Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 5/2/14

Going to a big Derby party tomorrow.  Love the Derby.  Sneaky one of the best sporting events of the year if for no other reason than it kickstarts the annual buzz for a potential Triple Crown winner.  Not to brag or anything, but I am the guy that brought home a cool $96 from the final weekend at Arlington last year.  If you're a Derby fan too and are waiting to make your bets, here's some free advice.  I absolutely love Ride on Curlin at 15-1 and love General A Rod at 15-1 slightly less.  Take one of those and thank me on Sunday morning.  Now onto the links!

- On Monday, Mike Axisa of RAB pinpointed slider problems as the major cause for Hiroki Kuroda's slow start.

- El duque of It Is High... mused on the importance of Teix in the middle of the lineup in reaction to his timely home run last Sunday night.

- SG of RLYW presented a pretty sweet historical stat to put Masahiro Tanaka's Major League start in perspective.

- On Wednesday, Chris Mitchell of Pinstripe Pundits explained why there should be no concern about Tanaka's high early home run rate.

- Chad Jennings of LoHud discussed Dellin Betances' hot start and got Betances' thoughts on what he's done well to get off to such a good start.

- Jason Cohen of Pinstripe Alley took a stab at predicting the SS Staten Island roster.  Definitely more interesting names on the pitching staff than in the lineup.

- Daniel Burch of The Greedy Pinstripes expressed his disdain for the way Yankee fans treated Robinson Cano on his first night back to The Stadium.

- On Thursday, William Tasker of IIATMS/TYA examined the impact the cold early-season weather could be having on the Yankee bats.

- Delia Enriquez of Bronx Baseball Daily pondered the biggest questions facing the rotation after the first month of the regular season.

- On Friday, Martin Riggs of NoMaas broke down the high and low offensive producers in April and touched on what needs to happen for each in May.

This week's jam is "Colossal" by Wolfmother.  About time this band put another album out, even if they really never are getting back together and even if I've yet to check it out.  If they really are back together, I'd pay money to go see them.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.

Joe Makes It To 1,000

I never would have known this if I didn't see Chad Jennings' post on it earlier this morning, but when the Yankees take the field against the Rays tonight it will mark Joe Girardi's 1,000th game as manager.  Well, his 1,000th regular season game.  He's got a few postseason games on his ledger as well.

The first 999 games have gone pretty well for Joe.  He owns a 579-420 record and that .580 winning percentage ranks him 5th in team history among managers who managed more than 1,000 behind Huggins, Torre, Stengel, and McCarthy.  Not a bad group to be lumped into at all.  He's also got 4 postseason appearances, 3 division titles, 1 AL pennant, and 1 World Series ring in his 6+ seasons at the helm.

Congrats on reaching 1,000, Joe.  Here's hoping the next 1,000 are just as fruitful, if not more so, than the first were.  Oh, and thanks for the fun memories:

Where Has All The Offense Gone?

(I feel ya, Jacoby.  I feel ya.  Courtesy of the AP)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

The Yankees should have been catching a big break last night.  Seattle choosing to push back Wednesday's scheduled starter Roenis Elias rather than skip him meant the Yanks got to avoid getting carved up by Felix Hernandez for the 457th time.  Of course, there's always that pesky theory about the Yankees never being able to hit rookie pitchers and it played out in full effect last night as Elias held the lineup to 2 runs (1 earned) through 7 innings while striking out 10.  2 runs isn't enough to get it done with the rotation in the kind of shape it's in these days and it didn't get it done last night.

Game 27 Wrap-Up: SEA 4 NYY 2

(Courtesy of the AP)

This has been a strange week.  Off-day Monday, bad game Tuesday, rainout yesterday.  It's been hard to get into a good writing rhythm, so I can't imagine what it's like for the guys who have to actually try to hit a baseball being thrown at them at 90+ MPH all the time.  Hopefully the Yankees weren't rusty.  They can't afford to be with the way they're swinging the bats and their margin for error wasn't going to be very big if Hiroki Kuroda hadn't figured out his command issues from his last start.  The bats didn't wake up, Hirok didn't completely figure it out, and the series ended in disappointing fashion, a quasi-sweep at the hands of the Mariners.

Game Notes:

- The teams traded 1st inning runs on a Robinson Cano ribbie double and Jacoby Ellsbury's first Yankee home run to lead off the bottom of the 1st.  They also traded rally-killing double plays in the 2nd, then Cano regained the lead with his club thanks to a Derek Jeter fielding error to start the 3rd.

- Kuroda's slider command was absent again, and his splitter being off made matters worse.  He left a few up in the zone with 2 outs in the 4th and it led to 2 more Seattle runs.

- Seattle starter Roenis Elias really settled down nicely after the Ellsbury leadoff HR.  He struck out the side after that in the 1st and struck out 8 total through 5 innings, including the side again in the 5th.  Yanks couldn't do a thing with his curveball.

- Kuroda finished with 6 straight outs and 3 Ks and his night was over after 6 innings.  The bullpen came on and did its job keeping the game within reach as Matt Thornton, Adam Warren, and Shawn Kelley combined for 3 shutout innings.

- The Yanks tacked another run on in the 6th thanks to a pair of 2-out singles and a Cano error, but that was all they could muster against Elias, who went 7 strong.  So much for having the advantage of missing King Felix.

- They didn't fare much better against the bullpen.  A 2-out Ichiro single in the 9th was all they could conjur up for a late-game rally.