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Trying to Think Rationally

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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.