Note: Welcome to the first edition of Yankee’s Weekly Wrap! I haven’t done a consistent baseball blog ever, despite actually playing baseball and truly knowing it better than I know the NFL. Each week, I’ll try to combine humble analytic’s and all-or-nothing humor to present burn-worthy #HotTakes and a totally biased narrative.
Baseball is back! Fuck Trevor Story, fuck the Royals and fuck the endless insults being hurled at Pablo Sandoval’s waistline! It’s all about the Bronx Bombers this time around. The Yanks are back! I’m deeply breathing this Yankees lineup and enjoying every last second of it. The ageless, the overpaid, the unwanted and the scruff-free 2016 Yankees are getting the blood flowing to all the right places. I’ll try to pace my excitement as we re-tell the week that was, but forgive me if I can’t restrain myself, it’s rare for me to be zealously optimistic.
• Houston Astros @ Yankee Stadium
Disappointing opening day’s for the Yankees are measured by the Carl Pavano line-test:
Did Pavano start opening day for the Yankees?
Yes–>Okay that sucks
No–> We’re fine
Having the home opener ruined by Carlos Correa and a no-call by the umpire on basepath interference left a sour taste in my mouth. I do need to throw some shade at Betance’s for imploding in the 8th inning, but still it isn’t enough to kill my confidence in the three-headed Hydra in our bullpen.
But I will say I was overwhelming impressed with Correa. His performance and ability are oddly reminiscent of another great young shortstop from days past. But I can’t quite seem to put a name or face to that memory……………………..
Astonishing how much Correa’s game is reminiscent of 90’s A-Rod. Size, Speed, Range, Power. Plus tools in all five categories. I knew he was good, but I was shocked at how polished his game looks. Opposite field power, patience at the plate, savvy in the field. He’s another dominating series away from wrestling AL GOAT title from Mike Trout.
Game two featured a VINTAGE Yankee’s inning to chase Colin McHugh. The 16-6 win was powered by a six-run first inning that went a little something like this:
The Yankee’s at-bats were a clinic in patience and approach, as they quickly ran up Colin McHugh’s pitch count and chased the Houston starter before he could even get two-outs. Walking A-Rod after #13 was down 0-2 was pretty awful, and the at-bat could be considered the innings most important. Castro broke out big for the Pinstripes this day with a 4 for 5, 5-RBI day. Tex added four RBI as well, swiftly kicking Lucas Duda off the top of the “Best 1B in NY” hill.
A 16-run offensive performance masked a wildly inconsistent start from Big Mike, who I wrote before is a few solid starts away from claiming the title belt for the Yanks in the Montero-Pineda swap; until then, it is a straight-up wash.
Game three featured a late, clutch hits from A-Rod and Tex, and a taste of the Yankee bullpen we’ve all been looking forward to:
Houston Batters vs Betances/Miller: 2 for 8 with 5 K’s. I’m looking forward to 159 more games of this tandem, with 132 games of Betances/Miller/Chapman too. Good luck scratching out runs CC: Everyone Else.
•Yanks @ Detroit Tigers:
Series being cut-short due to bad weather Sunday night was a real drag, because I just needed the Yanks to sink their teeth into Verlander to raise my confidence to atmospheric levels (Verlander got absolutely shelled today by the Pirates, imagine the Yankees would have done to him????).
The two-game split was a microcosm of what the Yankees may very well be this season: inconsistent starting pitching, offensive spurts and domination from the back-end. Let it sink in for a moment that of the five NYY starters to throw, CC Sabathia definitively threw at least the second best game, and had the only quality start. There is definitely time to figure this pitching staff out, but the results so far are pretty much in line with what I expected from the starting five.
Luckily, the bats once again exploded in-game two for an 8-4 win. A-Rod went yard for his first of the year, and Beltran hit his first homer as well (his first homer last season came on May 10th). And what’s that–Miller and Betances dominated again?
This is by no means an impulsive exaggeration–this Yankee’s bullpen will go down as the BEST EVER. You heard it here first, once Chapman come’s back from suspension, the Yanks will be giving opponents 6 innings to win, just like in little league.
But looking at the stat line, I get a feeling it’s indicative of what kind of team we will see this year:
Offensive team rankings: 5th in runs, 3rd in AVG, 3rd in SLUG, 3rd in OBP
Pitching team rankings: 17th in ERA, 23rd, in QS, 13th in WHIP, 21 in BAA
And now for our awards of the week:
MVP: Starlin Castro
He’s fresh to the New York scene, and in addition to making me forget Robbie Cano is alive and not a Yankee, he is NOT Stephen Drew or Brendan Ryan. It’s early still, but he’s showing the stroke that made him one of the best offensive shortstops in baseball early on with the Cubs. I don’t have the stats in front of me, but I think it may be the best debut for a player with a new team ever, and I’m so confident in that . He’s a welcome addition to the Yanks and someone–who after being hosed at second for jogging out of the box–I know I’m going to have a very healthy love/hate relationship with.
Game of the Week: Houston Astro’s 4/7:
I love when A-Rod delivers in big moments. The best part about his at-bats this day was he laced hits after swinging straight through 93+ mph fastballs. A-Rod is like an animal playing dead. You think you can get him with the cheese but he’s just conning you into thinking he can’t catch-up. Anytime A-Rod and Tex deliver for the Yanks, it’s a trip straight back to 2009 and it makes me emotional. Minus Nick Swisher, he’s the only thing that can stay in 2009.