Lady Loves Pinstripes Lady Loves Pinstripes Lady Loves Pinstripes

Yankees-Mariners: Pitching Match-up To Watch Burnett Vs. Seattle’s New Prince

The New York Yankees start this nine-game road trip with a three-game set in Seattle against an improved Mariners team.

SEATTLE MARINERS BABY STEPS:

The 2010 Mariners had one weapon, pitcher Felix Hernandez (aka King Felix) who barely brought relief every fifth day behind a dead offense.  Considering King Felix took home the 2010 CY Young Award, pitched 250 innings in total, with a 2.27 ERA and only finished with a 13-12 record explains just how bad things were going in Seattle.

This season the Mariners offense, while not comparable to the Yankees line-up, has slightly improved and I guess they have Cliff Lee to thank for that.

When the Mariners traded Lee to the Texas Rangers, they acquired rookie first baseman Justin Smoak. After a mediocre 2010, the 24-year-old Smoak seems to be developing posting a .263 batting average, with six home-runs and 24 RBIs.

The Mariners have such quality pitching they can get away with less stellar bats and still be a decent team, but they are still a bat or two away from being a playoff team. Even with Smoak providing some life to the line-up, he is still a season or two away from making a real impact.

Seattle still gives up a ton of runs, as the offense has the third lowest batting average in baseball with a .232; have the fifth lowest RBIs total with 170; are tied with Oakland for last place with just 27 home-runs on the season.

Still, for a team that finished with the worst record in baseball, 61-101 to be a game away from sitting at .500 is a marked improvement. The Mariners are not the same blasé opponents because if the pitching can shut down an opposing line-up, and if their little step forward offensively can score a few runs they can beat you.

MICHAEL PINEDA VS. AJ BURNETT:

Michael Pineda is a 22-year-old, right-handed rookie who is as tall as CC Sabathia and has been outstanding in his debut season.

The youngster has a 6-2 over nine starts; he is posting a 2.16 ERA, allowing 41 hits, 15 earned runs, three home-runs, walking 14 batters and fanning 61, in just over 58 innings pitched.

Pineda has pitched six innings minimum in all nine starts. Pineda’s last two starts were his most impressive, as he pitched seven solid, giving up no earned runs, allowing just one walk and striking out 16 batters. Mind you it was against the Twins, and Padres, who are two of the worst performing teams in baseball but Pineda won both the outings, and that is what counts.

Overall, Pineda is turning into a future ace very quickly and the Mariners would not be hanging on in the AL West without his young arm.

The Seattle Times reported that the Mariners do have Pineda on an innings limit, which most think is somewhere between 160-170 but skipper Eric Wedge stated that the number will not change pending on how the team is doing.

It is no secret that I have been watching this kid from the beginning, as in a recent post about Pineda as a trade option brought on a lot of angry comments from Seattle fans. I still think it would work for both teams, but that is for another day.

The Yankees will counter with AJ Burnett, who has been good this season.

Burnett’s mental game has vastly improved, as he doesn’t implode after giving a hit or a home-run like in the past because he seems to have more control.

Burnett is 5-3, with a 4.02 ERA so far in 2011.

Assessing Burnett it is pretty easy, he is a veteran that knows what he needs to do and with as weak an offense as the Mariners have; he should not have a problem holding them.

The Yankees will look for him to go deep into the game. This is something he has been doing this season, as he has gone minimum six innings over his last 10 starts.

MY PREDICTION:

Comparing the two teams line-ups is purposeless, with the Bombers leading baseball in home-runs with 75 and RBIs with 244 and the Mariners posting the lowest in home-runs with 27 and fifth worst in RBIs with 170.

The Mariners only scored five runs in their last two games and their decent walk rate has tumbled as well, which is not good heading into any series. Continue reading ‘Yankees-Mariners: Pitching Match-up To Watch Burnett Vs. Seattle’s New Prince’ »

Lady Loves Pinstripes: Interview On Blogs Don’t Lie A Blog On Sports Blogging

Blog Don’t Lie was created by Jay Acunzo and it is a sports blog about sports blogging. It was created to celebrate and strengthen the sports blogger community.

Recently, Jay asked if I would answer some questions about LadyLovesPinstripes.com and I happily obliged.

Click on the link below to check out Jay’s wonderful site and read my answers:

Interview with a Sports Blogger: Kate Conroy (Lady Loves Pinstripes)

I just always wondered why the men were having such a blast and, being an athlete myself, the competition is almost erotic. - Kate Conroy

Blog Don’t Lie seeks to better understand and celebrate the sports blogging world. Unique, passionate and fiery in so many ways, sports bloggers present opinions, facts and figures from (typically) the sidelines.

Enhanced by Zemanta

New York Yankees: West Coast Road Trip Schedule

Following winning the rubber game 7-3 to take the series against the Toronto Blue Jays, the New York Yankees are on their way out West for the first time in 2011.

Here is the schedule for the next three series on the other coast:

DATE VS. TIME (EST) PROBABLE PITCHERS
Friday, May 27th @ Seattle Mariners 10:10pm Burnett (5-3) Pineda (6-2)
Saturday, May 28th @ Seattle Mariners 10:10pm Nova (4-3) Hernandez (5-4)
Sunday, May 29th @ Seattle Mariners 4:10pm Sabathia (5-3) TBA
Monday, May 30th @ Oakland Athletics 4:05pm Colon (2-3) TBA
Tuesday, May 31st @ Oakland Athletics 10:05pm TBA
Wednesday June 1st @ Oakland Athletics 3:35pm TBA
Friday, June 3rd @ Los Angeles Angels 10:05pm TBA
Saturday, June 4th @ Los Angeles Angels 9:05pm TBA
Sunday, June 5th @ Los Angeles Angels 3:35pm TBA

The Mariners and A’s both have young and talented pitching staffs, so the Yankee bats will play a big role in these two series. Finishing off the trip in Los Angeles against the Angels who are never an easy win, especially for the Yankees

Where will the Yankees be when they return back home?

Honestly, this road trip will be a true test for the Bombers, who leave atop the AL East (27-21) by just a half a game above the Boston Red Sox (27-22). The Tampa Bay Rays (26-23), Toronto Blue Jays (24-25) and Baltimore Orioles (23-24) are all very much in the hunt, as the AL East is as tight as can be.

The one thing that is for sure is that the Yankees return to the Bronx to play host to the Red Sox, Indians and Rangers so there is really no room for error.

On one hand, Yankee fans will get to know what this 2011 team can handle; and so will GM Brian Cashman who will probably use these next few weeks to establish whether a trade is absolutely necessary or not.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Baseball Basics: What Is A 6-4-3 Double Play?

What is a 6-4-3 Double Play?

That is a question I get all the time from friends of mine, so much recently that I thought I would explain why announcers will refer to an out in this way.

When a team is playing defense, meaning the players are in the field each of the nine positions is assigned a number.

Please look at the diagram below:

Baseball – positions by numbers

1 - pitcher

2 – catcher

3 – first baseman

4 - second baseman

5 – third baseman

6shortstop

7left fielder

8center fielder

9right fielder

 

As you can see each number corresponds with a specific position.

A 6-4-3 Double Play is just one example of the specific sequence of how an out was made.

In this case it means the ball went from the shortstop, who threw it to the second baseman, who to the first baseman resulting in two outs.

Here is another example from MLB.com:

If the hitter grounds out to shortstop, for example, write in “6-3,” which shows the shortstop threw him out at first base. If the hitter flies out to left field, write a “7.”

If you were unfamiliar with this kind of explanation, I bet you didn’t realize how simple a formula was used.

Hope this helps, and please feel free to email me, or leave a comment if you are still confused after reading this explination.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

MLB Truths: Totally Different Story If Jose Bautista Was A New York Yankee

Wait…give me a chance.

This is not another article by a delusional New York Yankee fan who thinks everyone can and wants to play in the Bronx.

It is a simple point that if current Toronto Blue Jays super-slugger and baseball’s newest poster boy, Jose Bautista wore a different uniform my guess is things would be much different.

For example, imagine if Bautista had become a Yankee back in 2009 and not a Blue Jay?

Sure you can Photoshop a uniform onto your grandma, but I am referring to his career prior to 2010.

After playing for five different teams over six seasons, no one could or would have anticipated that Bautista would ever knock-in 56 home-runs, 148 hits, 35 doubles, three triples and 124 RBIs in one season.

Not even in their wildest dreams, considering this same utility player the year prior posted 13 home-runs, 79 hits, 13 doubles, three triples and 40 RBIs, which were standard numbers judging over the years of watching Bautista’s capabilities.

Bautista’s best career home-run season was back in 2006 when he hit 16. Then you look at the fact that he has only hit 63 RBIs once, which up until 2010 was a career milestone for the utility player, as that RBI number was usually 10-20 points lower.

So, getting back to the idea that if Bautista was doing all this in Yankee pinstripes would it be the same storyline? And would the media be so kind and would MLB be as forgiving?

Doubtful considering MLB, along with the press generates so much revenue when the Yankees dominate the headlines. The media capitalizes off the negative by constantly over-hyping or make-up stories about the Yankees; it is to the point where any baseball fan, without realizing it, is getting brainwashed.

Two of the zillion of articles hailing Bautista a baseball god really caught my eye.

The first was from yesterdays New York Times written by Dan Rosenheck and the article was called Keeping Score: Bautista’s Stats Approach Those of the Greats, praising Bautista like he is  the hitter baseball has been waiting for.

Next was by Cliff Corcoran of Sports Illustrated who keeps an Awards Watch page all-season, and the most recent article from today read Bautista dominating AL MVP race while NL’s is wide open.

Let me start by saying that Corcoran’s assessment of Bautista being on top is totally fair considering Bautista’s current numbers. What really pissed me off was that Corcoran did not have Yankees Curtis Granderson on the list at all, but instead gave the Grandy-man an honorable mention at the bottom with about 10 other players. That is just pathetic and completely inaccurate.

It got me thinking that if Granderson being a Yankee has anything to do with it?

It sure makes you wonder.

This is the same reason the media hasn’t gone nuts about the real possibility of Bautista using steroids because the stats are quite alarming. Continue reading ‘MLB Truths: Totally Different Story If Jose Bautista Was A New York Yankee’ »

New York Yankees: Curious About Bartolo Colon And Not Jose Bautista

Let me start by saying that I am not accusing Bartolo Colon or Jose Bautista of any misconduct regarding MLB’s Performance Enhancing Drugs Policies.

I am merely conveying a comparison of two players who are playing well beyond what seems humanly capable.

The two happen to be playing each other tonight at Yankee Stadium, where in the first inning Bautista went yard off of Colon bringing his home-run total to 19 this season.

Bautista and his Toronto Blue Jays got the better of Colon’s New York Yankees, taking the first of this three game set 7-3.

BARTOLO COLON:

In Bartolo Colon’s case, his talents were never in question. From the moment he took the mound for the first time in the majors back in 1997, Colon was a rising star. Following his rookie debut, in his first full season in 1998 he was voted an All-Star at the age of 24-years-old.

Colon’s biggest silver came from winning the 2005 CY Young Award, which is the pitching version of the MVP Award. (In case you need a refresher, the CY Young is given once a season, acknowledging the two most impressive arms from each respected league, the American and the National. It is the prize every pitcher dreams about, so the list of winners is the most elite in the history of the game.)

The three seasons following 2005, Colon was on three different teams and had a incurred an injured elbow that was not healing. Colon looked to be heading out the door.

Instead, as he sat out of the entire 2010 season Colon decided he wasn’t done just yet, so when he heard of this progressive procedure that if successful could get him back on the bump again, he jumped.

Serge F. Kovaleski of the New York Times wrote an article recently describing the actual surgery:

Dr. Joseph R. Purita, an orthopedic surgeon who runs a regenerative medicine clinic in Boca Raton, said he and a team of Dominican doctors that he led treated Colon in April 2010. Purita said he employed what he regards as one of his more pioneering techniques: he used fat and bone marrow stem cells from Colon, injecting them back into Colon’s elbow and shoulder to help repair ligament damage and a torn rotator cuff.

Well, the procedure, along with a noted attitude change has worked.

Colon is pitching not just well, but great again. This has caused enormous speculation that HGH was used during the procedure, which all involved completely deny.

Dr. Joseph R. Purita even told ESPNNewYork.com that he is willing to take a lie detector test to prove that he did not use human growth hormone in an elbow surgery that may have saved New York Yankees starter Bartolo Colon’s career.

There has been no proof stating otherwise, but Colon, Dr. Purita and Colon’s agent all understand the position that MLB has taken by conducting an investigation to make sure everything was legal.

JOSE BATISTA:

Why am I bringing up Toronto Blue Jays OF Jose Bautista in relation to the Colon-drama?

Bautista’s bat had a 2010 that will go down in the books as one of the best on record, with the 54 home-runs sticking out the most.

Now in his ninth pro-season, Bautista is defying all odds and is hitting even better so far in 2011.

So, it makes you wonder where this guy was the first seven years, and why had no one even batted an eye at him over that time span.

No one noticed because Bautista wasn’t even an above average hitter. If you want proof all you have to do is check out the facts…. I mean stats. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: Curious About Bartolo Colon And Not Jose Bautista’ »