Thursday, April 17, 2014

How Bad, Exactly, Are The Cubs?

It has been a long, long time since I watched a day/night double header where the Yankees shut out the opponent in both games.

It is immaterial that I recognized not a single name from the Cubs line-up.  I understand they are committed to a re-building program.  Good for them.

A win is a win, right?  They all count.

But think about this, for a moment;  The Cubs' pitching staff ended yesterday with a 2.0 ERA in both games ( I assume that the run we scored on, " catcher interference, " gets recorded as unearned on the pitcher's record).

What I am trying to say is that the Yankees are not showing enough offense to beat decent teams.  If you look carefully, our efficiency yesterday with runners in scoring position was quite pathetic.

Nonetheless, two shutouts in a row was great theater.

I was pleased that the Yankees brought up John Ryan Murphy rather than Romine, and that Murphy got a hit in the nightcap.  He also looked pretty good behind the plate.  Could he be a legit catching prospect?

I still remember Anna's HR from a week or so ago ( his last base hit?).  But what happened to the dude with a plus .400 on-base percentage from AAA?  Will he get comfortable and break out, or do we have a .150 guy as our utility infielder?

Solarte is beginning to look like a real player to me, and I didn't think we had any young position players with potential ( except, of course, for the depth at catcher we always proclaim).

I am also amazed with Kelly Johnson's work at first base.  And he is pretty quick, going down the line to first.

Is our Sizemore related to their Sizemore?  I gather that ours has MLB experience and is not a rookie.

Needless to say, our pitching staff is getting it done.  They are the key.


Ken of Brooklyn said...

When the bases were filled in the late innings, I kept thinking, urrggg, if this was any other team we'd be toast!

ceeja said...

Well about a tenth of the season is done, so you can start drawing some conclusions. It's a bit like last year: they are pitching over their heads, but their hitting is weak. That catches up with you eventually.

Hopefully, this is just a blip on the screen and they start hitting. It's a pretty good lineup and there's no reason why they can't score. Just need some more productive at bats when men are in scoring position.

John M said...

I really think they should sign Drew and/or Morales, but nobody is touching them until the June deadline, so they don't have to give up draft picks. I really like Solarte and Johnson, but Tex and Jeter are just too old and will constantly be injured or benched for rest. Beltran is doing pretty well, but Ichiro is miles ahead as a defender and baserunner. At least they’re using him. Put the two of them together and you've got a hell of a ballplayer.

What I like is how they’re approaching defense. They seem to have figured out that the offense is sketchy. They have maybe half a really good lineup. But the pitching is good, minus CC and Nova’s ups and downs. The bullpen is better than I expected.

And Robertson and Cervelli continue to get injured every time they get a shot at the big time. Funny how that happens.

But if they focus on defense and pitching (the most overshifts in baseball!), with a nod to the power potential of guys like Beltran (OK, Beltran and maybe McCann), Jacoby and Gardner have the speed to make something happen.

I don't expect a lot, but it might be fun to watch.

el duque said...

The Cubs stink. I'll take two shutouts over the Maryvale School for the Blind, but unless we shore up our infield, we are a losing streak waiting to unfurl.

KD said...

I have been really enjoying the Yankees this year (I have forgiven them the Astros series).

My biggest surprise is how much I admire Jacoby. He is my kind of ball player. (Anybody miss the Grandyman? I didn't think so...) Can't believe the redsocks didn't pony up for this guy. I hope some of his mad skills can rub off on Gardy.

joe de pastry said...

After 15 games last season the Yankees' record was 9-6. In that 15th game, Travis Hafner hit his 5th HR, and Vernon Wells hit his 4th.

el duque said...

Ah, the famed Halfner/Wells team of 2013! Those were the days.

Tex Message said...

The Master's compaƱera said it best: You can only beat the teams you play. Maybe the Cubs suck. But they all look the same in the win column!

KD said...

I'm drinking the Yankee Kool-Aid and it tastes great! Please sir, may I have more?

Soterious said...

Suzuki is "miles better" than Beltran on defense? In 2013, Suzuki's dWAR was .08; Beltran's was -0.1. That's one game better on defense--for the whole season. Now I know that's incommensurate with distance, but somehow it seems much less than a mile to me.

Anonymous said...

Sorry--make that 0.8 for Suzuki.

John M said...

Ichiro is miles better than Beltran on defense. Watch a few games.

Dino said...

John M.--That's your problem (and your comrade in ineptitude, KD): you watch "a few games"--a very few games--and start lurching with squawks of glee and rage: Ichiro's batting .400! Jeter's batting .300! Phelps sucks! (Monday); no, check that, Phelps is great (Friday) . . . and son on, unto utter self-annihilating vacuity.

Someone can "watch" all day long and not see anything--the key is knowing what to look for, how to locate it in a meaningful context, and how to state the result in a coherent manner. Your baseball "analysis" does none of the foregoing--it's just frantic fan blather, twiching this way, now that, with each day's box score.

For example: you state that Ichiro is "miles" better than Beltran as a fielder. This is literally nonsense--it is devoid of useful semantic content. It is what Popper called an unfalsifiable proposition, a mere figure of speech that measure nothing but the ardor of your hero worship. Why stop at "miles"? Why not "worlds" better? Or "a universe" better? That will give you an even bigger fan-gasm. Or how about "way way way" better? Let us count the "ways"!

If we can bracket your preadolescent mood swings long enough to look at actual performance, we will see that Beltran has a higher career dWAR than Suzuki. Shocking? How can this be? Suzuki made a flashy catch just two days ago, right? But in real-world matters of overall range, putouts, assists--over like, you know, a REALLY LARGE SAMPLE OF AN ENTIRE DEFENSIVE CAREER--Beltran comes out as the more valuable outfielder on defense-he has a higher career dWAR, and has performed on about the same level from season to season.

But the eternal eight-year-old in you savors the sizzle, not the steak. Your "watching" is the myopia of today's or this week's results--mere aberrant statistical noise--rather than the telling, detailed, meaningful metrics of the long haul--that stuff is for NERDS and people who actually like to THINK. YUCK!

Your resume on this blog is a curious one: you write like a basset hound, your analytical skills are on about the same level, and you have nothing much of interest or originality to say about anything. So why has duque elevated your blather from the comments section? I think it's an occult juju strategy to boost readership--your freeform inanity tells the average fan, "This site is run just like the Yankee--the owner, just like the Steindolts, has a soft spot for aging mediocrities! This is the blog for me!"

You are miles and miles and miles of piles.