’re still only 1.5 games out of 1st place, behind Toronto. They are projected as 17.4% likely to win the division, 7.5% to earn one of the two wild cards, and 25% overall to make the playoffs (all per fangraphs). Their run differential is still terrible, at -32 and they are 4-6 in their last 10 games.

Thing I’m Expecting: Brian Roberts to contribute little on offense. Seems like a pretty safe bet, given the fact that he’s contributed next to nothing for the first 80 games.

Thing I Hope to See: Carlos Beltran had 3 hits and hit a solo HR last night to help the team pull to within 1 run. They’d never come closer to leading the game after that. But maybe Beltran is starting a hot streak at the plate, which would be long overdue. He brought his hideous slash line up to .220/.276/.415 after last night’s game. Maybe he’s about to go on a tear for a month.

Player I Want To Watch: I’m interested in seeing if David Phelps can bounce back from a poor start against Toronto last week (5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 7 K). He’s an average starting pitcher which is something the Yankees could use, given the fact that they trot out someone named Vidal Nuno every 5 days and Chase Whitley appears to be turning back into a career minor league reliever. Phelps could stake a claim to the rotation with a few strong performances and tonight is a good time to begin.

Rays

Impression Lately: The Rays, as many know, are absolutely ravaged by injuries this season and are a big long-shot to miss the playoffs and finish at the bottom of the AL East like we all had grown accustomed to before 2008. They’ve had performances beneath projections from guys like Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist and have struggled to find a sustainable closer option, despite signing Grant Balfour in the offseason. Tampa is coming off a resounding shellacking of the Orioles (winning 12-7), however, and have won 2 in a row. Still, their run differential on the year is -37 which is the worst in the division, to accompany their 10 game deficit in the East. They have a 1.8% chance of making the playoffs right now (per fangraphs again).

Thing I’m Expecting Tonight: Chris Archer seems to have the Yankees’ number so far in his career. The 25 year old right hander is 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA over 28.2 IP against the “Bombers.” So, naturally I’m going against the grain and expecting him to finally have a bad performance. That’s right, I’m not buying what he’s selling. I don’t care if his ERA is a respectable 3.29 to accompany an even nicer 2.96 FIP. Sometimes unexpected outcomes happen in baseball. Tonight I’m expecting the unexpected.

Player I’m Interested in Seeing: The Rays always seem to have good, young talent but honestly I can’t think of one player on their current roster who piques my interest. Brandon Guyer had 3 doubles a few nights ago, but I think his face is kinda dumb (full disclosure: I couldn’t pick him out of a crowd), so I don’t really care to watch him play, nor do I even know if he’ll be out there tonight. I guess I’m looking forward to seeing Joe Maddon over-use the shift and perhaps hear a philosophical quote he relayed to the team to help them get over the fact that they’ve been awful in 2014 so far.

Player I’m Afraid Of: Ben Zobrist was 3-6 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 8 TB yesterday. He’d been injured and playing below expectations recently, so I’m thinking he’s starting to get hot and that frightens me. He’s another quiet Yankees assassin, and I’m fearful he’ll haunt David Phelps’ (and my own) dreams tonight.

Sweet mother of God, what is the hold up?!

June 30, 2014 | 10 comments | in Farm System | by SJK

Rob Refsnyder Yankees NoMaas Herlihy Boy Saturday Night Live Chris Farley NoMaas
You vicious bastards! Let the boy play second base!

Refsynder at AAA: .371/.500/.629, 206 wRC+

ESPN didn’t get the fellatio reference

June 29, 2014 | 3 comments | in Mediot Observation | by Wade Garrett

Here you go, ESPN.

Thoughts Before Tonight’s Game (June 29, 2014)

June 29, 2014 | 4 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Rupert Pupkin

Thoughts on both teams before tonight’s game:

First let me address my personal thoughts on last night’s game: It was one of the most depressing results to a baseball game I’ve ever seen. Forget about Tanaka for a moment and realize that the Yankees failed to score an earned run throughout the entirety of the game. They kept putting men on base and kept leaving them there. There were guys caught stealing, bad at bats and just all around terrible offensive baseball.

Now, on to Tanaka: He’s really something special but he’s still learning and, while it couldn’t have hurt worse, he pitched 9 innings of 2 run ball, striking out 8 and allowing only 8 baserunners all game. The choice of a fastball in a 2 strike count has already been discussed ad nauseum, so I won’t get into it beyond saying that Napoli was right, it was idiotic…and it ruined my life for a few hours last night. It was as if Tanaka woke up yesterday morning determined to write the next Great American Novel and decided, just before finishing the last page, to settle on a bestseller.

Oh well, onwards and (hopefully) upwards…

Yankees:

Thing I’m Expecting: Inept offense all around. Maybe Kelly Johnson will start over Solarte and Ichiro will be out there instead of Soriano, as the Red Sox send up RHP John Lackey. All things considered, though – I don’t expect more than 2-3 runs and I hate this offense even worse than I did last year when names like Chris Nelson, Luis Cruz, Brent Lillibridge, Ben Francisco, Alberto Gonzalez and Brennan Boesch showed up on the reg. I’d rather see some of those clowns than the decaying corpses of Brian Roberts and Alfonso Soriano. Seriously, please, at some point, I beg of Brian Cashman – make it stop with these over the hill jokes.
Make. It. Stop.

Thing I Hope to See: Maybe, just maybe, after putting 1-2 guys on base, a run might score. I don’t want to overreach with my hopes here.

Player I Want To Watch: It’d be nice to see Chase Whitley bounce back from his only poor start of the season, last week against Toronto – 3.1 IP, 11 H, 8 ER, 3 BB, 1 HR. I don’t think a better performance is unfathomable. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the stars will align to allow for good pitching AND offense in one game. Also maybe world hunger and the Middle East crisis will go away tonight too.

Red Sox

Thing I’m Expecting Tonight: David Ortiz has been pretty quiet so far in this series, which is entirely unlike him against the Yankees who tend to go out of their way to accommodate Big Sloppy Papi. So it wouldn’t stun me if he hits a crippling or even meaningless HR at some point tonight.

Thing I Hope To See: Chase Whitley hitting David Ortiz in this ass in all of his plate appearances. Tanaka didn’t do it last night, so my hope remains in tact. Also it would dash my expectations of a huge hit.

Player I’m Interested in Seeing: I’m interested in seeing John Lackey get slapped around – literally and/or figuratively. If they don’t start scoring off him by the end of the 6th inning, maybe someone could go up to the mound and punch him in the face. Soriano could do it, though he’d probably miss wildly. Maybe someone can fight Ortiz too. Just give me something to get over the last game’s kick to the balls, I don’t care if it’s sophomoric and unprofessional. Just make ME (and by extension, all Yankee fans) feel better about what happened last night. That’s all I ask!

Player I’m Afraid Of: Something tells me AJ Pierzynski is going to get a big hit. It’s a baseless premonition. I’ll be glad to be wrong. I’ve already seen someone punch him in the face, anyway.

Dear Brian: The problem isn’t your pitching

June 29, 2014 | 15 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

New York Post:

Brian Cashman said he hopes CC Sabathia can rejoin the Yankees in mid-July, but the general manager isn’t waiting until then to upgrade the rotation.

“I am looking to make some addition if I can. So I would like to do things before those guys get back if possible,’’ Cashman said, talking about Sabathia, who is getting closer to returning from the disabled list, and Michael Pineda, who isn’t. “The reason we haven’t done anything is not for the lack of phone calls.’’

If you want to upgrade the rotation, fine. You’re going to continue to hope the Yankees can win low-scoring games by thin margins. This is a team with a -29 run differential.

But, the problem really isn’t the pitching. While the club is certainly Tanaka-dependent, the Yankees pitching armory has held up well this season.

Fangraphs ranks NYY pitching 2nd in the American League in terms of Wins Above Replacement with 10.5. Baseball-Reference is less kind, but still has the Yankees accumulating the 5th-most WAR in the AL with 8.8.

So again, you can upgrade the pitching if you want to, Cash, but “if you can’t score, you can’t win.

The problem is the damn offense. You have guys who are giving you replacement-level and less-than-replacement-level production. Your offense ranks 11th in the AL in WAR.

This is where the priority should be, not upgrading the pitching staff. There are moves on the offensive side of the ball that could be made TODAY: “DUMP TWO, CALL UP TWO

Why is this so difficult to understand?

Napoli calls Tanaka “an idiot”

June 29, 2014 | 9 comments | in Featured | by SJK

You can hear it around the 30 second mark. Sounds like Napoli calls Tanaka an “idiot” twice.

ESPN:

Mike Napoli hoped Masahiro Tanaka would make a mistake. The New York Yankees ace sure did — he twice shook off his catcher, then threw a pitch the Boston slugger could handle.

Napoli stung Tanaka by hitting a solo home run with two outs in the ninth inning, lifting Jon Lester and the Red Sox over the Yankees 2-1 on Saturday night.

What an idiot!” Napoli was heard exclaiming on Fox television microphones as he high-fived teammates in the dugout.

Napoli later said he didn’t mean any disrespect, adding he was “surprised” Tanaka didn’t throw his tremendous split-finger fastball.

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