-The Yanks have won 6 of the 7 games played against the Sox since Aug. 6, bringing the season series to 6-9. If the season ended today, the Division Series would be the Red Sox vs the Angels and the Yankees vs the Tigers. Detroit is clearly the weakest of the four teams and it’s tough to imagine the Yankees losing to the Tigers again. The Angels look better this season than they were other years when they played Boston, but for whatever reason the Red Sox seem to have their number come October.
-As Pete Abe noted last night, sometimes swinging at the first pitch is a good idea. Its very common that the better pitchers in baseball will have their highest BAA against on that very pitch. Remember this when you hear some fan bitching about first pitch swinging. With some pitchers, that’s the best pitch you’ll see.
-Josh Beckett’s last 2 outings:
Looks like Beckett’s wearing down again, but admittedly it’s too soon to tell. It is worth noting that he followed a similar pattern last year, and wound up on the DL from August 17 to September 5th. The lack of strikeouts jump out at me as much as the Runs scored. From what I could see on yesterday’s ESPN broadcast his stuff just isn’t as sharp. The curve is a little loopy and the fastball is straight. When Beckett’s on, his curve is sharp and his fastball will have a tail on it, moving sideways with late, hard movement. I’ll bet Theo planned on having his all powerful ‘depth’ to give him a blow around now, but we all know how that worked out.
-Andy Pettitte is already dropping hints he wants to pitch next season. With Phil Hughes ticketed to be the Yankee 5th starter next year, that will make for a very interesting decision. You never have enough pitching, but it doesn’t appear there will be an opening.
-Mike Ashmore has a piece up interviewing Yankee minor league pitching guru Nardi Contreres with some interesting notes on Andrew Brackman, Manny Banuelos, Humberto Sanchez and other Yankee farmhands. Check it out.
-Attendance note from NYTimes Bats blog:
The Yankees lead baseball in attendance in the inaugural season of the new Yankee Stadium, averaging 45,715 fans a game, which has them on a pace for a total attendance of 3,702,915. But it is a drastic drop from last season, when they set a franchise record of 4,298,655 fans, the second highest in major league history.
It should be mentioned that the new facility has less capacity than the old one, so it’s impossible to break the old record, even if they go slightly over capacity like the Sox and Phils.
-Maybe John Smoltz isn’t done after all, huh?
-This game ending play from yesterday’s Mets game may not look like much, but the Unassisted Triple Play is one of the rarest plays in Baseball. There have only been 15 recorded in the entire history of the game. They seem to come in bunches, there have been 3 in each league since the 1990s. But before then there were a few in the 20′s and then the NL went 39 years without seeing one and the AL went 65 years.
-For those of you up at that hour, be sure to catch Mark Teixeira on David Letterman tonight. I hope he makes fun of some of those faces he makes when he’s at the plate.
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