Monday, September 17, 2012

The Secret Of Loone Bogan

It's been another up-and-down year for Boone Logan.  At face value his numbers look pretty good- 3.99/3.72/3.61 slash , 11.05 K/9 in 49.2 IP over a career-high 72 games.  But the reality is that he's regressed from his much better 2011 campaign, suffering from problematic command (4.35 BB/9), general overuse, and possible over-exposure to right-handed hitting.  His groundball rate is down, his HR rate is up, and Logan is far from the dominant bullpen option he was earlier in the season and much closer to the designated LOOGY that he was when the Yankees first traded for him.

The issues that have plagued Logan this year are not physical, they are not mental.  They are the revelation of a long-rumored family secret, something that Yankee fans and bloggers alike have hinted at and joked about through the years but have never been able to positively identify as fact.  Until now.  In an AB4AR exclusive, I present the source of Boone Logan's 2012 struggles.

Please Don't Activate Brett Gardner

(If the cyborg elbow still can't swing a bat, why bother?)

Opposite the bummerific news of Mark Teixeira's lack of progress in recovering from his latest calf injury setback, the Yankees did receive some positive news earlier in the weekend on an even longer-standing member of their walking wounder brigade.  Brett Gardner, last seen being unofficially shut down for the season after finally having surgery on his troublesome right elbow, has been working on some bunting and baserunning drills recently and Joe indicated that there's the possibility of the Yankees activating Gardner to use him as a pinch runner/defensive replacement option in these last few weeks of the regular season.

As excited as I would be to see Gardner back on the field, and it's still crazy to me to think that he only played in 9 games this season, bringing him back now to serve in the capacity it sounds like the Yankees want to use him would be an unnecessary and potentially risky move.

Game 146 Wrap-Up: NYY 6 TB 4

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

There's a strange feeling of positivity surrounding the Yankees presently, at least for me.  They're nowhere near putting everything together as they need to, but there are signs that they are starting to move back in the right direction as a team.  Curtis Granderson has started to find his power, Alex Rodriguez has hit the ball well since coming off the DL, Joba Chamberlain looks much better, the offense has shown some ability to successfully execute and play small ball to score runs when they need to (like Jeter's late RBI single on Saturday), and Ivan Nova's strong return to the rotation was a shot in the arm for the pitching staff.  A second straight win to take the series against Tampa would have been another positive step, and although it didn't turn into the blowout it could have, it was still a positive day for the Bombers.

Game Notes:

- Both pitchers had their stuff working from the minute they left the bullpen.  Hiroki Kuroda fanned the first 6 batters he got out in the game, and Matt Moore struck out the Yankee side of the 1st.

- Moore's command wasn't nearly as good as Kuroda's, and the Yankees used that to small ball their way onto the scoreboard in the 3rd.  Eduardo Nunez worked a leadoff walk, stole second base, and scored on a Derek Jeter single to right.

- A-Rod kept the small ball going with an RBI single through a pulled-in infield and a steal of 3rd on a 3-0 pitch to Robinson Cano, and then Russell Martin kicked the power game back up with a 3-run shot to right to make it 5-0 Yanks.

- Kuroda gave a run back on a solo HR in the top of the 4th, likely a byproduct of his long stay on the bench, and then got himself in big trouble in the 6th after walking the #9 hitter to lead off the inning.  Some fan interference and a freakish hop on a would-be double play ball contributed to a 3-run inning for the Rays and the end of Kuroda's day.

- I couldn't, for the life of me, explain why Joe used Boone Logan to start the top of the 7th against a righty, then removed him for David Phelps so that he didn't have him to pitch to Carlos Pena with 2 outs, but Phelps struck out Desmond Jennings to end the threat.

- It's worth noting that the offense did very little after the big 5-run 3rd.  They scratched a run across in the 4th thanks to some Nunez SBs, but only put just 2 runners on base after that.

- I'm sure Joe didn't want to use D-Rob and Sour Puss yesterday, as 2 full days of rest would have done them good, but he had little choice with the game being as close as it was, and Robertson and Soriano turned in 2 clean innings to preserve the win.