Mood Music - Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Well, it's been a while since I've chatted about plunking, so let's revisit some good old fashioned beanball. The other day, in three Magnificent acts of failure, Javier Vazquez tied a major league record for consecutive plunks. That's somewhat impressive, and got me to thinking about where the Yankees stand in the hit batsman department:
Yankees pitchers have hit 57 batters so far this year (tied for 6th most in the league) and are anchored by the extreme wildness of A.J. Burnett and his 16 hit batsmen. Yes, A.J. Burnett accounts for over one quarter of all hit batsmen by our pitchers (and throw in 15 wild pitches just for fun).
On the other end, Yankee batters have been hit by a pitch 70 times so far this year (3rd most in the league) with Mark Teixeira being the most plunkable with a total of 12. Most shockingly, Alex Rodriguez, a master of plunk accumulation (152 career "accidents"), has only been hit three times this year in 552 plate appearances.
And now that you have more information than you ever wanted or needed about the hit by pitch, let's get back to Javier Vazquez. In the article that I linked to above, here is a quote from the MB:
"I want to be in the postseason, obviously, but that's not for me to decide. I don't feel like I have to put more pressure on myself to be in the playoffs. I know I have to pitch well. If they put me on, that's great, but I have to pitch well."
I don't want to damn him with faint praise, but I trust Javy in long relief a lot more than I trust Chad Gaudin, Dustin Moseley, and Jonathan Albaladejo, and at about the same level that I trust Sergio Mitre. Come along for more fun and hastily drawing conclusions after the jump!
I've openly said that I wouldn't vote for CC Sabathia for the American League Cy Young Award. I think Felix Hernandez has had an absolutely dominant season, that CC, while fantastic, has not matched. However, when I see a title like CC Sabathia's Cy Young Chances Wiped Away by One Start For the Yankees, I have to scratch my head and question the methodology going on here.
The big man has pitched 229.1 innings this year and put together quite an impressive season. We're going to decide whether or not he has been the best or most valuable pitcher in the league based on one inning where things got away from him? Turn that swinging bunt infield single into a ground ball double play, and CC Sabathia quite possibly gets another "statement" win.
MVP and Cy Young voting is a joke because the majority of people who vote on these things are fickle and simple minded in their analysis. Yeah, I said it.
Finally, Phil Hughes (Fill Use, if Michael Kay is reading), will be skipped in his next start due to innings limitation. The start will go to Dustin Moseley instead.