Go Marlins! – I Mean, Yankees!: Yanks-Rangers Gamer III

Tonight, Sidney Ponson takes the mound against the team that just disowned him.  Word has it that when Milton Bradley comes up to bat tonight, his and Sidney’s combined IQ levels + their combined testosterone levels, will equal zero, and might even creep into the negative depending on how pivotal a point in the game it is.

For more on how the Yankees arrived at needing Sidney Ponson to serve as "stopper", we have to look back…indeed, as the Yankees’ stumbled past the mid-way mark of the season this past week, it is worthwhile to consider a couple markers of their performance.

From a certain (though admittedly very specific) angle, the most suspect aspect of the team going into the season – pitching – has been pretty good.  Yankee starters are tied with the Dodgers’ hurlers for having allowed the second fewest HRs in the majors (43).  Only Oakland (36) has allowed fewer.  Of course, one reason they’ve been able to keep the ball in the park is that they tend not to stay in the game long enough to give up many dingers.  Yankee starters have eaten fewer total innings (461.0) than every other major league team’s starters other than those of Florida (452.2).  Indeed, on average, only Florida’s and Texas’s starters manage to get back in the clubhouse faster than the Yankee starters do – with 5.45 IP/start each compared to the Yanks’ 5.48 IP/start.

The Yankee starters’ middle-of-the-pack ERA (4.47 – 8th in the AL) is compensated for in part by the fact that – as the NYT pointed out last weekend – the Yankee bullpen has been surprisingly strong, with the second best record in the league when protecting a lead in the 6th inning or later.  The Yanks are 36-1 when leading after 6 – only the Reds, who are perfect in such situations – have held leads better.  This includes an 18-0 record for the Yanks when leading after six since Joba’s last bullpen appearance back on May 28.  Indeed, the only 6th inning-or-later lead the Yankee bullpen let slip this year was when Joba gave up a game-winning 3-R HR against Cleveland on May 6.  So much for the indispensibility of Joba in the 8th.  This is particularly impressive given the fact noted above that no matter how the team is doing by the end of the 6th, the bullpen is most likely already in there trying to cobble innings together.

As for that dreaded Bronx Bomber offense…

While the Yanks get on base with the best of them (tied for 3rd in the AL with a .341 OBP just behind Boston and Texas), once there, they tend to stay on.  The Yanks have scored 388 runs – 12th in the majors and a middle-of-the-pack 7th in the AL.  And with RISP they are abysmal, batting a lowly .250 which is good for 12th out of 14 AL teams (only Toronto and Seattle trail NY here).  Toss in the NL teams and the Yanks rank 22nd in hitting with RISP, just barely behind…the Florida Marlins.

So the Yankee pitchers keep the ball in the park but can’t keep those on base from scoring.  And the Yankee batters get on base but can’t seem to make it home once they do.  And on more than a few metrics, the Yankees – disturbingly – are most comparable to the Florida Marlins.  They even share the Marlins’ 44-40 record.  Unfortunately, unlike the Marlins, who are only a game out of first in their division, the Yankees are 8 back in the loss column to that other team from Florida.  Sure glad that first half of the season is behind us.  Of course, so far in the second half we are 0-3…

But no reason to get down fellow YF’s!  Sidney Ponson is pitching tonight!  Wooo-hooo!!!!!!

44 comments… add one
  • IronHorse, thanks for the thorough — and thoroughly depressing — recap. I think I need a drink or six. I suggest this thread serve as the gamer for tonight as the Yankees bring their sticks and stones and mount their assault of Helm’s Deep, formerly known as the Ranger’s league-worst pitching staff.

    attackgerbil July 2, 2008, 6:35 pm
  • As this is now Yanks-Rangers Gamer III…
    The story of the night: Sidney Ponson faces the team that disowned him mere days ago. Just think, until a week ago, Milton Bradley and Sidney Ponson were on the same team. Amazing no one got hurt.
    Come on Marlins!!!

    IronHorse (yf) July 2, 2008, 6:45 pm
  • I guess there is a little hope that the Yanks might turn around their RISP problem. Generally speaking, hitting with runners in scoring position tends to reflect general hitting patterns in the end.
    Anyway, great,albeit depressing post, IH!

    Nick-YF July 2, 2008, 7:06 pm
  • IH, I re-read your post and realize the Marlin comparison is missing one important component: head-to-head world series performance. Pardon me, but I have something in my eye. I think I’ll go curl up in the corner.

    attackgerbil July 2, 2008, 7:11 pm
  • Aw, AG, don’t do this to me. You’re making a hard-hearted SF think you need a hug.

    rootbeerfloat July 2, 2008, 7:15 pm
  • “I think I’ll go curl up in the corner”
    Please don’t do that Gerbils – the last two gerbs I know that wet and culred up in the corner went into hibernation and never came out!
    Besides, with your technical advice I have recast the post, adding a most uplifting note at the end. We shold all feel better now!

    IronHorse (yf) July 2, 2008, 7:17 pm
  • Sorry for calling your Gerbils – am rushing to get out of the office. I neither meant to imply you are multiplying nor to confuse you with the chief Nazi propogandist…

    IronHorse (yf) July 2, 2008, 7:18 pm
  • > went into hibernation and never came out!
    Mom always told me and my sister they ran away.. hmmm.

    attackgerbil July 2, 2008, 7:19 pm
  • > Sorry for calling your Gerbils
    That’s fine, there’s plenty of gerbils, psychologically breeding all the time every which way, Sybill Dorsett-like. Passive-aggressive gerbil, angry gerbil, fell drunk off his soap-box gerbil, philosopher gerbil, eats his babies gerbil, bites Pedro’s ankles gerbil, gerbil weekending in the Hamptons with Richard Ge..um..any way..you know, gerbils.

    attackgerbil July 2, 2008, 7:28 pm
  • Time to get back home…Sterling and Waldman serenading me along the way on my mini-portable AM radio…let’s have a lead by the time I get there please!

    IronHorse (yf) July 2, 2008, 7:32 pm
  • I want to meet “eats his babies gerbil”.

    IronHorse (yf) July 2, 2008, 7:33 pm
  • Luis Mendoza allowed 16 runs (10 earned) over his three starts earlier this year, comprising 9 2/3 innings. If we can’t score off this guy, I don’t know what.

    attackgerbil July 2, 2008, 7:35 pm
  • I love linking to writers smarter and funnier than I am. Makes me feel smarter and funnier than I really am.

    attackgerbil July 2, 2008, 7:50 pm
  • Cliff at the Banter with the best name so far:
    Fat Ponson Toad.

    A YF July 2, 2008, 9:07 pm
  • Bah, another DP by the captain.

    Lar July 2, 2008, 9:26 pm
  • AG, firejoemorgan is absolutely some of the best writing on the internet. I’m glad one of them (Ken Tremendous) actually gets paid to write for a living.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 9:36 pm
  • Seconded, Ath. FJM is in my book the absolutely best sports website around for humor with intelligence. It is complete genius.

    SF July 2, 2008, 9:40 pm
  • This dude Madrigal (great name, by the way, who else in baseball is named after a renaissance songtype?) has a crazy head. It looks like a cross between Bartolo Colon and Eric Gagne squashed like a tin can. Very odd.

    SF July 2, 2008, 9:42 pm
  • Wow, Michael Kay with the line “don’t want that to be a leg or a chest” after a shot of a broken bat in the ground. Thanks, Michael. Why not add “eye or arm” to the list. Or “neck”. Hell, how about just “a player”?

    SF July 2, 2008, 9:44 pm
  • Seriously, Madrigal looks like he’s straight out of a Nintendo game. What a weird looking dude.

    SF July 2, 2008, 9:44 pm
  • Wow yeah, the part of his head from his eyebrows to his mouth is super scrunched up… and then he has like 6 feet from his mouth to his chin.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 9:47 pm
  • The worst part about Madrigal? He can’t pitch worth shit.

    SF July 2, 2008, 9:50 pm
  • The ARod stuff is really blowing up tonight…check out the Daily News and the Post websites.

    dknyc July 2, 2008, 9:59 pm
  • Gardner trying very hard to act like he’s here. It’s kind of cute in the “awww” kind of way. Haha.

    Lar July 2, 2008, 9:59 pm
  • Wow, ARod divorced? Sweet!

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 10:02 pm
  • I’ll take A-Rod getting divorced and banging the Material Girl if he continues to put up lines of every night:
    2-3, 4 Runs, 3 RBI, and 2 BB
    And considering this must be a running background story, I’ll take the 1.011 OPS too.

    A YF July 2, 2008, 10:58 pm
  • Great, Girardi says they could have used Gardner earlier in the year. Ya think!?

    A YF July 2, 2008, 11:13 pm
  • Well some things stayed true to form. Our starting pitching doesn’t get past 5, and our bullpen comes in and slams the door. But tonight we added a few hits.
    As rough as things have been and seemed, if we can find a way to win these next two series we will be right in the middle of things. A big if, but not crazy, especially if the bats don’t fall right back asleep again.

    IronHorse (yf) July 3, 2008, 12:27 am
  • What are our thoughts on Gardner? I would love to see him in RF next year full time…Bobby has got to go.

    krueg July 3, 2008, 9:36 am
  • I dunno that Gardner can replace Bobby’s bat also not sure about his arm. Id rather see the yankees sign Bobby and put Gardner in CF. Especially if they can get something for Melky whom Ive lost all faith in at this point.

    Sam-YF July 3, 2008, 9:40 am
  • Melky is young and has a lot of potential in my opinion…he is $$$ in center and has a cannon. His bat will come around…right????
    I would love to see Damon, Melky and Gardner in the OF next year. That would be a much better outfield than one that has fat-ass Abreu in it. (really starting to hate the guy) Then our dream outfield in about two years of Jackson, Melky and Gardner…

    krueg July 3, 2008, 10:15 am
  • Krueg: I am starting to feel similarly about Abreu. Until recently I felt that we would all miss his bat more than we realize when he is gone, but even in what is a contract year from him, his decline is clear. Everyone knows his power numbers fell precipitously starting in 2006, but even his BA and OBP numbers in ’07 and so far in ’08 are the lowest he has had in a decade. And this might not be fair, but I don’t see in him some remarkable work-ethic that leads me to believe he could prolong a productive career much longer.

    IronHorse (yf) July 3, 2008, 10:25 am
  • I think I’ve said this before, but I’ve always absolutely hated Abreu with every fibre of my soul, and I have no idea why. Maybe it’s the smug look on his face, like he just got done screwing your girlfriend.

    Atheose July 3, 2008, 10:42 am
  • Atheose: I see that same look as less smug than Jimmy Buffett Cheeseburger in Paradise laid-back-ness. And I think that when he talks that interpretation is bolstered. If his retirement doesn’t see him immediately shacking up on a beach somewhere, I’ll be shocked. And I don’t think it will be with anyone’s girlfriend, but then again, what do I know.

    IronHorse (yf) July 3, 2008, 10:47 am
  • I think an outfield of Gardner, Damon, and Melky would suck. There is ZERO power there. Fine dont keep Abreu but we need some pop out there. 3 slap hitters + Jeter would leave a very weak offense next year, especially with Giambi leaving and Posada declining.

    Sam-YF July 3, 2008, 11:00 am
  • He just has no business patrolling the same hallowed ground that #21 once did…Gardner is more the kind of player that deserves to play out there. I’m not ready to give up on Melky just yet. Gardners arm isn’t great but he actually will HUSTLE to the ball and even dive for a ball!! (GASP!) Imagine that…a Yankee RF’er making a diving play??? It’s been awhile. With Gardner actually running down more fly balls, his arm strength would come into question less…

    krueg July 3, 2008, 11:01 am
  • Sam: Yeah, because all that power has gotten us so far the last few years. How many power hitters did we have during the Dynastic Period of the late 90’s? Tino, and um…yeah.

    krueg July 3, 2008, 11:03 am
  • Kreug you need to have some pop. Im not talking about having 40 HR guys but those teams in the 90s had like half the team hitting over 20 HRs. I think that outfield would be incredibly weak and along with the rest of the players we have in place would struggle to score.

    Sam-YF July 3, 2008, 11:08 am
  • Who else is in the market?

    Lar July 3, 2008, 11:16 am
  • Sam: hard to speculate who will be on the team next year of course but solidifying the defense seems like a positive step in my opinion…not to mention the staff. Hitting is the last thing I am worried about all things considered.

    krueg July 3, 2008, 11:40 am
  • you’ll be worrying about hitting next year too.
    Im very worried about the offense. We are gonna need to sign a bat or two this offseason…

    Sam-YF July 3, 2008, 11:45 am
  • I agree with Sam. Actually, there is a lot to be worried about next season, but, at the least, we have supposedly talented young pitching that can fill in the starting rotation. Our minor league system, however, has not produced many positional prospects. And with everyone on the wrong side of 30, this team’s offense is going to become a problem. And last time I checked, you won by outscoring your opponent.

    Nick-YF July 3, 2008, 12:00 pm
  • I agree on the need for an outfield bat. I just don’t think Abreu will be much of one next year based on his last 1.5 years of trending downwards in all offensive categories. Though, admittedly, not knowing the other OF’s to be available I guess he can’t be fully discounted.

    IronHorse (yf) July 3, 2008, 3:44 pm
  • I think Gardner should be the CFer until Melky straightens himself out in AAA. He’s way too young to give up on. but he’s a mess right now and I can’t believe they brought up Gardner to sit him. And no, last night doesn’t change my opinion.
    As for RF next year – Manny! :)
    Seriously, Gardner doesn’t have enough pop. Problem is there’s not much else out there unless they want to make a trade for a guy like Holliday.
    Milton Bradley is having a nice free agent year. Pat Burrell too. Otherwise there’s Carl Crawford, Adam Dunn, Vlad, Chipper. And that dread-locked fruitcake….

    A YF July 4, 2008, 5:58 am

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.