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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Matthews: Paycheck, not performance, saves A.J. Burnett

Or as Michael the Kay condimented last night…“A.J. looks like a cross between Kramer and Lyle Lovett!”

On the same week that Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova, two young, talented and hungry pitchers, are locked in a one-on-one struggle for one spot in the Yankees’ starting rotation, A.J. Burnett seems to have the ultimate Get Out of Jail Free card.

“A.J.‘s starting for us on Wednesday,” Joe Girardi said.

So that’s that.

...And there’s no way anyone else is going to relieve the Yankees of that burden. You can put Burnett on waivers or leave him out with the recyclables for anyone to pick up. You can hang him upside down by his heels in the middle of Times Square.

No one is going to take him, and either he is going to pitch out the remainder of his deal or Brian Cashman is going to be force-fed that $33 million either straight or with a chaser.

“His numbers aren’t that bad,” Girardi said. “If you look at the numbers of Hughes, he’s made one good start. If you look at the whole year, A.J.‘s been decent for us. I think he’s been a much better pitcher for us this year.”

Repoz Posted: August 04, 2011 at 12:36 PM | 84 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, game recaps, media, white sox, yankees

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   1. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 01:08 PM (#3892492)
“His numbers aren’t that bad,” Girardi said. “If you look at the numbers of Hughes, he’s made one good start. If you look at the whole year, A.J.‘s been decent for us. I think he’s been a much better pitcher for us this year.”
Yesterday was disgraceful, but then, Hughes had an equally bad job not long before. Girardi is--sadly, as a Yankee fan--right about this.
   2. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 01:14 PM (#3892498)
Burnett really does suck though. I'm not ready to jump back on the Phil Hughes bandwagon just yet, but it's clear to me that CC, Freddy, Colon and Nova are the 4 best rotation options and Burnett is either 5th or 6th. Unfortunately, money talks.

EDIT: I would also hope my manager could phrase his "praise" of Burnett so that it doesn't come off as negative towards Hughes. But, Hughes has thus far shown himself not to be the type to get upset by things like this.
   3. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#3892602)
Nova will probably go out and get blown up tonight, too, but really, how many more times can Burnett lay an egg before the Yankees suck it up and put their best five options in the rotation?
   4. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:01 PM (#3892603)
This has been an amazingly b1tchy season by Yankees fans. I don't get it.

They were supposed to be good, not great on paper (low 90's wins, IIRC).

They've overperformed. They've played "true" 600+ baseball over two-thirds of a season.

They're not quite as good as Boston on paper. They're one game back. They're probably 6 to 4 underdogs in a 7 gamer against Boston. We knew this back in March. Nothing has really changed.

I mean, they're going to win ~95-100 games, they probably have a 10-15% chance of winning the Series . . . why don't people just enjoy it? For chrissakes, they just put up 18 runs against some decent pitchers and all people can do is ##### about Burnett. Burnett has been vaguely shitty for 18 months. He is what he is.
   5. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:06 PM (#3892608)
I wouldn't put it past Girardi to give him a playoff start, though.
   6. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:09 PM (#3892613)
[4] - because they've underperformed their Pythag?
   7. ecwcat Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:14 PM (#3892621)
Cashman won't view AJ as a sunk cost, because he's too stubborn and cheap, and the announcers have continued to refer to him as the "#2 starter" even when Andy Pettitte was there with CC. So the company line is that AJ will remain in the rotation and we as fans should continue to view him as a front end starter, not a backend guy.

I do agree with #4 that it's a shame the New York storyline is AJ and not the offense.

I do disagree with enjoying the season, though. For a Yankees fan, a Wild Card and getting eliminated in the playoffs is not a fun time, and that's what this team looks like it will be doing against teams like the Red Sox, Rangers, and even Tigers.
   8. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:15 PM (#3892624)
For a Yankees fan, a Wild Card and getting eliminated in the playoffs is not a fun time, and that's what this team looks like it will be doing against teams like the Red Sox, Rangers, and even Tigers.


This is ridiculous. There's zero evidence that the Yankees are materially worse than the Rangers or Tigers. Why is everyone so irrationally down on this season's team?
   9. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:15 PM (#3892625)
because they've underperformed their Pythag?


All the more reason to enjoy it. That's typically a team that is getting dramatic victories and unexpected performances and is usually a lot of fun to watch.

For the Yankee fans out there who are the three guys behind Sabathia in a post-season rotation? As well as Colon has pitched he seems like one but after that I think there is an argument for any of the other options. From the outside it seems like CC-Colon-Hughes-Burnett are the four with Nova working out of the 'pen. That sucks for Garcia but as good as he has been his stuff is such that I don't know that throwing him out there against a playoff caliber offense (particularly Boston and Texas) is going to be something I would do if I were Girardi.

With Hughes and Burnett you at least have an upside. Sure they could get rocked but both guys are capable of 7 IP, 1 run, 9 K type outings. I think the best case for Garcia is a 6IP, 4 runs seat squirmer. Of course I had the same feeling about Jon Lieber heading into the 2004 ALCS and he pitched damned well.
   10. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:21 PM (#3892631)

With Hughes and Burnett you at least have an upside. Sure they could get rocked but both guys are capable of 7 IP, 1 run, 9 K type outings. I think the best case for Garcia is a 6IP, 4 runs seat squirmer. Of course I had the same feeling about Jon Lieber heading into the 2004 ALCS and he pitched damned well.


With the Yankees offense as good as it is, IMO I take the low-variance veteran. CC-Colon-Garcia is my top three, and fourth starter is hot hand in August/September.

Garcia might not have great stuff, but it's not all smoke and mirrors. The periphs are consistent with a league-average starter. Maybe this season is a dead-cat bounce for Garcia, like that year Mussina jacked his K-rate with the new ultra-slow change-up, but the slow fastball affects Garcia's projection in future seasons, not his projection for the rest of 2011.

Is there any evidence that good hitting teams perform disproportionately better against junk ballers (with good peripherals) compared to guys with live fastballs but the same peripherals?
   11. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:28 PM (#3892637)
All the more reason to enjoy it. That's typically a team that is getting dramatic victories and unexpected performances and is usually a lot of fun to watch.


I couldn't agree more. America has fallen in love with these plucky underdog Yankees who refused to roll over and submit to the overwhelming favorites proudly wearing their barrel-and-suspenders uniforms in Boston. Excelsior!
   12. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:41 PM (#3892648)
Naturally if Hughes pitches great the rest of the way, with good velocity, he gets post-season starts. But that's still kind of a big if at this point.
   13. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:44 PM (#3892651)
I couldn't agree more. America has fallen in love with these plucky underdog Yankees

I've also noticed that everywhere, too, except in a few holdout regions like the Boston Think Factory.
   14. ecwcat Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:51 PM (#3892660)
#8] Did the Yankees have inferior material on paper all the time when they lost from 2001 to 2007, and 2010?

Are the 2011 Yankees that different than the 2010 Yankees who got SHUT DOWN against the Texas Rangers in the ALCS?

Will you be that shocked if Cano, Teix, A-Rod, Granderson, Swisher, Jeter and friends choke with RISP in October?

I'm not trying to be sarcastic here...I still haven't recovered from last year, and for every game the Yankees score 10 runs +, there are more games where the offense gets tricked against some pitcher I never heard of.

Just because the Yanks are in a nice run right now doesn't mean I'm getting the champagne ready.

I personally feel comfortable with CC, Colon, and Garcia. That should be good enough to hang in with the Top 3 for the other teams. The issue is the Yankees have the same batters as last year. Colby Lewis or Matt Harrison will shut them down when everything is on the line. With the Tigers I can envision Max Scherzer handcuffing the Yanks.

Not to mention Josh Beckett or Jon Lester.
   15. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:56 PM (#3892662)
#14, I think you got lost on the internet. This is Baseball Think Factory. You were probably looking for the River Avenue Blues comment section.

Thanks.
   16. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:57 PM (#3892663)
Colby Lewis hasn't exactly been Mr. Shutdown this year, you realize.
   17. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 04:12 PM (#3892676)
[15] I laughed.
   18. BDC Posted: August 04, 2011 at 04:16 PM (#3892680)
Colby Lewis hasn't exactly been Mr. Shutdown this year

It's the New Parent Syndrome. If only he'd had his children taken away from him when we suggested it.
   19. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 04, 2011 at 04:45 PM (#3892702)
For a Yankees fan, a Wild Card and getting eliminated in the playoffs is not a fun time, and that's what this team looks like it will be doing against teams like the Red Sox, Rangers, and even Tigers.

Why don't we let them play the games anyway.

Hughes may have returned to his old self, Chavez is back, Colon & Garcia are still doing well, Nova looks like a MLB-quality pitcher, A-Rod is on the way, and Derek Jeter (5 hits last night) has upped his BA to .280. Even with the uncertainty of A.J. Burnett, things look better for the Yankees. They are all of one game behind Boston. Could be tied by the time they meet on Friday.
   20. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 04, 2011 at 05:27 PM (#3892740)
I came into this thread all hot and bothered, thinking that AJ had put up pretty good numbers this year and that folk were expecting an impending explosion due to his performance last year. But this article's point is kind of hard to argue with. Look at this page and give me good reasons why AJ should not be at least considered if they need to make a choice to put anyone out of the rotation.

Speaking of the team, I looked up at the screen during the YES pregame (wasn't listening or even paying attention) and they had a Jesus Montero performance graph. Why did they do this? Did they call him up, or did he achieve something in the minors?

Burnett, by the way, reminds me of the Yankee acquisition of Jim Abbott years ago. We all expected based on his track record for a shutdown top-of-the-rotation starter, but ended up with an innings-eater with flashes of greatness. If you get hung up in expecting the world, you're disappointed. But if you just accept who he is and forget about his pre-NY career, you can still value him.
   21. jingoist Posted: August 04, 2011 at 05:35 PM (#3892749)
You Yankee fans will not get much sympathy from us Pirate/oriole fans who have been sucking old bathwater for the better part of 20 years.
We should be so luckky as to have issues with our #5 starter; hell, we don't even know who our #5 is anymore.
   22. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 05:58 PM (#3892779)
Speaking of the team, I looked up at the screen during the YES pregame (wasn't listening or even paying attention) and they had a Jesus Montero performance graph. Why did they do this? Did they call him up, or did he achieve something in the minors?
There's rumors that Montero is on his way up sometime in the very near future.
   23. rconn23 Posted: August 04, 2011 at 06:35 PM (#3892809)
"For a Yankees fan, a Wild Card and getting eliminated in the playoffs is not a fun time, and that's what this team looks like it will be doing against teams like the Red Sox, Rangers, and even Tigers."

They are a better team than the Tigers and Rangers. They are not better than the Red Sox.

The Yankees were a better team than the Rangers last year, and still lost. The Red Sox were a better team than the Angels in 2009, and on and on we go.

Small sample sizes mean anything can happen.
   24. Tommy in CT Posted: August 04, 2011 at 06:42 PM (#3892816)
From reading this thread one would never believe that the Yanks are leading the AL BY FAR with a 123 ERA+. The Red Sox are the ones with pitching problems. With the loss of Buchholz they're effectively down to a 2-man rotation. All signs are pointing toward another August/September swoon from the Sawx.
   25. Tommy in CT Posted: August 04, 2011 at 06:50 PM (#3892822)
The Yankees were a better team than the Rangers last year, and still lost. The Red Sox were a better team than the Angels in 2009, and on and on we go.


Well said. It's amazing how many who claim to be knowledgeable baseball fans are willing to discard the results of a 162 game season and declare one team better than another on the basis of a short post-season series. In the last 15 years the team with the best record in baseball has won the World Series only twice - the 1998 Yankees and the 2009 Yankees. The multi-tiered playoff system just makes it all the more likely that an inferior but hot team will prevail, like the Sawx over the Cards in 2004.
   26. RJ in TO Posted: August 04, 2011 at 07:05 PM (#3892833)
From reading this thread one would never believe that the Yanks are leading the AL BY FAR with a 123 ERA+.

Holy Hell, this is true!
   27. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 04, 2011 at 07:23 PM (#3892852)
makes it all the more likely that an inferior but hot team will prevail, like the Sawx over the Cards in 2004.

Wow, that's an...odd choice. I mean, you could have picked the 2003 Marlins or the 2006 Cardinals or the 2010 Giants....but, I think it's fairly well established that the 2004 Red Sox were a great team.
   28. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 04, 2011 at 07:26 PM (#3892854)
In the last 15 years the team with the best record in baseball has won the World Series only twice - the 1998 Yankees and the 2009 Yankees.


The 2007 Red Sox also did it (they were tied with Cleveland in wins that year).

With the loss of Buchholz they're effectively down to a 2-man rotation


I don't disagree that the Sox rotation is a bit thin at the moment but they have the third best record in baseball (half game behind the Yankees and Phillies) since Buchholz last threw a pitch. They have the offense to make up for it and I think it's reasonable to say that the Sox 3-4-5 as they stand today is not appreciably worse than anyone else's.
   29. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 04, 2011 at 07:47 PM (#3892880)
Look, the point of the matter isn't to say that the Yankees are better than the Sox, or the Sox are better than the Yanks, or that the Yankees fourth order win differential, carry the three and dividing by the number of wins multipled by A.J Burnett's IQ factorial, are 0.34 WOESHIT (Wins Over Every Scotch Bottle Hamilton Inhaled Today) better than the the Rangers, or whatever.

The point is that the Yankees are very good, probably the second best team in the AL but it doesn't really matter since the Sox, Yanks, and Rangers are close enough that any team coming out the AL wouldn't be that much of an upset. (The Tigers have been outscored on the season, so I don't see where they enter into the discussion). The Yankees are playing 600 ball and have as good a chance as any team of winning the pennant. Just enjoy it. Enjoy Colon zipping in 95 mph two-seamers, or Gardner slapping triples to the opposite field, or Granderson yanking homers off of LHP around the pole, or David Robertson doing what he do, or CC effortlessly throwing up one of his 7IP/1BB/6K/0ER outings when it's 4-1 in the 9th by 9:15 and Marino is trotting in before your after dinner beer has lost its head. They're not a bunch of chokers, they're not superclutch allstars. They're not a SuperTeam, and they're not dogshit. They're just good, and reasonably likeable and play reasonably entertaining baseball, and for chrissake, what else do you want.
   30. Tommy in CT Posted: August 04, 2011 at 07:51 PM (#3892884)
...I think it's reasonable to say that the Sox 3-4-5 as they stand today is not appreciably worse than anyone else's.


Really?

Wakefield 6-4 83 ERA+ 1.298 WHIP
Lackey 9-8 66 ERA+ 1.548 WHIP
Miller 4-1 77 ERA+ 1.884 WHIP

That may be the worst in baseball. It's a lot closer to the Astro's 3-4-5 than any one of a dozen other MLB teams
   31. Randy Jones Posted: August 04, 2011 at 07:54 PM (#3892890)
for chrissake, what else do you want.


a pony.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: August 04, 2011 at 07:56 PM (#3892891)
Jesus, that bullpen is pitching ridiculously well.

Looking at the numbers, there's no way I don't slot Burnett in any lower than #4. Nova has a lousy K/BB, gives up a good number of HR (not as bad as Burnett) and a ton of hits. A 1.44 WHIP is not good and that 106 ERA+ will fade. The harder question is whether Garcia is for real but, given Burnett's equally meh year last year, I'll probably go with Garcia as #3.
   33. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 04, 2011 at 08:03 PM (#3892896)
That may be the worst in baseball. It's a lot closer to the Astro's 3-4-5 than any one of a dozen other MLB teams


Year to date I agree but I think it's highly unlikely to remain that bad. Bedard should be better than Miller by a fair amount and Lackey, while not great, has been serviceable since coming off the DL with a bunch of OK outings and the odd "holy crap he sucks" outing.
   34. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 04, 2011 at 08:13 PM (#3892910)
No reason to guesstimate this stuff;

BOS - Wake (83 ERA+), Bedard (108), Lackey (66)
NYY - Burnett (93), Garcia (132), Hughes (62) (Nova is better but he's made one start in a month during a doubleheader so I don't think he belongs)
DET - Penny (79), Porcello (86), Coke (80)
TEX - Holland (104), Lewis (104), Harrison (140) (well damn)
LAA - Santana (112), Pineiro (70), Chatwood (95)
CLE - Carrasco (85), Tomlin (92), Huff (769) - I don't think Huff will keep that up

I'm cool with my earlier statement with the caveat that the Rangers pretty clearly have the deepest rotation, at least performance wise, among the top contenders.

EDIT: All hail Baseball-Reference! Seriously, it is insane how easily we can get this stuff now and how much we take it for granted (or at least I do).
   35. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 08:25 PM (#3892916)
I'm glad Yankees fans take it upon themselves to remind the world why they hate the Yankees so much.
   36. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 08:26 PM (#3892918)
I'm glad Yankees fans take it upon themselves to remind the world why they hate the Yankees so much.


I've always assumed it was because the world was full of haters.
   37. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 08:28 PM (#3892921)
Am I wrong in the impression I get that the Yankees and Red Sox both--while clearly the cream of the crop for the AL--are down in quality from their '03/'04 peak? I can't exactly explain why I have that feeling, because goodness knows both those teams had their flaws (for starters, they generally regarded defense as that boring thing you do between whacking the hell out of the ball) but they just seem better in my mind than the current versions.
   38. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 04, 2011 at 08:33 PM (#3892927)
Am I wrong in the impression I get that the Yankees and Red Sox both--while clearly the cream of the crop for the AL--are down in quality from their '03/'04 peak? I can't exactly explain why I have that feeling, because goodness knows both those teams had their flaws (for starters, they generally regarded defense as that boring thing you do between whacking the hell out of the ball) but they just seem better in my mind than the current versions.


I don't think I can confidently do that comp for the Yanks but my feeling regarding the Sox is they are more top heavy than the 2004 club. We have been having this discussion on one of the Sox Therapy threads but my feeling is that the back end of the rotation and the bottom third of the order on the 2004 team was appreciably better than those portions of this year's club.
   39. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 08:43 PM (#3892936)
I don't think I can confidently do that comp for the Yanks but my feeling regarding the Sox is they are more top heavy than the 2004 club. We have been having this discussion on one of the Sox Therapy threads but my feeling is that the back end of the rotation and the bottom third of the order on the 2004 team was appreciably better than those portions of this year's club.
For what I assume are obvious reasons, you're not going to get a lot of people carrying the torch for the 2004 Yankees, and not many more for the 2003 version. Looking at those teams, they were cleared flawed in ways my memory has obsecured (the '04 team, for example was 111/96 in OPS+/ERA+ while the 2011 one is 110/123) so maybe in 2018 or whatever as the Yankees and Red Sox are on pace to win 95+ games again I'll be talking about how they couldn't compare to the 2011 version.
   40. rconn23 Posted: August 04, 2011 at 09:30 PM (#3892968)
A Bedard vs. Burnett matchup in the ALCS would be the greatest " my body language is terrible, I am now ready to fold like a tent" pitching duel in history.
   41. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 04, 2011 at 09:33 PM (#3892969)
Am I wrong in the impression I get that the Yankees and Red Sox both--while clearly the cream of the crop for the AL--are down in quality from their '03/'04 peak? I can't exactly explain why I have that feeling, because goodness knows both those teams had their flaws (for starters, they generally regarded defense as that boring thing you do between whacking the hell out of the ball) but they just seem better in my mind than the current versions.


The 2004 Red Sox were probably better than the 2011 Red Sox, but the two teams' different paths to success probably cause us to overstate the difference. This Red Sox team is depending on a few players (Ellsbury, Pedroia, Reddick, Saltamacchia, Ortiz, Beckett) playing above to way above expectations, and on their best hitter playing at the high end of his projection range. The 2004 team on the other hand had a lot of guys who played about as well as they had in the recent past (the only notable exceptions being Arroyo and the backup catcher). A team that's really good because it has a bunch of really good players playing at their established level is always going to feel more solidly great than a team getting it done with players playing better than they have before mixed in with guys who are tanking. You're always afraid the bottom's going to fall out, which no one was in 2004.

The other thing is that the 2004 team was in a way luckier than the 2011 team, in that it had good luck with injuries (the top five starters made 157 starts between them) and only had one player who cratered (Byung-Hyun Kim, although it felt at the time like Lowe had too). So there was a lot less worrying about who's starting this weekend, is the left fielder toast, and so on. That makes a big difference to perceptions as well.

P.S. And yeah, when you only have 5 starts made by crappy pitchers, it's going to feel a lot more solid than the rotation the Sox have been trotting out recently, even if the W-L results are the same.
   42. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 04, 2011 at 09:36 PM (#3892972)
The Yankee teams of the Nineties in particular are famous for not having anyone hit 30 home runs, but having very consistent power threats through the lineup. There's something almost... empty about buying A-Rod or Adrian Gonzalez and getting expected MVP seasons out of them that isn't quite the same as developing Robinson Cano or Jon Lester and watching them blossom.
   43. rconn23 Posted: August 04, 2011 at 09:51 PM (#3892982)
Let me say this is one of the most fun Yankees teams to watch — from Granderson and Tex hitting massive bombs, Gardner's mind-blowing defense in left, Granderson mashing leftys and being one of the best players in the league, Colon, Garcia, Martin and Chavez picked off the scrap heap and being extremely productive to Robertson's dominance in the pen.

Similarly, I think Red Sox fans would feel the same way about their team. Ellsbury and Pedroia are having career years, Gonzalez is hitting everything, Ortiz had a rebound and Beckett is having his best year and staying healthy.

Phil Hughes and A.J Burnett, John Lackey and Carl Crawford all sucking shouldn't dim those highlights - too much.
   44. SG Posted: August 04, 2011 at 09:53 PM (#3892983)
Nova has a lousy K/BB, gives up a good number of HR (not as bad as Burnett) and a ton of hits. A 1.44 WHIP is not good and that 106 ERA+ will fade.


FWIW, Nova started throwing a cutter(per Pitch FX)/slider(per Fangraphs) on May 28, and since then his BB/K rate has been better.

Through 5/21: 226 BF, 9.3% BB/BF, 11.5% K/BF
Since 5/28: 208 BF, 8.2% BB/BF, 14.9% K/BF

Small sample size caveats, etc., but it does look like Nova's getting better in that regard. He's probably still not 4.01 ERA good, but his FIP is 4.41 and his xFIP is 4.26 so his performance isn't really that out of line with his peripherals.
   45. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 05, 2011 at 12:23 AM (#3893071)
Anyone who doesn't love David Robertson, for both his ridiculous stat line (14.5 K/9, 0 HRs!!!) and for the way he plays baseball (tiny little dude with a straight fastball/curve/occasional change comb) has no soul.

I am totally satisfied with this team and this season to date. The only thing I want out of the rest of this season is for Hughes to finish out the season strong and Montero to come up pre-September. Doing well in the playoffs would be icing on the cake.
   46. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 12:38 AM (#3893082)
Anyone who doesn't love David Robertson, for both his ridiculous stat line (14.5 K/9, 0 HRs!!!) and for the way he plays baseball (tiny little dude with a straight fastball/curve/occasional change comb) has no soul.


The Alabama Hamma!

Meanwhile, Nova has come out throwing 94, touching 96 tonight ...
   47. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 12:48 AM (#3893088)
Anyone who doesn't love David Robertson, for both his ridiculous stat line (14.5 K/9, 0 HRs!!!) and for the way he plays baseball (tiny little dude with a straight fastball/curve/occasional change comb) has no soul.
I had no idea that Robertson hadn't allowed a HR this year, and I'm stunned he only has 12 in his career (177.2 IP). You would think a curveball pitcher would be allowed more. I guess when Robertson is off, he's just walking the house.

Also, I've had a comical man crush on him for ages. So I'm thrilled to see this.
   48. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 05, 2011 at 12:57 AM (#3893100)
And meanwhilst, Bedard is doing his usual over in Boston (let the record show the witness made the 'Drinky-Drinky' motion).
   49. Srul Itza Posted: August 05, 2011 at 01:36 AM (#3893144)
The Sox have decided to spot the Indians a 3 run lead in the seventh, so it can be extra painful when they come back.
   50. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 01:41 AM (#3893149)
Meanwhile, Nova has come out throwing 94, touching 96 tonight ...

Do not believe radar readings in CHI/KC/TOR.
   51. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 05, 2011 at 01:45 AM (#3893152)
Meanwhile, Nova has come out throwing 94, touching 96 tonight ...

7 Ks in 6 IP too. His career high in Ks can't be much better than 7.
   52. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 01:52 AM (#3893157)
Do not believe radar readings in CHI/KC/TOR.


I didn't, that velo's from Gameday, which uses Pitch F/X.

He's still sitting 93-94 @ 80 pitches going into the 7th.

Also, Humber was 88-90 all night.
   53. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 01:55 AM (#3893160)
7 Ks in 6 IP too. His career high in Ks can't be much better than 7.


He had 7 1x last year against ... the White Sox!
   54. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 01:59 AM (#3893163)
[52] Don't trust any of it. Nova has hit 96+ more times tonight than he has the entire season.
   55. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:01 AM (#3893165)
This Red Sox team is depending on a few players (Ellsbury, Pedroia, Reddick, Saltamacchia, Ortiz, Beckett) playing above to way above expectations, and on their best hitter playing at the high end of his projection range.

Or, alternatively, these players are just making up for the fact that players like Crawford, Lackey, and Drew are playing at the very low end of their projection range.

And meanwhilst, Bedard is doing his usual over in Boston (let the record show the witness made the 'Drinky-Drinky' motion).

Admittedly, I didn't see the innings he was pitching, but in Game Chatter other Sox fans said he got bleeped and blooped to death.
   56. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:02 AM (#3893166)
How about that throw by Martin to nail Pierre a few innings ago? On a tough pitch to throw on, too. The release was incredibly quick.
   57. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:02 AM (#3893167)
8 Ks! New career high for Nova! Thank you Adam Dunn.
   58. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:04 AM (#3893170)
I think Nova's velocity started picking up, almost out of nowhere, midway through last season. I'm watching him throw now and I can help but be reminded that he was a Rule 5 loss to the Padres after 2008 but couldn't stick on their roster and had to be returned. I could imagine Nova putting up some pretty strong numbers with San Diego this season and the Yankees wiping a fair bit of egg off their faces.

It wouldn't be like Jeff Karstens, either, nobody misses him.
   59. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:04 AM (#3893171)
9 Ks!
   60. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:08 AM (#3893174)
How about that throw by Martin to nail Pierre a few innings ago? On a tough pitch to throw on, too. The release was incredibly quick.

I remember in April being pissed about Martin's success, especially compared to the Red Sox catcher situation. Ah, how times have changed.

You know...I think it's about time for another Red Sox-Yankees ALCS. Of course, I'll still be rooting against the Yankees in all games, but I'll be secretly hoping for another Sox-Yanks ALCS.

(And if that does happen, all you RLYW turncoats better come back for Chatters.)
   61. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:15 AM (#3893176)
Don't trust any of it. Nova has hit 96+ more times tonight than he has the entire season.


Well, considering that Nova has hit 96 (and no higher) on Pitch F/X 6x tonight and he hit 96 on Pitch F/X 6x in Yankee Stadium last Saturday, I'd say your claim simply isn't true.

[edit] less snark.
   62. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:22 AM (#3893180)
[61] Hmmm...
   63. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:26 AM (#3893182)
10!!!

Super Nova!
   64. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:27 AM (#3893183)
10 Ks! I know this has been discussed before, but man, the White Sox offense is terrible.
   65. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:28 AM (#3893184)
Finishes with 10K in 7 2/3. He's getting another start at least.

And I think 8 of them came on the cutter/slider. Never been a big fan of his, but if he's consistent with that pitch, he finally has something to get swings and misses.
   66. SG Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:28 AM (#3893185)
I guess I should update post 44 with the new data.

Through 5/21: 226 BF, 9.3% BB/BF, 11.5% K/F
Since 5/28: 235 BF, 7.2% BB/BF, 17.4% K/BF
   67. Srul Itza Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:29 AM (#3893186)
On a tough pitch to throw on, too.


It was high, with little break. By the time he grabbed it, he was already out of his crouch. I don't see it as being that tough to throw on.
   68. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:37 AM (#3893192)
And I think 8 of them came on the cutter/slider. Never been a big fan of his, but if he's consistent with that pitch, he finally has something to get swings and misses.


Yeah, that slutter thingy has really been a big add for him so far.
   69. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:42 AM (#3893193)
Never been a big fan of his, but if he's consistent with that pitch, he finally has something to get swings and misses.

Man, me neither. But I will gladly be proven wrong.
   70. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:43 AM (#3893194)
Good to see BaBBa Bruney still has no idea where his pitches are going ...
   71. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:53 AM (#3893197)
Man, that's got to feel good for the Big Donkey.

Here's hoping that starts a turn around for him.
   72. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:55 AM (#3893198)
Now 39 innings without a walk!

I was actually kind of rooting for Dunn there. Good for him, and hopefully White Sox fans will stop booing him.
   73. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:27 AM (#3893201)
Yankees are +35 runs in the race for the AL Pythag Pennant.
   74. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:38 AM (#3893202)
Looking at the numbers, there's no way I don't slot Burnett in any lower than #4. Nova has a lousy K/BB, gives up a good number of HR (not as bad as Burnett) and a ton of hits. A 1.44 WHIP is not good and that 106 ERA+ will fade.

I'm not seeing any evidence of that, even without tonight. You're talking about a 24 year old pitcher who's had only 25 starts in the Majors, and is just beginning to go deep into games. You're also talking about a pitcher with dominating stuff and an improving K/BB ratio. It'd be crazy to send him back to the minors when he's pitching like he is now.

Right now I might toy around with pitching Sabathia on his usual rest and then letting the other five work around him, just to give Girardi a better idea as to how this will all play out. The extra rest shouldn't hurt Garcia or Colon in particular, and in the long run the two survivors among the last three would be even better rested for the postseason.

And talk about gratitude---Is there a Yankees fan this side of Jupiter who would have dreamed at the beginning of the season that pitching was going to be their strong point, not to mention that in August they'd arguably have the best overall staff in the league? They may have but one real standout in the rotation, which will hurt them in matchups against the Phillies, Giants, Rangers, and possibly the Red Sox, but you'd have to go back to 1998 to see this level of pitching depth. Too bad that the postseason can't be best of 13 series with no off days.

P.S. The rest of the baseball world should just declare a holiday for the next three days and focus their eyes on Boston. These may not be the best teams in baseball, but AFAIC this is what baseball is all about.
   75. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:39 AM (#3893203)
Do not believe radar readings in CHI/KC/TOR.


NESN had Justin Masterson sitting at 96 and hitting 98. Bull-oney.
   76. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:45 AM (#3893204)
Right now I might toy around with pitching Sabathia on his usual rest and then letting the other five work around him, just to give Girardi a better idea as to how this will all play out. The extra rest shouldn't hurt Garcia or Colon in particular, and in the long run the two survivors among the last three would be even better rested for the postseason.

I think this is what I would do.

I'm not seeing any evidence of that, even without tonight. You're talking about a 24 year old pitcher who's had only 25 starts in the Majors, and is just beginning to go deep into games. You're also talking about a pitcher with dominating stuff and an improving K/BB ratio. It'd be crazy to send him back to the minors when he's pitching like he is now.

I think the dominating stuff argument is hard to make without the swing and miss data to back it up. To Nova's credit, that has been happening more as of late and the slutter does look like a plus pitch. He's got a deep arsenal. Slutter, curve and change have all flashed plus at different points in his ML career and the fastball is steady at 91-94, touching mid 90s with a good amount of sink.
   77. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:49 AM (#3893205)
9 of Nova's 10 strike-threes tonight were swinging.
   78. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 04:08 AM (#3893210)
And talk about gratitude---Is there a Yankees fan this side of Jupiter who would have dreamed at the beginning of the season that pitching was going to be their strong point,


That pitching would be their strong point DESPITE a terrible season-to-date from Phil Hughes AND an uninspiring effort from AJ Burnett? That the bullpen would excel DESPITE Joba Chamberlain AND Rafael Soriano missing much of the year?

It's been an inspiring season for this gritty 2011 Yankee team. You can't help but admire their guts and tenacity in the face of overwhelming adversity.
   79. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 04:19 AM (#3893212)
It's been an inspiring season for this gritty 2011 Yankee team. You can't help but admire their guts and tenacity in the face of overwhelming adversity.

Yeah, this is the most important point here. Don't think it's a coincidence Brett Gardner is a leader on this squad.
   80. bads85 Posted: August 05, 2011 at 04:55 AM (#3893218)
CLE - Carrasco (85), Tomlin (92), Huff (769) - I don't think Huff will keep that up


Especially since he was demoted to AAA. In Carmona We Trust! (and we are screwed)
   81. rr Posted: August 05, 2011 at 05:00 AM (#3893220)
P.S. The rest of the baseball world should just declare a holiday for the next three days and focus their eyes on Boston. These may not be the best teams in baseball, but AFAIC this is what baseball is all about.


I assume you are trolling, but in case you are not:

1. Philadelphia, with the best record in baseball, is playing the World Series champion San Francisco Giants in SF this weekend. Cliff Lee pitched a shutout tonight to get it started. And the Giants are actually in a division race.
2. The NYY/BOS series means less than a late-season NBA or NFL game to determine playoff seeding. You want a series like this to really matter to anybody other than YankSox fanboys, you gotta ditch the Wild Card and you gotta ditch the ASG determining WS HFA.

I am sure the games themselves will be entertaining (four-hour) affairs. But that is all there is to it.
   82. ptodd Posted: August 05, 2011 at 06:56 AM (#3893237)
9 of Nova's 10 strike-threes tonight were swinging.


White Sox were swinging at pretty much everything the entire series. No walks in 4 games (about 130 AB).
   83. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 05, 2011 at 11:52 AM (#3893255)
P.S. The rest of the baseball world should just declare a holiday for the next three days and focus their eyes on Boston. These may not be the best teams in baseball, but AFAIC this is what baseball is all about.

I assume you are trolling, but in case you are not:

1. Philadelphia, with the best record in baseball, is playing the World Series champion San Francisco Giants in SF this weekend. Cliff Lee pitched a shutout tonight to get it started. And the Giants are actually in a division race.


Okay, then, the Phillies and the Giants are the exception. But remember that they won't be starting until the Yanks and Boston are already in the fifth inning.
   84. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 05, 2011 at 01:26 PM (#3893287)
When the Yanks play the Sox, I have to adjust all of my DVR recording because (the normal) two hours of pad on the end just may not be enough.

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