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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Yankees Will Play by Their Own Pitching Rules in October

Are you old enough to remember when the Yankees invited criticism for not trading for a starting pitcher at the trade deadline? Oh, right. That was only two months ago. Since then the Yankees are 30-14, and are going full steam into the postseason with a pitching script that fits the modern game, not your fossilized narrative of what wins in October.

“We’re going to be a little untraditional,” manager Aaron Boone said. “The only one we might use as a traditional starter is [James] Paxton.”

By traditional, Boone means a starting pitcher who goes as deep as he can into a game. Otherwise, New York is prepared to script each game with piggyback starters and six key relievers. That doesn’t make the Yankees vulnerable. It makes them smart.

Traditional starters always will be the preferred model in the postseason. The Astros and Nationals will try to win the traditional way. But because bullpens are so deep and because lineups are so powerful, most teams don’t have enough starters to play that game. Now postseasons are decided not by starters “pitching deep into games” but by how a team decides to deploy pitchers in “untraditional” ways–rovers, openers, third-time around pitching changes, etc.

Did Verducci forget about the Royals of 2014 and 2015, or is he hoping that we did?

 

QLE Posted: September 17, 2019 at 12:32 AM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pitching, yankees

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   1. catomi01 Posted: September 17, 2019 at 12:51 PM (#5879995)
Isn't just about every post-season "this" way. All of the teams adapt to the situation on the ground going into it. The 2001 DBacks rode Schilling and Johnson, including Johnson in relief and when Kim imploded. The 2003 Yankees won the ALCS because Mike Mussina was used in middle relief and Mariano Rivera threw 3 + innings...Madison Bumgarner a few years ago, Eovaldi last year...Chapman and Miller for the Cubs and Indians a few years ago.

No team's pitching staff looks like it did in April by October, and very few work the same way in October that they do in August/Sept....the postseason is all about riding the hot hand(s) as long and as hard as they are effective, in whatever method works best. If Tanaka is lights out his first start, he gets a longer leash...if Paxton struggles, he's on the same plan as everyone else...and the same is true for everyone else from the Astros on down. The biggest difference maker will probably be who has the most healthy options by the time October gets here.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 17, 2019 at 12:58 PM (#5880001)
I'm glad they realized this is the right approach. I'm still skeptical that Boone and Rothschild have the flexibility and judgement to execute this properly.

Done correctly, this sort of strategy will involve guys like Chapman, Britton, and Ottavino sometimes pitching in innings 4-7, depending on game state and matchups. I doubt they have the guts for that.
   3. Blastin Posted: September 17, 2019 at 01:08 PM (#5880010)
Done correctly, this sort of strategy will involve guys like Chapman, Britton, and Ottavino sometimes pitching in innings 4-7, depending on game state and matchups. I doubt they have the guts for that.


I think they do, just not with Chapman himself. Which is dumb, but they have enough other guys.
   4. rconn23 Posted: September 17, 2019 at 01:19 PM (#5880019)
Obviously it should fluctuate game to game depending on how the starter is doing. Paxton is clearly pitching better than any starter right now and will probably be given more leeway. However, if Tanaka is pitching really well after four innings - say a shutout - I hope Boone doesn't immediately revert to the bullpen game.
   5. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 17, 2019 at 01:32 PM (#5880027)
The Yanks probably need Severino & Betances to be effective to ride this strategy all the way to the World Series. Betances looked pretty good in his short two-thirds of an inning outing on Sunday, and Severino goes tonight. Could work, but it’s a bit tricky to get the entire bullpen pitching well at the same time.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 17, 2019 at 01:33 PM (#5880031)
Obviously it should fluctuate game to game depending on how the starter is doing. Paxton is clearly pitching better than any starter right now and will probably be given more leeway. However, if Tanaka is pitching really well after four innings - say a shutout - I hope Boone doesn't immediately revert to the bullpen game.

Concur. This has to be total seat-of-your-pants, use your judgement on the fly managing, which is exactly what managers despise. It will be interesting.

Guys like Earl Weaver or Billy Martin would probably excel at this b/c they wouldn't give a damn what anyone thought about their moves.
   7. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 17, 2019 at 01:43 PM (#5880043)
Chapman and Miller for the Cubs and Indians a few years ago.


Of course, both Chapman and Miller were gassed by the time Game Seven of the World Series came around.

It's lots of fun to pretend that we wouldn't mollycoddle these pantywaists, and to throw the name of Goose Gossage around, but pitchers get worn out.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 17, 2019 at 01:46 PM (#5880045)
Of course, both Chapman and Miller were gassed by the time Game Seven of the World Series came around.

So what? Worry about G7 when you get there. Win today's game, tomorrow it might rain.
   9. Blastin Posted: September 17, 2019 at 01:52 PM (#5880052)
Of course, both Chapman and Miller were gassed by the time Game Seven of the World Series came around.


Both of those teams had, like, 1.5 great relievers and some starters used as such.

The Yankees have 4, Green is good again, Betances appears to be healthy (good? we'll see), and also the option of starters.

You're right, but it's not the same situation. Use the relievers.
   10. The Rare Albino Shrieking Goat of Guatemala. Posted: September 17, 2019 at 02:01 PM (#5880056)
However, if Tanaka is pitching really well after four innings - say a shutout - I hope Boone doesn't immediately revert to the bullpen game.


*cough* #OBLIGATORYHOMERUN *cough*

I'm not sure I'd give Tanaka a very long leash given the way he's managed to combine dominance AND rapid implosion in recent starts.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 17, 2019 at 02:04 PM (#5880059)
I'm not sure I'd give Tanaka a very long leash given the way he's managed to combine dominance AND rapid implosion in recent starts.

Depends a lot on the score/series context.
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 17, 2019 at 02:07 PM (#5880062)
Concur. This has to be total seat-of-your-pants, use your judgement on the fly managing, which is exactly what managers despise. It will be interesting.
This notion of "scripted" games is both pretty ridiculous and pretty horrible. And apparently becoming the new normal in the postseason.
   13. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: September 17, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5880064)
Both of those teams had, like, 1.5 great relievers and some starters used as such.


That's not true at all.... The Indians 2016 bullpen was their calling card.

The Cubs bullpen was likewise really damn good - though one can make the argument that Rondon lost his composure when Chapman took his job, but they had 4 guys with WHIPs under 1.000 and 5 guys who threw significant innings with K rates of 11 per 9 or above.... plus Travis Wood, Trevor Cahill, and Mike Montgomery who were all solid and fit in neither of those categories.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 17, 2019 at 02:10 PM (#5880065)
This notion of "scripted" games is both pretty ridiculous and pretty horrible. And apparently becoming the new normal in the postseason.

We'll see. Given that the Yankees have multiple good lefties and righties, they should be playing platoon matchups like crazy.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 17, 2019 at 02:13 PM (#5880067)
double
   16. Blastin Posted: September 17, 2019 at 02:23 PM (#5880072)
Yes, though the Yankee relievers don't really have major splits. Only Ottavino, though mostly in the sense that he walks more lefties.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 17, 2019 at 02:42 PM (#5880079)
Yes, though the Yankee relievers don't really have major splits.

But the batters they face do.

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