I'm trying to be rational about the Yankees recent suckatude. So let's use some Pf/x (courtesy of Brooks Baseball) to look at the Yankees against last nights starter, and then contrast that with a more successful game.
Much more after the jump, so come on and jump!
So first, the Yankees against the rookie Tommy Hanson:
Now, the Yankees against a less successful pitcher- the Mets' Johann Santana.
The obvious first: Tommy Hanson lived off the plate last night, and the Yankees let him. He had 12 strikes and 4 instances of contact off the left side of the plate. Santana, on the other hand, only had 5 strikes and 2 contact off the plate horizontally in either direction.
It's easy to say the Yankees were chasing bad pitches- they were. But take a look at when Hanson was throwing those outside strikes. I count 3 1st pitches, 4 second pitches, 3 third pitches, 3 4th pitches, a 5th and a 6th pitch. Mr. Hanson did a great job expanding the zone and living off the plate.
Conversely, take a look at the "wheelhouse" for both charts- the area between 0.0 to -0.5 horizontally and 2.5 to 3.0 vertically. See the difference? Santana had half a dozen or so pitches in that area. Hanson had none.
Now, I wasn't in the pre-game meeting, and I don't know what it says in the Braves' scouting reports. But this sure looks like a recipe for success to me. I think that more than sucking, more than Ragnarok, or whatever is supposed to happen after losing to a 7th straight new pitcher.
Maybe last nights loss should be more about crediting the pitcher than blaming the hitters.