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Friday, August 16, 2019

Yankees first baseman Mike Ford’s pitching performance provides comic relief

NEW YORK — You wouldn’t think that when a team gets pummelled, 19-5, as the New York Yankees did by the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night, that any of the pitchers for the losing team would leave the mound to an ovation.

Especially not in Yankee Stadium, where winning brings not pleasure, but relief and championships are treated as a birthright. They don’t often raise the nice-try flag in the Bronx.

But when the “pitcher’’ is a 27-year-old rookie first baseman/designated hitter who is on the roster only because his team has been decimated by injuries, and on the mound only because the real pitchers have been decimated by the Cleveland hitters, even a Yankee Stadium crowd can be moved to recognize an effort above and beyond the call of duty.

So it was that when Mike Ford walked toward the dugout at the end of the eighth inning, having pitched no worse three of the four professional hurlers who had preceded him – and significantly better than Chad Green, who started the game as an opener – what was left of a crowd that was once 44,000 people stood and cheered Ford as if his first name were not Mike, but Whitey.

I don’t know- if the Yankess lost by a 19-to-5 margin more often, it would make many of us cheer…..

QLE Posted: August 16, 2019 at 04:12 AM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mike ford, position players pitching, yankees

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   1. escabeche Posted: August 16, 2019 at 10:29 AM (#5871926)
HE'S NO STEVIE WILKERSON
   2. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 16, 2019 at 10:36 AM (#5871928)
Last night was a prime example of my dislike of Indians radio voice Tom Hamilton. Top of the 8th leading 18-4. Carlos Santana hits a solo HR off a first baseman pitching and Hamilton GOES INTO HIS SCREAMING SCHTICK YET AGAIN. Absolutely zero sense of perspective.
   3. Rally Posted: August 16, 2019 at 11:10 AM (#5871941)
I think I've got a total of non-pitcher pitching this year. Did it by hand, decided who is a real pitcher and who is not. Included Jared Walsh, a AAA slugger who has relieved a few times and might be a real 2 way player, excluded Brendan McKay who seems to be much more a pitcher.

Anyway, 66 2/3 IP, 67 runs, all earned, 9.05 ERA. 94 hits, 25 homers, 35 walks, 23 strikeouts. Awful pitching, but once again the BABIP (.294) looks about normal. These guys have thrown 1126 pitches, 60% for strikes.
   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 16, 2019 at 11:13 AM (#5871943)
27-year-old rookie first baseman/designated hitter who is on the roster only because his team has been decimated by injuries


I think that description does Ford a bit of a disservice. The Yankees may not have planned on him playing much of a role on this year's team, but he's always been an accomplished hitter in the minors, and he's even been on a 40-man roster before (when the Mariners picked him in the R5 draft). He's not just some warm body.
   5. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: August 16, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5871946)
Also, Ford was Ivy League Pitcher (and Player) of the year as a senior, with an ERA below 1 (article noted this) - and might have been groomed as a two way guy under different circumstances.
   6. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: August 16, 2019 at 11:30 AM (#5871949)
but once again the BABIP (.294) looks about normal


This is really interesting.
   7. ajnrules Posted: August 16, 2019 at 11:34 AM (#5871950)
As bad as last night's game was for the Yankees, it's nothing compared to the 22-0 shellacking at the hands of the Indians on August 31, 2004. Omar Vizquel went 6 for 7 that day. Man, has it really been almost 15 years?
   8. SandyRiver Posted: August 16, 2019 at 12:06 PM (#5871958)
This is really interesting.

It's the dingers (obviously.) That would be 75 homers in a 200-IP season.
   9. pikepredator Posted: August 16, 2019 at 12:16 PM (#5871962)
but once again the BABIP (.294) looks about normal


This is really interesting.


I get that it's been proven and as a former spreadsheet modeler/consultant I totally accept the math and everything . . . but it's still hard to believe. I fully understand why traditionalists/people less comfortable with numbers and stats can't wrap their heads around it.
   10. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 16, 2019 at 01:16 PM (#5871976)
As bad as last night's game was for the Yankees, it's nothing compared to the 22-0 shellacking at the hands of the Indians on August 31, 2004. Omar Vizquel went 6 for 7 that day. Man, has it really been almost 15 years?

The Red Sox scored 19 runs against the Yankees on July 25th, and the Indians scored 19 on them last night.

In the 20 games between those embarrassments, the Yankees went 15 and 5, while since that July 25th game the Red Sox have gone 7 and 12.
   11. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: August 16, 2019 at 01:32 PM (#5871979)
Here's what I said to a friend of mine about last night.

Mike Ford pitched two innings and got lit up. Bombed. I think he cracked 80 once in his second inning.

And he ... and they ... laughed about it. Not because they were bad and didn't care, but because they know they're good and some days? #### happens.

You score 19 today? Ok. Well, we just believe we can score 19 tomorrow.

This has just been a dumb fun season and whatever happens (and I wouldn't lay money in Vegas on them beating the Astros) I'm just happy to be along for the ride.
   12. Hysterical & Useless Posted: August 16, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5871980)
I don’t know- if the Yankess lost by a 19-to-5 margin more often, it would make many of us cheer…..
QLE

10. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 16, 2019 at 01:16 PM (#5871976)
The Red Sox scored 19 runs against the Yankees on July 25th, and the Indians scored 19 on them last night.

In the 20 games between those embarrassments, the Yankees went 15 and 5, while since that July 25th game the Red Sox have gone 7 and 12.


QLE, Andy agrees with you!
   13. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 16, 2019 at 01:43 PM (#5871981)
This has just been a dumb fun season and whatever happens (and I wouldn't lay money in Vegas on them beating the Astros) I'm just happy to along for the ride.

Me, too. I think they actually might have a shot at the Astros if they could get HFA, but if you look at their respective upcoming schedules, you know that ain't gonna happen.

But who would've guessed in April that Gio Urshela would be having a better year than Manny Machado, Matt Chapman, Justin Turner and Nolan Arenado, and would be running even with Rafael Devers?

   14. Rally Posted: August 16, 2019 at 01:56 PM (#5871983)
But who would've guessed in April that Gio Urshela would be having a better year than Manny Machado, Matt Chapman, Justin Turner and Nolan Arenado, and would be running even with Rafael Devers?


It would have been easily believable at the start of last offseason if you were told the Yankees would replace Andujar at third with a good defender who in mid August would be leading the team with a 151 OPS+. If you had been told those facts, you might have been willing to bet your life savings that it entailed paying 300+ million to Machado.
   15. Rally Posted: August 16, 2019 at 01:57 PM (#5871984)
I get that it's been proven and as a former spreadsheet modeler/consultant I totally accept the math and everything . . . but it's still hard to believe. I fully understand why traditionalists/people less comfortable with numbers and stats can't wrap their heads around it.


Yeah, I've looked at that before. Still find it surprising.
   16. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 16, 2019 at 02:22 PM (#5871991)
It would have been easily believable at the start of last offseason if you were told the Yankees would replace Andujar at third with a good defender who in mid August would be leading the team with a 151 OPS+. If you had been told those facts, you might have been willing to bet your life savings that it entailed paying 300+ million to Machado.

Touché. And Urshela's costing the Thrift Boys $555,000, while being all of 268 days older than Machado.

One other bonus about Gio is that along with Didi, he's got the lowest strikeout rate on the team. He adjusts his swing with two strikes and gets a ton of hits to RF, as well as more hits with two strikes than just about anybody in the Majors.
   17. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: August 16, 2019 at 02:28 PM (#5871993)
Not just Gio, but OONTZ too?
   18. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: August 16, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5872000)
So, Andy (and other actual Yankees fans) ... Stanton? Yay or nay? Want him back this season? I'm not judging the trade, because it was a no brainer. But ... I think I'd rather have Tauchman (and yes, the head knows the numbers, but the heart gets pissed beyond belief at feeble waves at sliders down and away).
   19. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2019 at 02:50 PM (#5872003)
but once again the BABIP (.294) looks about normal


I get that it's been proven and as a former spreadsheet modeler/consultant I totally accept the math and everything . . . but it's still hard to believe. I fully understand why traditionalists/people less comfortable with numbers and stats can't wrap their heads around it.


Someone here explained this phenomenon in a way that helped me understand it. When you remove both swinging strikes and homeruns from the sample, you've gotten rid of both the best and the worst things that can happen when you throw a pitch. You're only looking at the middle.

American men are 6.5 inches taller than American women, on average. But imagine if you threw out all of the data from every adult that is over 6' tall and under 5' tall. How much would the height difference shrink?
   20. Howie Menckel Posted: August 16, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5872008)
American men are 6.5 inches taller than American women, on average.

take it to the Dykstra vs the Bagel Boss thread!
   21. SandyRiver Posted: August 16, 2019 at 03:28 PM (#5872010)
But who would've guessed in April that Gio Urshela would be having a better year than Manny Machado, Matt Chapman, Justin Turner and Nolan Arenado, and would be running even with Rafael Devers?

Devers' bat-tastic 2018 with its .731 OPS and 93 OPS+ was obviously beyond Urshela's reach, I suppose.


The Red Sox scored 19 runs against the Yankees on July 25th, and the Indians scored 19 on them last night.

In the 20 games between those embarrassments, the Yankees went 15 and 5, while since that July 25th game the Red Sox have gone 7 and 12.

Fun game for Bosox fans but left me wishing they could've saved a dozen runs for when they needed them. Brought back 20-year-old memories of a 5-game stretch in which Boston outscored opponents by about 10 runs while going 1-4, their single win being Nomar's birthday bash 25-8 over the Marlins.
   22. Bote Man Posted: August 16, 2019 at 06:06 PM (#5872026)
One other bonus about Gio is that along with Didi, he's got the lowest strikeout rate on the team. He adjusts his swing with two strikes and gets a ton of hits to RF, as well as more hits with two strikes than just about anybody in the Majors.

I wish more power guys would do this (I'm looking at you Bryce Harper of years past and Ian Desmond of any years), but this seems to go against the current hitting mindset. They're willing to take their chances of mashing a tater and take the strikeout that more likely comes with it. As a fan it's so irritating to see the winning run stranded at 3B in the 9th when a lazy bloop hit wins the game, but at least we can cool ourselves off in the breeze from all the fanning at the plate.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: August 16, 2019 at 06:51 PM (#5872029)
Presented for your consideration:

Tyler White: 5.1 IP, 10 H, 5 BB, 2 K ... 6 HR ... 400/484/1240 ... 222 BABIP

Keep in mind: Barry Bonds had a career 285 BABIP; Pujols 288; Palmeiro 283; Sheffield 285. Low (well moderate historically) K with lots of power and some walks often leads to low BABIP -- i.e. position player pitchers are turning the average batter into Palmeiro/Sheffield if not quite Bonds/Pujols. Heaps of Ks and heaps of power and some walks gives you McGwire (BABIP 255) and Killer (BABIP 254).

Here's one of my favorite tables ... BABIP<300 but BA>BABIP for career (min 3000 PA), sorted by HR. Here Nice top of the list.
   24. bookbook Posted: August 17, 2019 at 01:44 AM (#5872094)
The difference is only 5.4 inches (5’9.1 to 5’3.7). It would be smaller once you throw out the short and tall people but still at least 3 inches, I’d guess.
   25. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: August 17, 2019 at 06:48 AM (#5872100)
He adjusts his swing with two strikes and gets a ton of hits to RF, as well as more hits with two strikes than just about anybody in the Majors.


Watch Gleyber. Strike 1 and 2? Grip and ####### rip. Flat out, no question. Strike 3? He's going to battle you to the end; like his mother's soul is at stake. I still don't know how the Yankees got him for Chapman (even though I know *why* the Cubs paid him for Chapman).
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 17, 2019 at 09:42 AM (#5872112)
So, Andy (and other actual Yankees fans) ... Stanton? Yay or nay? Want him back this season? I'm not judging the trade, because it was a no brainer. But ... I think I'd rather have Tauchman (and yes, the head knows the numbers, but the heart gets pissed beyond belief at feeble waves at sliders down and away).

I'll take them both. How's that? You can never have too much depth, as has been proven all year.

Speaking of Tauchman, though, here's a clue as to why he's been tearing up pitchers. Yankees’ Mike Tauchman First Did His Homework, Then Got His Chance

-----------------------------------------------------------------

But who would've guessed in April that Gio Urshela would be having a better year than Manny Machado, Matt Chapman, Justin Turner and Nolan Arenado, and would be running even with Rafael Devers?

Devers' bat-tastic 2018 with its .731 OPS and 93 OPS+ was obviously beyond Urshela's reach, I suppose.


Sure, but with Devers it was obvious from his first week in the Majors (remember this ?) that he had star quality talent. When did anyone ever think that about Urshela?

The Red Sox scored 19 runs against the Yankees on July 25th, and the Indians scored 19 on them last night.

In the 20 games between those embarrassments, the Yankees went 15 and 5, while since that July 25th game the Red Sox have gone 7 and 12.


Fun game for Bosox fans but left me wishing they could've saved a dozen runs for when they needed them.


That wasn't the first time the Red Sox wasted an outburst against the Yankees. In an earlier Boston Massacre in 1977, the Red Sox piled up 30 runs with sixteen (16) home runs in sweeping a 3 game series with the Yankees. They then headed to Baltimore and swept a 4 game series against the Orioles. By the time it was over, they were in first place by 5 games and raising comparisons to the Big Red Machine.

And then they turned on a dime got swept by the Yankees, Tigers and Orioles for a 9 game losing streak, and wound up in second place, tied with the O's at two and a half games behind the original Evil Empire. That's baseball, Suzyn.

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