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Game 68: A Sweep In Buffalo

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The Yankees finally swept a competitive AL East opponent. It took a while, but they accomplished the feat. Things slowly look like the team may be building their killer instinct. It is only three games, but there are encouraging signs. They have to build off this now. There will be time to discuss the future, but let’s enjoy the present. The Yankees win tonight’s game in Buffalo by the score of 8-4. They are now 36-32. Here are the takeaways.


We should start this off with some history. Michael King did not start this game off on the right foot. He walked the dangerous Marcus Semien and then gave up a seeing-eye single to Bo Bichette. Early season MVP candidate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. stepped up to the plate looking to do some damage. Instead, he helped deliver a historical moment for the Yankees:

First, it is really shocking to see a team run the bases worse than the Yankees. Second, what are the Blue Jays doing here? This was a nice play by King to get off the mound quickly, hold the runner at third, and throw a strike to first. The problems for Toronto begin and end with Bo Bichette. He’s assuming Semien is going home on contact and runs to third without evaluating what was going on in front of him. He forces Semien, who correctly ran back to third, to start breaking for home.

At this point, Bichette should run to third and occupy the base. You want to keep a runner in scoring position. He ended up choosing the worst of the available options. Bo inexplicably started running back to second. Once Gio made the tag on Semien, Bichette tried to break for third. He was correctly called out. For all of the Yankees’ baserunning blunders this year, Toronto told them to hold their beer.

More importantly, the Yankees displayed excellent and fundamental defense here. They did everything correctly. King held the runner at third and threw out the hitter. DJ LeMahieu threw to second base with Bichette so far off the base. Gleyber threw home once he saw Semien break for the plate. Gary held onto the ball just long enough to get the first out at third. And Gio also made a fantastic play to get Bichette at third. We’ve criticized the Yankees’ defense this season, but they looked great on this play. It saved a big inning from taking place in the first inning and put them in position to win the game. Here are some interesting stats regarding the triple play:

About That Defense

This night perfectly captures the Yankees’ defense in a nutshell. At this point, I don’t know what to make of it. It is more volatile than the stock market. The triple play was the first impactful play on defense, but it certainly wasn’t the last. Gio Urshela was front and center again. This is just a spectacular play:

The lateral quickness, the agility, the athleticism, and the throw were all elite in this play. This is incredibly difficult to pull off. It was early in the game, but this is a double down the line if he doesn’t get to this. With how this game was going, you never know how the rest of the frame turns out.

While the defense was able to prevent a big inning in the first, it did plenty to help the Blue Jays score the majority of their runs. Toronto had first and third with one out and the aforementioned Bichette up at the plate. Michael King threw a well-executed pitch low and away. Bichette chased and hit a ground ball to short. I’ll let the video take it from here:

What is this?

When you’re a part-time depth player, you have to fulfill your role. That requires making the plays in front of you. Wade has to turn that double play. At the very least, he has to give himself a chance to turn it. It gave the Blue Jays a free run and extended the inning for King. This can’t happen.

Miguel AndĂşjar is obviously learning a new position on the Major League level. This isn’t easy to do. It is challenging when you are switching positions that either move you further away from home plate or closer to it. While the outfield can appear simple, the nuances of the position can be tricky to pick up. You have to gauge depth, execute the right angle on the ball, have spatial awareness, and then catch the ball. Miguel AndĂşjar struggled with a little bit of everything in the fifth inning.

On a fly ball deep to the wall, Miggy had a chance to make a nice catch but couldn’t pull it in. You want to give him some leeway given the position switch, but an average Major League outfielder makes that play. Beyond the impact of the actual play, it demonstrates the limitations the Yankees have caused by Clint Frazier’s poor play and the organization’s hesitance to play Stanton in the outfield. This misplay allowed Toronto to tie the game.

And then maybe the biggest defensive play of the game came from Aaron Judge. As Yankees fans, we all know how great of a defender Judge is. It appears the team told Judge to minimize risky plays early on in the season. That potential edict feels like it went out the door. Judge is flying all over the field and making incredible plays like this:

This is a remarkable play. He covered a ton of ground and showed impressive body control. The timing was perfect. The leap was amazing. Aaron Judge is a great baseball player. This was the turning point in the game. If there any doubts about that statement, here is the win probability chart for the game:

Toronto’s win probability before the Judge catch was 75%. It immediately swung to the Yankees after Judge’s play. Big-time players make big-time plays.

The Yankees Offense Is Beginning to Click

Admittedly, this heading may be a bit misleading. There are still too many instances when the lineup fails to blow a game open. The Yankees had the bases loaded with Judge and Gleyber Torres up and failed to score. The game featured other moments where tack-on runs were welcomed.

With that said, the Yankees are starting to drive the ball out of the park again. Gio Urshela’s two-run home run was a welcome sight. Giancarlo Stanton’s two-strike, opposite-field home run to take the lead was very encouraging. The power is starting to return to the lineup. The team was able to flex their muscles a little bit in Buffalo. This could be a sign of more encouraging things to come.

The second encouraging sign is the increase in timely hitting. We saw it with Clint Frazier on Tuesday. Gary Sánchez delivered the big blow last night. And tonight, it was the rookie, Chris Gittens, coming through in the clutch. Despite striking out a lot, Gittens has put on really good at-bats. Tonight’s pinch-hit appearance was especially impressive. He was in a big spot and didn’t expand the zone. He took a big swing in a 3-1 count, and when he missed his pitch, he cut his swing down for an opposite-field single. We see more and more productive at-bats in clutch situations late in games. Hopefully, this will continue.

Things weren’t all great in Yankeesland. Gleyber Torres left the game early with back stiffness. He will be re-evaluated soon. Hopefully, this isn’t a long term thing. The Yankees will look to build on this sweep as they return home to a maximum capacity Yankee Stadium against Oakland. The atmosphere should be great. It will be Jameson Taillon versus old friend James Kaprielian. Have a great night.


Game 52: Boring In The Motor City

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The New York Yankees just dropped a series to the Detroit Tigers. Yes, you read that correctly. The hometown team looked like the bottom feeders, while the Tigers looked like the ones with championship aspirations. Outside of a nice outing from Albert Abreu, there were no positives to take from this performance. The offense continues its malaise. The starting pitching was poor. A curious defensive play gift-wrapped two runs. It was a total team effort of disappointing play. They drop this one 6-1. To the surprise of some, their record is at 29-23. There isn’t much to discuss, so here are the short takeaways.

Offense, Where Art Thou?

The Yankees currently have a non-competitive offense. They experienced a hot streak, by their recent standards, a few weeks ago, but the unit is obviously regressing. The quality of at-bats is getting worse. They no longer drive the ball. The batters aren’t trusting the guys around them. They are a total mess.

There is a concerning trend emerging with this offense. They allow too many poor pitching performances to go by without major damage. Yes, Spencer Trumbull threw a no-hitter a day before Corey Kluber’s. But let’s just say that the quality of Trumbull’s performance didn’t match that historic night. Here is the Tigers pitcher’s chart:

Outside of an alarming rise in strikeouts recently, the Yankees’ number one issue is positive impact on pitches in the hitting zone. They are either letting them go by for strikes, fouling them off, or missing them altogether. You could also say their overall pitch selection during at-bats is generally poor. I point out Trumbull’s pitch chart because there are many pitches that a functional offense punishes. There are a ton of sinkers up in the zone. There are four-seamers in good hitting areas. The changeup was nothing more than a show-me pitch. The slider was pretty good.

And yet, the Yankees managed three hits off Trumbull. They had a chance to blow the game wide open in the second inning and failed to do so. Miguel AndĂşjar stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs. Here is his pitch chart for that at-bat:

What exactly are you doing with these pitches? The batter is in an advantageous position here. The pitcher has to come to you. Miggy must work an at-bat so he can hunt a pitch to drive. Instead, he goes after a pitcher’s pitch and grounds into a routine double play. This is the function of a poor hitting approach. Yes, the swing isn’t good, but this can happen when you don’t commit to a plan. There are so many issues at play with the lineup, and control of the strike/hitting zone is a huge one. You can’t drive any of these pitches.

I don’t want to pick on Miggy because this is a lineup-wide issue. His at bat was the most glaring though. When you are scuffling offensively, you must take advantage of the few opportunities presented. AndĂşjar failed to do so. The Yankees couldn’t muster another threat against a mediocre pitching outing. This is incredibly disappointing.

Deivi Flops His Audition

Looking for a chance to replace Corey Kluber in the rotation, Deivi GarcĂ­a stepped into a pretty optimal position for his return to the big club. At the most, the Tigers’ lineup has three hitters who could pose a threat. You can’t write up a better scenario for a young pitcher to impress his team. Deivi GarcĂ­a was unable to do that.

We’re all aware that Deivi’s biggest weakness is control. He still struggles to throw strikes, let alone high-quality strikes consistently. When he clicks, he will keep hitters off balance and control the quality of contact. However, when he’s off, you get outings like today. His stuff was ok, but his control let him down. There is a lot of talk about Deivi fixing the mechanics in his delivery. You can see the impact of this process in this start. Here is the pitch chart:

The lack of control on the four-seamer really stands out here. When you throw in the low 90’s, you have to hit spots. If you can’t locate it, hitters can key in on certain areas of the zone. Detroit did just that. The Tigers batted .333 with a 37.5% hard hit rate against the fastball. All five of the hits GarcĂ­a gave up against Detroit came off the heater.

Deivi’s changeup is a bit hard to describe. It was effective at times and pretty bad at other times. The pitched earned a 45% CSW rate, which is really good. But when you look at this chart, you’ll see the command wasn’t that great:

This could be the result of Deivi still searching for his optimal mechanics. The swinging strikes may have come from the change in speeds rather than the location. You can take some positives with this pitch, but the overall outing was a mixed bag at best.

I’m very curious to see what the Yankees do with this spot in the rotation on the next turn. I’m not sure this start was convincing enough to give Deivi another shot particularly agains the two teams ahead of the Yankees in the division. Maybe there is something they can build on from this start. There is a chance they do an opener or piggyback situation. The Yankees needed a convincing start from GarcĂ­a and didn’t get it. The offense remains the biggest issue, but this spot in the rotation could grow into a problem sooner than later. We shall see.

UPDATE: We didn’t have to wait long on this. Deivi and Abreu are on their way to Scranton after today’s game.

At times, we’re criticized for being too optimistic, as if that is some bad thing. We tend to look at things big picture and place a larger context on things. There are moments, though, where that doesn’t fit the reality of the times. The Yankees are playing boring and dreadful baseball. They are not playing up to their capabilities, and that needs to change immediately. Our overall feelings about this season have not changed or wavered. They are title contenders. With that said, they need to start playing like one. The inconsistency and the abysmal offense need to come to an end. It should start with tomorrow’s game to avoid a sweep against the worst team in Major League Baseball. Have a good night.

Game 41: The Yankees Offense Falters Again As Cole Battles

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This was another incredibly frustrating game from the Yankees. The inconsistency, particularly against inferior teams, is hard to watch. The Texas Rangers are a below average team. You expect a fine performance when arguably the best pitcher in the game at the moment takes the mound. The ace faltered along with a lifeless lineup. The Yankees drop this one by the score of 5-1. Their record is now 22-19. Here are the short takeaways.

The Offense Needs To Get Going

Jordan Lyles may be one of the worst starting pitchers in the Majors right now. He relies on five pitches, and I honestly couldn’t tell you if one of them is good. It could be his changeup. He has thrown the change only 47 times. Here are the heat maps for his top three pitches:

This is bad. We normally refer to exit velocities maps when describing bright red colors, but we’re doing it with heat maps. He can’t turn to one pitch that can reliably get him out of innings without damage. Lyles can’t be that bad, right? Here are his 2021 percentile rankings:


Well, do you want some more Jordan Lyles numbers? Of course, you do. His xBA/xSLG/WOBA slash line is .281/.523/.343. His barrel rate is 10%. The line drive rate is 25%. You get the picture. Jordan Lyles is the type of pitcher even a compromised lineup should hammer. They proceeded to score one run against the struggling starter.

Their best chance in the game came in the first inning. DJ Lemahieu and Luke Voit started the game off with two singles. Then, Aaron Judge, the AL Player of the Week, struck out. Gio Urshela followed up with a single. It was at this point where one would think the Yankees were heading for a big crooked number. But, instead, Gary Sánchez smoked a ball to third for an inning-ending double play. That was the end of the threat for the inning and the game. Here is the win probability for tonight’s contest:

That first inning made a huge difference.

Remember those heat maps from earlier? The Yankees were incapable of attacking Lyles in the hitting zone. The lineup was clearly hunting in the zone as they swung at 39 of Lyles’ 85 pitches. They had twelve swings and misses. That may not seem like a ton, but it is for a guy like Lyles. The Yankees really struggled against the slider and curve. They had a 36% and 41% CSW rate against those pitches, respectively.

These pitches weren’t even located well. Jordan Lyles’ pitch chart looks like a mess. Take a look for yourself:

I’m having trouble finding which pitch was the best one. I would say the slider, but I’m peeking.

There has been a lot of focus on the depressed offense throughout the league this year. The Yankees aren’t impervious to this. It also doesn’t fully explain its performance so far this season. There hasn’t been any stretch where the lineup fired on all cylinders. The scoring largely comes from one or two hitters who get insanely hot. There are too many dead spots in the lineup, and it’s due to their performance and not the trends of the league.

One thing that continues to stand out is the lack of consistent contact in the zone. There are way too many pitches in the zone that Yankees hitters are missing, fouling off, or topping into the ground. In previous years, the lineup hammers these offerings. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case right now. I won’t pretend to know the reasons why, but the observation holds. There are encouraging signs like a high walk rate, but the high-quality contact isn’t consistent enough throughout the lineup. That needs to change in short order.

Gerrit Cole Battles In His Shakiest Start Of The Year

Gerrit Cole spoils us. We’re at the point where we expect him to dominate everyone in every start. I believe this too. Outside of Jacob deGrom, he’s been the best pitcher in Major League Baseball this season. But, while we don’t think it can ever happen, Gerrit Cole can throw a stinker or two at times. Tonight was one of those nights. He went up against a rather pedestrian Rangers lineup and struggled all night to hold them down.

Gerrit was fighting his stuff and his command. It didn’t feel like he had a pitch he could turn to whenever he was in trouble. Two pitches represented his struggles with both stuff and command. His slider wasn’t sharp, and his fastball was wild.

Gerrit Cole’s slider averages around 6.6 inches of horizontal movement. That may not be a big number at first glance, but his extreme vertical movement amplifies the sweeping nature of the pitch. The two planes obviously have to work in tandem to maximize the effect. Gerrit had typically great drop to it, but it stayed on the horizontal plane a bit too much. Here is his horizontal movement chart:

There are a few pitches that break the six-inch mark, but not many. The Rangers lineup tagged that pitch for a pretty decent amount of damage tonight. Willie Calhoun, in particular, jump-started his nice night with a stinging double down the line on a bad slider. I thought Kyle Higashioka called for that pitch way too much early in the game. It clearly wasn’t working. The change was a better option.

In hindsight, it probably didn’t matter because Cole’s fastball command was poor. Cole can almost beat a lineup just with his electric fastball. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case tonight. Here is his pitch chart:

We know that Gerrit lives up in the zone with his fastball, but this is the extreme and unproductive version of that. The fastballs in the zone were hit with pretty good authority by the Rangers hitters. It was an off night for the ace. These things happen. Maybe the intense eight-inning gem against the Rays took a little bit out of him.

The one positive is Cole broke the record for most strikeouts before a walk in Major League history. Gerrit struck out 61 batters before he issued his first of two walks tonight. That is pretty sick. There is nothing to worry about with Cole. It was just an off night. He’ll probably strike out 27 batters in his next start.

This was a pretty listless game to watch. Hopefully, tomorrow will bring about a better performance. It will be Taillon versus Foltynewicz tomorrow. The game starts at 8pm. Have a great night.

Game 37: Yankees Fail To Sweep The Rays

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This game was rough. There were hopes of the Yankees putting the bow on this series with a sweep. Unfortunately, those dreams dissipated almost immediately due to inconsistent pitching and a futile offensive effort. The Yankees comfortably lose this one to the Rays by the score of 9-1. They are 20-17 on the season. Here are the takeaways.

Jameson Taillon Throws a Mixed Bag

Jameson Taillon is a good pitcher. He has a nice three-pitch mix. Unfortunately, the results and consistent length aren’t there yet. The long layoff after the second Tommy John surgery is the biggest culprit. All this means is the process to return to consistent and high-end performance will take longer for Taillon than other pitchers. As a result, there will be starts where the performance will be less than stellar. This is especially true when considering Taillon’s new mechanics and pitch approach.

The latter, coupled with inconsistent command, laid at the heart of Jameson’s rocky start tonight. We all know by now the Yankees are emphasizing changeups with their pitching staff. Taillon is the one pitcher who has not increased his changeup usage. Quite frankly, the pitch isn’t very good. At the least, it hasn’t shown to be good this season. Therefore, the biggest pitch to focus on with Taillon is the fastball. More specifically, we need to pay attention to both his command and the location of the pitch.

Coming into the year, there was a strong emphasis on scrapping Taillon’s two-seamer and elevating the four-seamer. We’re all well aware of the stark difference in pitching philosophies between the Pirates and Yankees. There have been conversations amongst really knowledgeable pitching analysts questioning whether or not Taillon’s fastball profile lends itself to living up in the zone. It doesn’t have the highest spin rate in the world, so that carry through the top of the zone could be tough. Here is a heatmap of Taillon’s heater:

It’s pretty clear to see Taillon is struggling to locate four-seamers up in the zone consistently. Too many fastballs sit middle in a nice hitting zone for hitters to drive the ball. Outside of the obvious, one issue is Taillon trusting his fastball. It has the highest usage amongst his four pitches, but it doesn’t feel like he’s in sync with it. His pitch chart tonight is a pretty strong indicator of this:

There are command issues here. This is pretty obvious. There are a lot of pitches either outside of the zone or right in the middle. But I want to focus on the number of fastballs that aren’t up in the zone. If the plan is to attack the upper quadrants of the strike zone, this plot isn’t encouraging. There are enough fastballs below those quadrants that make me believe Taillon is still growing comfortable with the re-imagining of his fastball. There is missing your spot, and there is not committing to hitting the spots. It feels like a bit of both tonight.

The interesting thing is the fastball’s effectiveness tonight. Despite tonight’s score, the Rays have a bad offense. They struggle against fastballs. They struggled against fastballs last year as well. Taillon threw 58(!!!) fastballs tonight with a 38% CSW rate. 22 of the 58 fastballs generated a strike. That is pretty damn good. But herein lies the problem for Jameson:

Even the worse of fastball hitters will do damage on pitches in the middle of the plate. You’re headed for trouble if the plan is to go fastball heavy and the fastballs don’t live up in the zone. It doesn’t help when the offspeed stuff isn’t particularly effective either. The home run to Austin Meadows came on a bad changeup, and the slider was almost non-existent tonight.

It feels like we’re witnessing a painstaking process of a pitcher’s reinvention. You are going to have nights like this. However, this reimagination won’t be fully realized overnight. The one positive is the nine strikeouts. It tells us the fastball can be a weapon. Taillon will need improved command, and maybe more importantly, full commitment to the change in approach.

The Offense Stalls Again

The Yankees are still experiencing issues on the offensive side of the ball. The bottom of tonight’s lineup featured a pretty ineffective group of hitters. Losing Gleyber Torres in the short term is a pretty big blow for the team. You’re losing a potentially potent bat and replacing it with a below-average one. It also didn’t help to lose Aaron Hicks to a potential wrist injury. And if that wasn’t enough, the Yankees are rightfully load managing Luke Voit’s return. It was going to be a struggle for the Yankees’ 5-9 hitters.

Rich Hill proved to be a terrible matchup for the Yankees. Throughout the late bloomer stages of his career, Rich Hill has done a tremendous job of limiting lineups’ power game. However, he is a two-pitch pitcher, and neither pitch is particularly good anymore. He didn’t throw a fastball above 91, and you never knew when he was going to throw a good curveball. He was effectively wild as baseball parlance goes.

Hill had no business dominating as he did even with a compromised lineup. His command was awful to compliment his weakened arsenal. Look at this pitch chart:

LMAO. What?

The Yankees are one of the most disciplined lineups in the league. They’ve been this way since the Jeter era. Unfortunately, that was not on display tonight. Here are a few pitch charts of swinging strikes by Yankees’ hitters:

When an offense is struggling, hitters really need to simplify things. They need to control at-bats, so they get pitches to drive. You’re not going to win matchups swinging at pitches nowhere near the hitting zone. Rich Hill doesn’t need help escaping at-bats. This is a pretty clear indication that hitters are still pressing. They’re expanding their zones and missing pitches to drive when they do enter the hitting zone.

We have yet to see this offense click as a full unit. There are flashes, but in most cases, it’s due to a few hitters catching fire. We have yet to see that circular lineup. Of course, guys are in and out of the lineup. The ball is moving all over the place. Offense is down across the league. The one thing a lineup can control is plate discipline. That wasn’t the case tonight. The Yankees allowed a porous pitcher to dominate them with ineffective stuff. It would be nice to see the whole lineup turn it around and turn into the offense we expected to see all season.

The Yankees are back at it tomorrow when they face the Orioles. The game starts at 7:05pm. It will be Kluber versus Kramer. Enjoy your night everyone.

Game 26: The Yankees Bounce Back With A Laugher

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The Yankees and their fans needed a game like this. Yes, they’re playing the woeful Detroit Tigers. With the way this season has started, we can’t take anything for granted. But, the pinstripes took care of business. They win the first game of the long homestand by a comfortable score of 10-0. It’s nice to watch a laugher for once, especially after yesterday’s mess of a game. Here are the takeaways.

Aaron Judge Makes The Lineup And Rakes

If you follow Yankees Twitter, you’re well aware of the Aaron Judge chatter. There have been some takes. And there have been some takes. Aaron Judge is the most important position player in the Yankees organization. Aaron Judge transforms the Yankees from a really, really good team into an elite one with his high-level offensive and defensive skill sets. He is easily a top 15 player in the game, and I may be lowballing that ranking. The concerns about durability are valid. However, the recent criticism of Judge and the team is unfair. The current load management strategy is a proactive approach for injury prevention. It isn’t because he’s “soft.” The Yankees want their best player healthy for a full season and playoff run.

Tonight’s game is a fantastic reminder that Judge remains the number one guy on the team. Both he and Giancarlo Stanton can change a game with one swing. Aaron Judge can also change a game with a big catch or a laser throw to home. Judge decided to bring the heavy lumber for this game.

Before we get to the two bombs he hit tonight; I want to point out one of his under the radar performances from the game. We know that Aaron Judge will strike out quite a bit. He will chase pitches low and away from time to time. High fastballs tie him up from time to time. Aaron Judge is far from a hacker, though. He isn’t flailing away at anything near the plate like Rougned Odor. Instead, Judge has tremendous control of the hitting zone. That was on display tonight.

In total, Judge saw 20 pitches at the plate. Of those 20, there were five different types of pitches: four-seamer, cutter, changeup, splitter, and slider. Judge swung at 11 of the 20 pitches. He didn’t swing and miss once. In fact, he only saw two called strikes in three at-bats. This is pretty remarkable for an elite power hitter. Here are the two pitches that led to his two home runs:

Those two pitches led to these two results:

Aaron Judge has 7 home runs in 96 plate appearances. Here are his current 2021 percentile rankings:

I think that works for a guy who apparently isn’t tough enough to play for the dynasty Yankees.

Gerrit Cole Is The Best Pitcher In The AL

It is getting really hard to write about Gerrit Cole. The dude is an absolute monster. However, the discussions surrounding Cole always interest me. When fans and media talk about the Yankees starting rotation, more times than not, people will use some version of the phrase “Cole and everyone else.” This feels dismissive of Gerrit’s brilliance. It takes his presence, talent, and dominance for granted. The Yankees haven’t featured a pitcher like this since CC Sabathia. We all wanted Cole for so long, and now that he’s here, it feels like we skip over him at times.

Gerrit is on an incredible run to start the season. Cole has tied the franchise record of four games with ten strikeouts or more with no walks in a single season. It is April 30th. Sarah Langs from takes this one step further:

Again, it is April 30th.

We’re watching the start of a potentially historic season for Gerrit Cole. We haven’t seen this consistently high level of pitching from a Yankees starter in a very long time. Admittedly, I haven’t looked this up, but there aren’t many seasons with this start in the franchise’s history. You can feel free to suggest some in the comments.

This was a dominant start for Cole. Dominant may not serve him justice. He had everything working for him at an elite level. He cruised with 87 pitches and earned 21 swings and misses. His CSW rate was 44%. FORTY-FOUR. He threw 25 curves which had a CSW rate of 52%. The curve averaged 52 inches of vertical break. This plays off a fastball averaging 97mph along with a filthy change. All of this is absurd. You may be able to do this in The Show. You shouldn’t be able to do it in THE SHOW.

If that wasn’t enough, the command was filthy. Cole threw the ball wherever he wanted to, whenever he wanted to do it. Here is his pitch chart:

As many of you know, I’m a filmmaker. I routinely turn to fine art for references in my work. My favorite artist is Caravaggio. I could go on and on about him, but this is a baseball blog, so I’ll save the artsy stuff. I bring the mercurial painter up because this pitch chart is a work of art. It is the command, pitchability, and usage. This illustrates elite pitching. When you’re an artist like Cole, you can easily see his strategy because he executes it so damn well. He also commands all four quadrants of the zone. There aren’t many pitchers who can do this over the course of a start, let alone multiple starts. Cole is on his way to a Cy Young campaign.

We’ll end this section on this thought. A few of us in the Views slack wondered when we start saying Cole is on Jacob deGrom’s level this season. deGrom has been otherworldly. Cole has as well. We have the two best pitchers in baseball in New York City. That is pretty awesome.

One Final Thought

Giancarlo Stanton is the best performing hitter for the Yankees this season. He is currently on an eight-game hitting streak. He’s been destroying baseballs all season. The one thing holding him back from time to time is his negative launch angle. Stanton is beginning to show how valuable he can be for this team over the course of a year. If Judge and Stanton play full seasons, we will see video game numbers that will lead to many wins. Let’s enjoy the performances.

The Yankees and Tigers do it again tomorrow at 1pm. It will be Taillon versus Turnbull. Let’s get another blowout. Have a great night.

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