Thursday, July 26, 2012
The Series in Yankeemetrics (July 23-25)
Getty ImagesStat of the SeriesIn a stunning move before Monday's game in Seattle, the Yankees traded for Ichiro Suzuki. That gave the Yankees three players with at least 2,500 hits on the roster.
Ichiro Suzuki celebrates his first win as a Yankee on Monday.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Yankees are the third team in major-league history to have three 2,500-hit players on the team at the same time, joining the 1927 Athletics (Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, Zack Wheat) and the A's again in 1928 (Cobb, Collins, Tris Speaker).
Waking up in Seattle
In the series finale on Wednesday, the Yankees avoided another one-run loss with a comeback win thanks to the late heroics of Jayson Nix. Nix had the game-winning hit in the eighth inning, a double that drove in three runs to give the Yankees a 4-2 cushion.
The only other Yankee in the last 60 years to do what Nix did -- smack a three-run, pinch-hit double in the eighth inning or later to give the Yankees the lead -- was Dan Pasqua in 1986 against the Blue Jays.
As my ESPNNY.com colleague Mark Simon noted, Nix was 1-for-20 in two-strike counts against right-handed pitchers this season before that hit.
Derek Jeter hit his eighth homer of the year and his 135th as a No. 2 batter. Only Ryne Sandberg has more homers batting second during the Live Ball Era.
Another West Coast game, another loss for the Yankees on Tuesday. The biggest news from this game was the injury to Alex Rodriguez, who will miss at least a month due to a broken hand.
Rodriguez hits the DL with 299 home runs as a Yankee. With one more blast, he will become the sixth Yankee to reach 300 homers with the team. The last to reach that milestone was Mickey Mantle on July 4, 1960.
Clay Rapada allowed his first earned run in nearly six weeks, snapping his streak of appearances without one at 21.
That tied Mike Myers (2006) for the second-longest such streak in the Live Ball Era by a Yankees lefty, behind only a 25-game streak in 2010 by Boone Logan.
Kuroda is our Hiro
Ichiro was obviously the biggest story of Monday's game, but Hiroki Kuroda (7 IP, 3 H, ER, 9 K) was the star in the Yankees' 4-1 win.
Kuroda threw more than half his pitches in the lower third of the zone, and the Mariners went 1-for-11 in at-bats ending with those low pitches.
Eleven of the 15 balls in play (73 percent) allowed by Kuroda were grounders, his highest ground-ball rate in a game over the last four seasons.
He also excelled in getting ahead of hitters with season-high 72 percent first-pitch strike rate, and got 14 outs and allowed just one hit after reaching an 0-1 count. Finally, Kuroda finished the Mariners off, holding them hitless in 15 two-strike at-bats.
Ridiculous Yankeemetric of Series
On Monday, Yankees pitchers totaled 12 strikeouts and one walk, nearly matching their effort on Sunday when Yankees pitchers struck out 14 with only one walk.
This is the first time in the Live Ball era Yankee pitchers have combined for at least 12 strikeouts and no more than one walk in back-to-back games.