I am your host, Dave Ettinger, of CBS Sports Radio Network, and in today’s episode I yell at the New York Mets and break down the latest moves by LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Tag: Craig Kimbrel
Yankees’ Bullpen Falters LATE
Screw you ESPN!! You and your bags full of money. You’re the reason I only got 4 hours of sleep last night. Watch out Monday!! I am one sleep-deprived, ornery Yankees’ fan.
Listen, I’m an ESPN child. I grew up on a balanced diet of Sportscenter and top 10’s, and if ESPN offered me a job I’d drop everything and run to Bristol, CT, but they’re killin’ me here!! Sunday Night Baseball is not a smart idea. Starting a baseball game at 8:00 P.M (which is really 8:15), on a Sunday, is not fair to anyone who works — anywhere. But nobody wants to hear my sob story, right??
What do you say we talk about the game?? Ya know, since I stayed up to watch the whole freakin’ thing….
Sunday night’s Yankees/Red Sox Game was a rubber match of a 3-game series. A series I thought the Yankees would win. Not because I’m a Yankees’ fan, but because the Yankees tend to step-up their game when the Red Sox come to town. Unfortunately, Dave was wrong.
The Yankees put forth a lackluster performance throughout this crucial, weekend-series with the Boston Red Sox. Forget the rivalry, these games were really important. And without a 5-run, 8th inning on Friday night, the city of Boston would be carrying brooms around this morning.
The Yankees had a chance to do something rare Sunday night — win a game Chris Sale started. Sale is the Red Sox ace who is currently in the Cy Young and MVP race.
We’re going to fast forward to the 9th inning because there are only so many Sale strikeouts a Yankees’ fan can watch (he had 12 of them). Aroldis Chapman took the hill with a 2-1 lead. 103 m.p.h. looks really nice on the radar gun (ESPN will make sure you find it), but when MLB hitters know it’s coming, it’s not that impressive. Give me 98 with movement over 103 right down the middle any day. Rafael Devers, the youngest of the Red Sox young guns, proved that theory. With 1 out in the 9th inning, Devers tied the game with a solo home run. Devers took a Chapman fastball the opposite way, just clearing the fence in left-center field. To see the heart-breaking home run click here.
Just like that, the game was blown. By the way, half of Chapman’s blown saves this season are against the Red Sox, the last coming on July 14th.
To the 10th inning we go….
This is when my (100 pound) eyelids started fighting with my brain. The Yankees can bolster their bullpen all they want, they will continue to shoot themselves in the foot. Before Andrew Benintendi drove in the go ahead run, Chapman and Tommy Kahnle thought it would be a good idea to walk the bases loaded. I couldn’t have planned it any better myself!!
And then came a visit to the mound from Craig Kimbrel (aka the best closer in baseball). An Aaron Hicks groundout, an Aaron Judge strikeout (man I’m tired of hearin’ that one), and a weak fly ball from Gary Sanchez was all it took. 1-2-3. Goodnight Yankees. Goodnight moon. Goodnight Dave.
But hey, at least the Mets are comin’ to town. Nothing cures a losing streak like playing the Mets….
Will the Yankees make the playoffs?? Do Sunday Night Baseball games anger you as much as they anger me?? Please tell me in the comment section below.
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Will The Real Masahiro Tanaka Please Stand Up
There is something wrong with Masahiro Tanaka. Entering an important 3-game series with the Boston Red Sox, Tanaka took the hill on Tuesday night. He has been, how do you say this, less than stellar so far this season. I’m being wayyyy to nice..HE’S PITCHING LIKE POOP!! That’s better. Tanaka’s struggles continued last night. He gave up 5 earned runs in just 5 innings, serving up 3 home runs. Chad Green and the Yankees’ bullpen gave their team a chance, holding the Red Sox to those 5 runs. The Yankees scratched and clawed their way back into the game, losing 5-4. Red Sox closer, Craig Kimbrel, recorded a 4-out save (his 17th of the season), and the Yankees’ lead in the American League East is now just 1 lonely game.
Let’s take a deeper look at Tanaka’s first 12 starts of the season. I’m going to hit you with some stats and numbers now, so dust off those thinking caps and slap ’em on….
He is the owner of a shiny, brand spankin’ new E.R.A of 6.55. He is averaging just over 5 innings per start and has now given up 17 home runs in just 66 innings. Not exactly a recipe for success. With all the question marks surrounding the Yankees’ starting rotation to begin the season, Tanaka was supposed to be the anchor. The rock. The immovable object. Yeah, not so much. In the first game of the year, Tanaka was shelled to the tune of 7 runs in 2 and 2/3 innings. And he has now given up 5 or more runs in 4 of his last 5 starts. Yikes!!
The question is: Is this the real Masahiro Tanaka or will this be just an ugly blip on the radar?? As a Yankees fan, I’m hoping for the latter, but I’m not sure. If you believe Tanaka’s 3-year MLB track record is enough to prove he will ‘right the ship’, then I’ll have what you’re having. You can check out his career stats here. If you’re too lazy to click there, here is a quick overview of Tanaka’s stats. Entering this season, Tanaka had an impressive E.R.A. of just over 3.00 and sported a W.H.I.P. (Walks + Hits / Innings Pitched) around 1.00. He had struck out just over 8 batters per 9 innings, and had won at least 12 games every year. Those numbers represent the ace of your pitching staff. Not the guy who’s being outpitched by 36-year old, C.C. Sabathia.
The Yankees first 55 games have shown they are contenders. The young roster is filled with exciting offensive talent, their bullpen is fantastic, and their starting rotation as a whole has exceeded expectations. The 2nd question is: How long can they continue to run this version of Masahiro Tanaka out to the mound every 5 days?? I’m also not sure of the right answer here, but I have an idea. If I were the Yankees, I would put Masahiro Tanaka on the fake disabled list. I’d have the trainer conjure an elbow injury out of thin air, and I’d place Tanaka on the 10-day disabled list. This could give him time to get his mind right and focus on pitching deeper into games and deeper into the season. IF the Yankees are going to make the playoffs, Masahiro Tanaka needs to pitch better. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez can only bail out their pitchers so many times before the well runs dry.
Will Masahiro Tanaka turn his season around?? Will the Yankees make the playoffs?? Give me your opinion in the comment section below.
Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!
National League East Predictions
Over the next month I will be writing previews for every team and division in Major League Baseball. I will break down each team and predict the winner of each division. Today I will start with the National League East. Here is a look at how each team finished last season:
2012 National League East Final Standings:
Washington Nationals: 98-64
Atlanta Braves: 94-68
Philadelphia Philles: 81-81
New York Mets: 74-88
Miami Marlins: 69-93
The Miami Marlins had very high expectations last season. Everyone crowned them NL East Champions before the season even started. However, the Marlins greatly underacheived. They took their projected record and flipped it upside down. So what did the Marlins owner do? Exactly what we all would have done (haha). Can anyone say FIRE SALE?!?! Everyone is criticising the Marlins owner for dumping his entire roster just one year after building a brand new stadium in Miami. I say to those people, wake up and smell the coffee!! This is the third time in Marlins franchise history that they’ve done this. I don’t know why anyone is surprised. Anyway, outside of Giancarlo Stanton this team is pretty much awful. I do like Justin Ruggiano’s potential, but he needs to get out of town before it is too late. I see the Marlins having a long frustrating season, finishing with a putrid record of 65-97. Sorry Miami. Hang tough though, in 5 years you’ll probably win another World Series.
What can I say about the New York Mets that hasn’t been said already? I love New York, and I try to root for every New York team even if they’re not my favorite team. But it is hard to root for the Mets. How long can they be downright awful for? It’s almost like being a Pittsburgh Pirates fan, you just know they are going to be bad every year. I hope they turn it around in the near future, but the near future is not going to be 2013. The Mets, like the Marlins, have a couple of nice players and the rest are essentially Triple-A ballplayers. I like David Wright and uh yeah only David Wright. Anyone else on the roster with potential to be great is injury prone. It would be a miracle if Shawn Marcum, Daniel Murphy, and Johan Santana last the entire season. I do actually like Jonathon Niese to be their best pitcher this season, but unfortunately they don’t have enough to compete in this division. The Mets will be slightly worse than last season, finishing with a record of 71-91.
The Philadelphia Phillies are no longer a great team. They proved that by finishing a pedestrian 81-81 last season. The majority of the problems are a result of injuries and aging players. Roy Halladay should bounce back from last season’s poor performance, but at 35 years old he doesn’t have any CY Young Awards coming his way. The additions of Michael Young, Delmon Young, and Ben Revere are all solid moves, but I don’t think it’s going to land them in the playoffs this season. They still have a very good pitching staff in Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Doc Halladay, but they like the Mets are also injury prone. I see a slight improvement from last season to the tune of an 87-75 record. This will leave them just outside the playoffs.
The Atlanta Braves were the first wild card in the National League last season. In the new playoff format that was put in place in 2012, they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in a one game playoff. With the addition of the Upton brothers, the Braves have certainly improved their outfield and added some power to their lineup. The upton’s can both run also, so while Michael Bourn will be missed, they might actually steal more bases than they did in 2012. Without question the Braves have the best closer in baseball; Craig Kimbrel. As long as their starters can carry a lead through the 8th inning, the Braves will win A LOT of games. The Atlanta Braves have a decent pitching rotation that is headed up by old-timer Tim Hudson. Tim has remained very good even as he enters his late 30’s, and he will need to continue to pitch like a #1 starter if the Braves are going to make the playoffs this season. The rest of their pitching rotation is filled with younger guys with plenty of potential. These young guys bring about plenty of questions. Is Kris Medlen as good as the pitcher we saw last season, or will he regress? Is Paul Maholm the pitcher we’ve watched struggle for years in Pittsburgh, or is he the consistent pitcher we saw last year? What can we expect to see from Mike Minor and Julio Teheran? These questions make the Braves rotation a wildcard. Their success will be predicated on the rotation and will be the reason the Braves either return to the playoffs or falter and miss out on the party in October. I believe they will regress slightly from last year and finish with a record of 86-76.
Last season the Washington Nationals finished with the best record in the National League. They had a very successful season which was highlighted by their phenomenal pitching staff. Unfortunately, the Nationals weren’t able to win a playoff series and lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in 5 games in the Divison Series. This season the Nationals are primed and ready to make a deeper run into the playoffs. The silly innings limit has been officially lifted from Stephen Strasburg, and I believe he will be the best pitcher in baseball this season. The advantage gained by being able to pitch Gio Gonzalez against #2 starters from other teams can’t be overstated. Jordan Zimmerman is also looking to build on a solid 2012 season. The addition of Dan Haren to the rotation should help bolster the back end of their rotation. It should also be a nice change of scenery for Haren, as he looks to get back to winning ways after a poor 2012 season. You’d be hard pressed to find a better pitching rotation in all of baseball than the Washington Nationals. They also added Rafael Soriano to an already impressive bullpen. Handing the ball to Soriano, Tyler Clippard, or Drew Storen (if he can stay healthy) is a nice luxury to have and should help shorten games. They also brought in Denard Span who is a nice baserunner and fielder when healthy. Oh yeah, they also have this rising star you may have heard of named Bryce Harper. He is the youngest player in the Major Leagues and is only going to improve. The Nationals are a very good team who from top to bottom have the potential to be the best team in all of baseball. I see them finishing with a very similar record as last year, only this season they will get over the hump and win at least one playoff series. The Washington Nationals 2013 Regular Season Record will be 99-63 and they will win the National League East.
2013 National League East Projected Final Standings:
Washington Nationals: 99-63
Philadelphia Phillies: 87-75
Atlanta Braves: 86-76
New York Mets: 71-91
Miami Marlins: 65-97
2013 National League East Projected Winner: Washington Nationals
If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!