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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Savages in the box go bust with slew of strikeouts

HOUSTON (AP) — A record-setting season by Savages in the Box ended with a slew of strikeouts and another October bust for the New York Yankees.

For the first time since the 1910s, the 27-time champions have gone through an entire calendar decade without even making it to a World Series.

An AL Championship Series of missed opportunities ended when Aroldis Chapman allowed José Altuve’s pennant-winning, two-run homer in the ninth inning Saturday night that gave the Houston Astros a 6-4 win and the pennant in six games.

“It will serve us well going forward when we get to the top of the mountain,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

I’d like to think that Boone would feel embarrassed about his puffery after how it ended, but he doesn’t seem to be the sort who has shame, so….

 

QLE Posted: October 20, 2019 at 12:58 AM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alcs, strikeouts, yankees

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   1. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: October 20, 2019 at 01:06 AM (#5892260)
Aaron Judge had some awful at-bats.
   2. Mefisto Posted: October 20, 2019 at 09:18 AM (#5892283)
For some values of "decade".
   3. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: October 20, 2019 at 10:34 AM (#5892295)
The Astros didn’t really hit either. It was a tight, tense series and I know this kind of thing is the standard response after such a series but I don’t think there is anything beyond “the Astros are really good at baseball” to be gleaned here.
   4. Captain Supporter Posted: October 20, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5892299)
I’d like to think that Boone would feel embarrassed about his puffery after how it ended, but he doesn’t seem to be the sort who has shame, so…./quote]

One of the dumber comments I've read on this site. Aaaron Boone has nothing to be ashamed of, and, in any case, the gratuitous character slur says more about you than it does about him. The Yankees showed their class by coming back from 3-0 and 4-2 in a hostile environment against an outstanding team to tie the game, and Jose Altuve showed what he is all about and sent the very deserving Astros to the World Series.
   5. Captain Supporter Posted: October 20, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5892300)
I’d like to think that Boone would feel embarrassed about his puffery after how it ended, but he doesn’t seem to be the sort who has shame, so….


One of the dumber comments I've read on this site. Aaaron Boone has nothing to be ashamed of, and, in any case, the gratuitous character slur says more about you than it does about him. The Yankees showed their class by coming back from 3-0 and 4-2 in a hostile environment against an outstanding team to tie the game, and Jose Altuve showed what he is all about and sent the very deserving Astros to the World Series.
   6. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: October 20, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5892301)
One of the dumber comments I've read on this site.

Well at least we know you don't read your own comments.
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: October 20, 2019 at 11:13 AM (#5892302)
very amusing post-game chatter among Yankees fans on social media was their collective anger at Chapman for "smiling" as he walked off the mound last night. shows he doesn't care, not a "true Yankee," etc.

meme was only partly sidetracked by widespread dissemination of photos of Saint Mariano showing exactly the same face seconds after blowing Game 7 of the 2001 World Series.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 20, 2019 at 11:41 AM (#5892304)
but I don’t think there is anything beyond “the Astros are really good at baseball” to be gleaned here.

Sure there is. Starting pitching still matters and the Yankees cheaped out three times on acquiring starting pitching.

They let Verlander go to Houston because they were too cheap to make the waiver claim. They signed Happ (who I'll admit I liked) instead of Corbin because they are cheap. They let Keuchel go to the Braves, again because they're cheap.

This loss is entirely on Cashman and the Steinbrenners. We've seen they care a lot less abut winning than their fans do.

   9. puck Posted: October 20, 2019 at 12:20 PM (#5892312)
Isn't the luxury tax threshold a factor for the Yankees?

Seems like teams aren't willing to go above the luxury tax for multiple years. I don't know the implications for 2020 and beyond if they had acquired better pitchers for this year and had been over the threshold, but is that a part of it? With the Red Sox trying to get under the cap, and the Dodgers having reduced payroll big time, seems like teams are trying to toe the line.
   10. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: October 20, 2019 at 12:42 PM (#5892317)
Not really*. The Yankees got under the tax in 2018, so their tax rate is reset. You have to be more than 40m over the tax, before you start getting draft penalties, which is what really matters.

The Yankees can absolutely afford to pay 50% (the maximum rate) of 40m (i.e. 20m tax a year), every year in perpetuity, and not even notice it. They averaged over 20m from 2003-2017, with the largest payments coming early in that period. They have just decided they don't want to.


*I mean it is a factor in the sense that they have decided they would rather have the extra money than spend it on players, but beyond that, no.
   11. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 20, 2019 at 12:50 PM (#5892321)
They let Verlander go to Houston because they were too cheap to make the waiver claim. They signed Happ (who I'll admit I liked) instead of Corbin because they are cheap. They let Keuchel go to the Braves, again because they're cheap.

You can blame the Yanks for not grabbing Verlander and also Cole, but they signed Paxton instead of Corbin, and Keuchel was no great shakes for the Braves, either in the regular season or in the postseason.

And beyond that, face it: The Astros are just a damn good team, and if they beat the Nats they'll be in the mix for one of the greater team ever, maybe the greatest. Losing to them was no disgrace. If you're going to blame anyone for the loss, take a look at Gardner (3 for 22, 10 K's), Sanchez (3 for 23, 12 K's), Encarnacion (1 for 18, 11 K's) (combined 7 for 63 with 33 strikeouts) and Ottovino (11.57 ERA), with Green coming in as a late entry in the sweepstakes with that pair of fatal 3 run homers. The Yankees great overall offensive numbers hide the fact that too many of their hitters are helpless against postseason-level power pitchers.
   12. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: October 20, 2019 at 01:22 PM (#5892325)
Late-season injuries and limited (or non-existent) playing time certainly didn't help.

(also, the Astros are really, really good and the TERROR TOT might be my favorite non-Yankee player right now, I'll be pulling for them next week).
   13. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: October 20, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5892326)
and Keuchel was no great shakes for the Braves,


He had a 121 ERA+. No Yankee starter was above 116.
   14. Omineca Greg Posted: October 20, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5892333)
When I first heard the expression "Savages in the Box", I thought it was great...but in an ironic, buffoonish sort of way.

However, now I've done a 180, like π radians. "Savages in the Box" is a tremendous turn of phrase. So poetic, you see they aren't savage (the adjective) in the box, although that would be pretty cool too, but they're savages, the noun:

Definition of savage
1: a person belonging to a primitive society
2: a brutal person
3: a rude or unmannerly person

I don't know which one Boone meant, but I always visualise the primitive society. "The other hitters from other teams, they're πολίτης, but our guys, they're βάρβαρος, like Conan, but not the scrawny comedian, the one who hears the lamentation of his enemies' women.". It's just such a strange thing to say.

I think it would be even better if he had gone with "Our guys are ####### feral in the box". I really feel strongly that that the \"#######\" should be modifying just the "guys", or characteristics of the guys, and not the "box". It's the same box for everyone, whether they're savages or not, so why get all potty-mouthed about the box specifically? But the guys, they're worth the F-bomb. 

Can't put a luxury tax on F-bombs.

But "feral" that would be best, "You can't tame these guys. They're wild beasts. They're feral. They don't respect your ceremonious strike zone and your authority, such as it is, solely derived from an unfeeling corporate structure, and not from the living, breathing soul that God bestows to each of us; their blood lust transcends the rule of law and feasts in the moral ambiguity of the unholy twilight between the rules of man and the unthinking wrath of a cruel universe. Dwell in your civilisation with its petty comforts, our ####### guys prefer to face the chaos of Creation square in the face, eyes locked, staring into the abyss with such disregard for even the barest of sanities, that the abyss dare not stare back."

Or something like that.
   15. Rally Posted: October 20, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5892334)
Encarnacion was terrible, so was the DH for Houston, Alvarez. The team DH spots had one hit each, and struck out half the time. It was like watching NL pitchers hit.
   16. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: October 20, 2019 at 02:16 PM (#5892335)
The only place Yankees batters are savages, is in the dugout. Gardner's antics are embarrassing to evolved human beings. They would be embarrassing to most primates actually.
   17. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 20, 2019 at 05:14 PM (#5892352)
TTO hitting philosophy that is prevalent amongst today's hitters coupled with the Astros great SP...yeah, lots of guys are going to strike out.

This isn't news, it's expected.

Agree with both Jose; Astros are just really good.
and Snapper; NY just needed a bit of bump in SP to be a little better.

Considering who they threw out there on the diamond at times, NY had a pretty amazing season.
   18. winnipegwhip Posted: October 20, 2019 at 05:18 PM (#5892353)
TTO hitting philosophy that is prevalent amongst today's hitters coupled with the Astros great SP...yeah, lots of guys are going to strike out.

This isn't news, it's expected.


Bingo!!!! I was saying this about the Yankees throughout the summer. They only lucked out against the Twins because both teams played under that philosophy. They Yanks pitching was better but if the Twins had beaten the Yankees with TTO it would not have surprised me.
   19. TomH Posted: October 20, 2019 at 05:36 PM (#5892359)
The headline and article are both .. more wrong than right.

How many strikeouts did you EXPECT the Yankee hitters to have in 6 games? Because they did no worse than a team of sluggers facing Cole/Verlander/etc would normally do.

And they hit home runs, with a likely deadened ball, at least as often as you could expect; 1 per 20 PA.

Anyone who thought the NYY would hit .250 in this series, I would've taken a decent wager with!
   20. Astroenteritis Posted: October 20, 2019 at 07:57 PM (#5892375)
While people are criticizing the Yankees bats, we shouldn't forget that Houston slashed 179/281/318 in the ALCS, compared to New York's 214/289/383. A single series is such a small sample size, after all.
   21. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 20, 2019 at 08:26 PM (#5892377)
179/281/318 in the ALCS, compared to New York's 214/289/383


It's like a 70's/80's shortstop hitting contest between Johnnie LeMasters and Tim Foli!

No, I didn't look up their individual stats. Those 2 just came to mind for their hitting futility...
   22. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 20, 2019 at 09:12 PM (#5892388)
How many strikeouts did you EXPECT the Yankee hitters to have in 6 games?

I don't know about you, but I don't except 4 non-pitchers to combine for 43 strikeouts in 89 at bats. How many rallies can 4 players like that kill?

Yes, the Astros pitchers are lights out, but somehow Torres, LeMahieu and Urshela managed to put the ball in play with a fair amount of consistency. LeMahieu got 9 hits, 2 homers, and just 3 RBIs, because whenever he came up he seldom had anyone on base to drive in.

   23. Walt Davis Posted: October 20, 2019 at 10:20 PM (#5892396)
It's like a 70's/80's shortstop hitting contest between Johnnie LeMasters and Tim Foli!

JLM 222/277/289
TF 251/283/309

Give them the rabbbit ball to get those ISOs up and we've got a match.

I don't know about you, but I don't except 4 non-pitchers to combine for 43 strikeouts in 89 at bats.

Expect? Probably not. But a team that averages 23% in a league that averages 23% and a pair of pitchers who averaged 40% and 35%, over a small sample, this is probably not that surprising.

LeMahieu got 9 hits, 2 homers, and just 3 RBIs, because whenever he came up he seldom had anyone on base to drive in.

While likely moreso now, this has always been true of postseason ball. The value of HRs, doubles and small-ball tactics go up in the postseason because games are generally lower-scoring and you don't have lots of runners on base -- 3 hits in an inning to produce a run has never been particularly common in the postseason. (And of course LeMahieu was in the leadoff position every game, not generally a top RBI spot.)

Le Mahieu reached base 12 times and scored 6 runs which sounds about right. And as luck would have it -- Urshela did put the ball in play but reached just 7 times in 23 PA, with 2 HR meaning he was on base for LeMahieu up to 5 times. Gardner reached base just 5 times in 24 PA with no HR so he was on base 5 times for LeMahieu despite all the Ks.
   24. Itchy Row Posted: October 20, 2019 at 10:25 PM (#5892398)
It's like a 70's/80's shortstop hitting contest between Johnnie LeMasters and Tim Foli!
It’s actually close to 2002 Hee-Seop Choi vs. 1991 Pete Incaviglia, if you give Inky 30 more points of slugging.
   25. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 20, 2019 at 11:05 PM (#5892408)
I don't know about you, but I don't except 4 non-pitchers to combine for 43 strikeouts in 89 at bats.

Expect? Probably not. But a team that averages 23% in a league that averages 23% and a pair of pitchers who averaged 40% and 35%, over a small sample, this is probably not that surprising.


But much of the reason that Verlander and Cole have K averages that high is because of the all or nothing approach that too many Yankees hitters (and other hitters) take, with LeMahieu, Torres and Urshela being honorable exceptions who modify their swings with two strikes.

LeMahieu got 9 hits, 2 homers, and just 3 RBIs, because whenever he came up he seldom had anyone on base to drive in.

While likely moreso now, this has always been true of postseason ball. The value of HRs, doubles and small-ball tactics go up in the postseason because games are generally lower-scoring and you don't have lots of runners on base -- 3 hits in an inning to produce a run has never been particularly common in the postseason. (And of course LeMahieu was in the leadoff position every game, not generally a top RBI spot.)


LeMahieu got 102 ribbies in the regular season, but yes, small-ball tactics are indeed one of the reasons that the Astros figured to win this particular series.**

Le Mahieu reached base 12 times and scored 6 runs which sounds about right. And as luck would have it -- Urshela did put the ball in play but reached just 7 times in 23 PA, with 2 HR meaning he was on base for LeMahieu up to 5 times. Gardner reached base just 5 times in 24 PA with no HR so he was on base 5 times for LeMahieu despite all the Ks.

Urshela got stung on 2 or 3 occasions where he hit triple digit MPH liners that found their way into an Astros' glove. If the Yankees don't make Urshela play his way out of the lineup next year, they're ####### crazy. He's every bit the hitter Andujar is, and an infinitely better fielder.

** Of course those small ball tactics are but one part of the story. The AL Wins Above Average totals by position were 31.7 for the Astros, which was more than twice the Yanks' 14.5. The 1927 Yankees, playing in a vastly inferior league, were less than 2 points higher than this year's Astros, and Ruth and Gehrig alone accounted for half of that. And no other 20th or 21st century team I can find tops that 31.7 total.
   26. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: October 21, 2019 at 07:07 AM (#5892425)
Expect? Probably not. But a team that averages 23% in a league that averages 23% and a pair of pitchers who averaged 40% and 35%, over a small sample, this is probably not that surprising.

Especially cherry-picking the four worst offenders. Somebody has to be below average. You should also use PA and not AB really. Those guys did draw a fair amount of walks.
   27. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: October 21, 2019 at 11:49 AM (#5892504)
“It will serve us well going forward when we get to the top of the mountain,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.


"It will just make the champagne taste that much sweeter." -- Manager Willie Randolph, in the midst of the Mets' epic collapse in 2007


EDIT: ...and yeah, as Jose said in #3 above, sometimes you just gotta tip your cap.
   28. Hank Gillette Posted: October 21, 2019 at 03:22 PM (#5892595)
This loss is entirely on Cashman and the Steinbrenners. We've seen they care a lot less abut winning than their fans do.


Now that, IMO, is a dumb comment.

How do the fans show that they care more about winning than Cashman and the Steinbrenners do, other than whining when the team loses? Do they spend their money on the team? Only a small percentage even buy season tickets.

Yankee fans are the most spoiled fans in baseball. 27 championships, with the runner-up (St. Louis) only having 11. They have 40 appearances in the World Series, double the second place Dodgers and Giants. Yankee fans expect to be in the World Series every year, but those days are over. They should suck it up, and enjoy being competitive nearly every year and being in the World Series way more than their fair share.

If they care more than the team owners and GM, let them start a Go-Fund-Me page to buy a couple of premium starting pitchers.
   29. Hank Gillette Posted: October 21, 2019 at 03:26 PM (#5892597)
The Astros are just a damn good team, and if they beat the Nats they'll be in the mix for one of the greater team ever, maybe the greatest.


The Astros are a good team, but two championships put them in the running for greatest team ever?
   30. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 21, 2019 at 04:42 PM (#5892621)
Yankee fans expect to be in the World Series every year, but those days are over.
I prefer to think those days are merely paused. The three-tiered playoff system, plus the Wildcard play-in game, certainly makes winning the World Series more difficult, even if making the playoffs is easier. No player has won more than 5 rings under the current system, but I wouldn’t rule out a return to Jeter-era prosperity. It could even happen for another team, although so far only the Yankees have been able to win consecutive championships under the current setup.

In any event, the idea is to enjoy the games, and the pursuit of those championships. That seems lost at times here.
   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 21, 2019 at 04:52 PM (#5892630)
Now that, IMO, is a dumb comment.

How do the fans show that they care more about winning than Cashman and the Steinbrenners do, other than whining when the team loses? Do they spend their money on the team? Only a small percentage even buy season tickets.


Yankees fans spend exorbitant amounts of money to attend games, and continually provide the team with very high ratings and attendance. Meanwhile, the Yankees haven't meaningfully increased payroll since 2004. That's a period where MLB's revenues have more than doubled.
   32. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: October 21, 2019 at 05:37 PM (#5892647)
I read that Gardner saw to it that the pennant-winning home run ball got back to Altuve. So...good on him for that.
   33. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 21, 2019 at 06:10 PM (#5892649)
It wouldn't be very interesting if every team just won its respective pennant once every fifteen years. Is that the "fair share"? It's a competition. And what percentage of baseball fans are Yankee fans? A lot more than 1/30! But a "fair share" won't come from that, either. The "fair share" is how ever many times you can manage to win.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: October 21, 2019 at 06:21 PM (#5892653)
That seems lost at times here.


Here? I think that seems lost everywhere.
   35. SoSH U at work Posted: October 21, 2019 at 06:28 PM (#5892654)
The Astros are a good team, but two championships put them in the running for greatest team ever?


By the way, team of the decade?

I'd say it has to be the Giants with their three titles. The Red Sox have two and a better overall record, but the same number of playoff appearances. And the Astros' string of 3 straight 50-win seasons has to eliminate them.

I suppose you could say screw the crapshoot and give it to the Dodgers, but I doubt many will subscribe to that idea.

   36. PreservedFish Posted: October 21, 2019 at 06:51 PM (#5892658)
By the way, team of the decade?


I'm sorry, which decade? There have been ten different decades that ended in the last decade.
   37. SoSH U at work Posted: October 21, 2019 at 07:39 PM (#5892662)
I'm sorry, which decade? There have been ten different decades that ended in the last decade.


My bad.

I meant June 7, 2004 to Oct. 12, 2009. Then March 11, 2013 to May 17, 1015. And May 3, 2017 through this Sunday (sorry, I'm cheating a little to beat the rush).

   38. puck Posted: October 21, 2019 at 10:03 PM (#5892681)
The Astros are a good team, but two championships put them in the running for greatest team ever?


Back to back Pythagorean championships! (Or pennants at least.)

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