Thursday, April 21, 2016

Pitching Doesn't Win Championships If You Don't Score

"Defense wins championships." "Pitching wins championships." We've all heard that before.

It's idiotic. You can't win unless you score more than the other guys.

In this season's 1st 12 games, when the Yankees score at least 4 runs, they are 4-0. When they don't, they are 1-7.

In last night's game against the Oakland Athletics, Nathan Eovaldi fell victim to Onebadinningitis, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits in the top of the 4th, otherwise allowing no runs on 3 hits and a walk in 5 innings.

He settled down after that, but, after 6 innings, he'd thrown 105 pitches, and Joe Girardi panicked and went to the bullpen. Kirby Yates pitched a scoreless 7th, but Girardi refused to send him back out for the 8th. Worse yet, he brought in the pathetic Branden Pinder, who allowed 2 more runs, turning a well-reachable 3-1 deficit into a 5-1.

It's easy to say that Ivan Nova's perfect 9th didn't matter, although he (and the Yankees) could certainly use it, given how bad his last outing was.

Didi Gregorius hit a home run in the 2nd inning (his 2nd of the season). Carlos Beltran hit one in the 8th (his 4th). Other than those 2 solo shots, the Yankees scored no runs on 4 hits.

A's 5, Yankees 2. WP: Kendall Graveman (1-1 -- sounds like the name of a Charles Dickens character, or a parody of one). SV: Sean Doolittle (2). LP: Eovaldi (0-2).

Going into tonight's game, A-Rod's OPS+ is 61. Ellsbury's is 62. Time to eat what's left of those contracts, I don't care what it costs. It's not like Arsenal: There never was a stadium debt to pay off. Headley, without a giant contract, is only slightly better, at 64.

Everybody else is hitting fine. Even Mark Teixeira, who's batting only .182, has a .357 on-base percentage and a .386 slugging percentage, giving him an OPS+ of 117. But those 3 guys are holes in the lineup. If I wanted a hole in the lineup, I'd root for a team in the National League, which is still too damned stupid to adopt the designated hitter for the pitcher.

The series concludes tonight, before the Tampa Bay Ray come into The Bronx for 3, starting tomorrow night. Luis Severino starts for us, Rich Hill for the A's.

Funny how the Athletics get called the A's, the Baltimore Orioles the O's, and the Seattle Mariners the M's, but nobody's ever called the Yankees the Y's. I guess, when you can get shortened to "Yanks," getting further shortened isn't necessary. (Boston's Bruins and Celtics sometimes get shortened to the B's and the C's in the Globe.)

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