Yankeemetrics: Back in the Bronx

April, 19, 2012
4/19/12
1:30
PM ET

William Perlman/The Star-Ledger/US PresswireThe Yankees celebrate after a win over the Angels on Sunday.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Yankees opened their home schedule last weekend with a 5-0 blanking of the Angels on Friday afternoon. It was the largest shutout in a home opener for the Yankees since an 8-0 win over the Twins in 1988.

Hiroki Kuroda shined in his Yankee Stadium debut, tossing eight scoreless innings to earn his first win in pinstripes.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kuroda became the first Yankee pitcher to throw at least eight shutout innings in his home debut since Jimmy Key in 1993, and the first with eight scoreless innings in a Yankees home opener since Rick Rhoden in 1988.

PHELPS EARNS HIS PINSTRIPES
The Yankees four-game win streak came to an end on Saturday afternoon with a 7-1 loss to the Angels. Phil Hughes was once again inefficient in his second start of the season, needing 84 pitches to get 10 outs while allowing six runs. Hughes is averaging 23 pitches per inning, the highest rate in MLB.

David Phelps was the lone star for the Yankees in the loss, giving up just one run on one hit in 5⅓ innings of relief. That last Yankee to pitch that many innings in relief and allow just one hit was Steve Shields in 1988 against the Red Sox.

Vernon Wells' home run in the fifth inning was the only hit off Phelps. Prior to that hit, Phelps had retired the first 13 batters he faced in his career. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the longest such streak for any Yankee to start his career in the Expansion Era (since 1961).

NOBODY BEATS NOVA
The bats woke up on Sunday night as the Yankees routed the Angels 11-5. Ivan Nova got the win despite a mediocre line of four runs allowed in six innings. Nova was tough when it counted; he retired all six batters he faced with runners in scoring position.

Nova has now won his last 14 decisions dating to June 2011. Only Roger Clemens, who won 16 straight in 2001, has a longer streak in Yankees history.

During this stretch, Nova has a 3.35 ERA and the Yankees have averaged more than eight runs of support while he's on the mound.

TWINS TAKE THE BRONX
The Twins came to town on Monday night and pulled off a rare feat – beating the Yankees. Entering the game, the Yankees had won 51 of 69 regular season games vs the Twins since Ron Gardenhire's first season as Twins manager in 2002, which is by far the Yankees best record versus any AL team in that span.

The Yankees scored two runs in their first two at-bats of the game – thanks to back-to-back home runs by Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson – but scored just one more run in their final 33 at-bats. It was the sixth time in franchise history the Yankees started a game with consecutive dingers and the first time since September 23, 2005 versus Toronto.

SABATHIA SETTLES DOWN
The Yankees won the second game of the Twins series, 8-3, backed by a quality start from CC Sabathia. Sabathia allowed three runs and four hits in the first three innings, and then didn’t allow another hit or run the rest of the game. He held righties to just three hits in 20 at-bats (.150) in the game, after they had tagged him for a .366 average (15-41) in his first two starts.

Chris Stewart was the unlikely hero with a two-run single in the third inning and another run-scoring single in the seventh inning, giving him a career-high three RBI in the game. That is as many RBI as Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez combined for in the first 11 games of the season.

TWINS TAKE THE BRONX, PART II
From 2002 to 2011, the Twins won five of the 33 regular season games they played at Yankee Stadium. Following the Yankees 6-5 loss on Wednesday, Minnesota has now taken two of its first three games in the Bronx in 2012.

Kuroda struggled for the second time this season, allowing six earned runs and 10 hits and couldn't get out of the fifth inning. This is the first time in his career he has allowed at least six earned runs and double-digit hits in a game.

The Yankees finally got an RBI from their cleanup spot when Cano drove in Jeter in the first inning with a double. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that the Yankees' 11-game streak to start a season without an RBI from the No. 4 hitter was the longest such streak in franchise history.

RIDICULOUS YANKEEMETRIC OF THE WEEK
In Tuesday's win over the Twins, Brett Gardner became the 10th Yankee in the Live Ball Era to have two doubles and score three runs from the number eight spot in the lineup. But none of the previous nine guys also walked twice like Gardner did – giving Gardner a special entry in the Yankee record books.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
13 2.77 141 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146