Monday, October 14, 2019



Anonymous said...

My maiden post to any Yankees page….

First, last night was the type of game the Yankees usually lose since their karma turned 15 years ago: 3-8 in playoff extra-innings beginning in 2004 ALCS. It’s not only bad luck, however. Lack of quality starting pitching depth always seems to rear its head in these situations. Like last year, the Yankees have only one reliable starter and the burden of poor quality and limited quantity from the likes of Paxton, Happ, Sabathia, and Severino is ultimately too much to overcome. Because they get so little length from the “opener” (and haven’t developed a reliable long-man a la Mendosa), the 10th inning invariably falls to the fourth or fifth starter. With the dependence on home runs the outcome in extras is predictable since the opponent's hitters eventually face inferior pitchers. Furthermore, the bullpen is overrated. It appears excellent in the regular season, but that’s largely a product of the bulk of the season being played against non-competitive teams. In a similar way, the Astros “great” lineup is only historically good and all the top clubs have inflated statistics and win totals.

Second, the Yankees simply can’t beat Justin Verlander in the playoffs. On previous occasions he was lights-out, but was very hittable Sunday. Many of his breaking balls were easy takes and there were 6-8 fastballs right down the middle that resulted in takes, swings-and-misses or weak fly balls. It was the same against Shilling and Johnson and there’s no reason to expect anything different in Verlander’s next start or possible relief appearance in a potential game 7.

Finally, the Yankees match-up terribly with the right-handed dominant Astros. NY has a heavily left-handed pitching staff but a dearth of lefty hitting. Of course Herman and Betances would have helped, but the roster ill-construction has been years in the making.

Astros in six.

This is an awesome blog and the only where honesty is condoned!

HoraceClarke66 said...

And a brilliant maiden post it is, Anon! Welcome!

I am especially intrigued by your stat on the extra-inning games. And yes, once again we are short on starting pitching.

This has been THE major failing of Coops' career, mitigated only when he went out and bought CC and Burnett before the 2009 season...and even then we almost fell short, having to pitch Pettitte on short rest.

And as to why the lineup is doing so poorly, I can only say that it is also worn down, due to the crazy number of injuries. Can't wait to see the results of that Cashman "investigation" into the Yanks' training and conditioning methods!

Anonymous said...

Better than the Titanic anyway…

The reason Yankee fans became hopeful 2-3 years ago is the team appeared to have developed four stars who would be cheap and under team control for several title runs—Betances, Severino, Sanchez and Judge. It was the job of the front office to bring in talent to compliment this new core. Cashman was hamstrung by the foolish Arod and Sabathia extensions, as well as the panic signings of Ellsbury and McCann. Meanwhile, several ace starting pitchers became available via trade or free agency (Sale, Lester, Scherzer, Price, Verlander, Cole, etc.), any two of whom would have solidified the rotation. Instead, the NYY have been repeatedly burned acquiring cast-offs with “great stuff” (eg. Pineda, Eovaldi, Paxton) who maintain the same flaws they had with their former teams. Cashman’s 2016 deadline deals receive unworthy praise. Torres has been great, but the Cleveland deal has been a flop. NY would have been better off holding the moderately paid Andrew Miller—a better pitcher that Chapman—who might have remained great if not for being criminally overused by the overrated Terry Francona! Lastly, the organization’s risk/reward analysis of Stanton was terrible, and that acquisition will result in chain reactions for years to come.

Despite the well-documented failures to build a rotation around Tanaka and an aging CC, the Yankees still could have contended for a championship. The greatest fault rests on the young Yankee stars who’ve not thrived in the post-season like their counterparts on the Cubs, Red Sox, or Astros. Severino has been a disaster: 1-2 with a 5.33 ERA is seven playoff starts; in 2017 his lack of length was a major culprit in burning out an excellent bullpen that finally collapsed in Houston. Betances was unavailable in 2017 (due to slump), underutilized in 2018 (could have been perfect opener against the top-heavy Red Sox lineup), and now injured for 2019. Sanchez has a .616 OPS with 5 walks and 32 strikeouts in 88 post-season ABs, and has contributed some untimely poor defense. Only Judge has played at the same level as in the regular season.

Maybe all these trends will reverse this week, but there’s no reason to expect different results.

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