Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Genius Maker #52

Some of you asked about my comments regarding Rivera and the pitch selection with Martin. In my haste I write things and do not always flush them out so that many of you can follow my logic (or lack of) The main issue with the pitch selection I have seen is that as much as I think Cervelli is a waste of a roster spot, he calls a good game with Rivera. He does this because he calls for the running fastball inside to a righty hitter. In fact, one of the reasons I was so excited about Rivera continuing to pitch at a high level was that he now had a cutter and a running fastball to add to the in and out and something that could really mess up righties. In fact, last year was the first year Rivera was better against righties than lefties since 2004 where he was barely better against righties. The running fastball (tails into the righty) was the main reason in my opinion. For some reason Martin just didn't call that pitch and while I may be wrong about this, Rivera does not seem to call off any pitches from catchers…or rarely does. He feels that if he makes his pitch he will get an out. Posada called for it last year and Cervelli did as well. In terms of the other pitch selection, they are just part of the game and many times mistakes are made and of course I may be wrong in my opinion as well. There are many times where I would be OK with 2 different calls and it is a matter of preference at that point, but other times there are calls that I feel are just wrong. For example, I may feel a slider low and away or a fastball up and in would both be fine to throw, but the change would not be a good call. Usually when you have your choice of good pitches to throw, it is because the previous pitch or pitches were the correct ones to set you up well. Like a lot of the decisions I get angry with, it is the first one that leads to a chain reaction of bad decisions…the same with pitch selection. Last comment, when I say pitch selection, I am referring also to location. Sometimes the actual pitch is the right one and it is the location that is wrong.

As for last night’s game, every Yankee had 2 hits except Cervelli, who had none.

CC did his thing and picked up his 12th win.

Boston got a lucky break as Papelbon came on to protect a 3-0 lead in the 9th inning. He allowed 4 hits and a walk but the game ended on a single with the tying run coming to the plate where the runner beat the throw but slid right into Varitek’s leg but still got hit other leg in as Varitek did not tag him until very late. It was a bad call as the runner was safe and it would have been sweet for him to blow that save and maybe the game.

Posada solidified his status as the worst base runner in the game after a he ripped a double he was caught standing 9literally standing) as he didn’t know whether to run or go back to 2nd base on a hit kind of at him. He needs to continue to hit well because he has lost about 4 hits with pathetic base running…he is swinging the bat well though.

Is anyone else a little upset Nova was sent down for Hughes? Nova has a respectable 4.12 ERA; the same as Burnett and Nova was also 8-4 and we won the last 5 starts he had. I know his WHIP is high and he has not been an innings eater, but he was pitching well enough to stay. The problem is who else should be dropped? Nobody really and with the options left he was the right choice. The question should be “is Hughes better than Nova?” If Hughes is not throwing a consistent 93 and hopefully 94, the answer is probably no.


  1. I agree that it was right to send Nova down because he had options. But, I really think Nova is likely to pitch better than Burnett for the rest of the season. Burnett is old. He's not going to get better. Nova might well get better. And, as you pointed out, if Nova keeps pitching like his last 5 starts, he's already better than Burnett.

    I can't see the Yanks moving Burnett to the bullpen, but maybe they should

  2. David, thanks for the comments! I enjoy what you ask and write. BTW, Burnett has been decent this year, but I think his stuff would translate to the bullpen fairly well. he would have his blowups but he also could be dominant going all out if his mechanics would allow it