I went into last night's Yankees game intending to write about Mark Teixeira and his disappointing season at the plate. But after the way Freddy Garcia pitched, I wasn't about to do that. Instead, I wondered, what if the Yankees don't add a pitcher at the July 31 non-waivers trade deadline? Can this current starting rotation get the Yankees into the postseason and then to the Canyon of Heroes?
I'd say yes on the former, not so much on the latter. But then again, I never would've thought Garcia and Bartolo Colon could've given this much to the Yankees. You gotta be in it to win it, and maybe this rotation, the potent offense (with Alex Rodriguez back) and a bullpen strengthened by Rafael Soriano's return can get it done.
The key word there being "maybe."
By the way, Joe Girardi spoke of Freddy Garcia's skill of pitching with runners on base, and in general, we don't recognize that as a skill. But let's look at some numbers, I figured.
For his career, Garcia has left 73.1 percent of his runners on base; he's performing nicely above his average, then, with the 77.5 percent this year.
How about Roy Halladay, arguably the best active and most accomplished starting pitcher? He has left 73.5 percent of runners on base. Just a little better than Garcia.
How about Garcia's Yankees teammate A.J. Burnett, who carries the reputation who doesn't pitch well under pressure? 71.6 percent for his career.
How about Bruce Chen, a career replacement-level guy? 73.9 percent for his career. Better than Halladay, for crying out loud.
So the moral to the story is there isn't a great deal of range among pitchers in this category. And while it feels like certain pitchers thrive in these situations and certain pitchers don't...not so much as we think, probably.
After all, Garcia wouldn't have worn his "sage veteran" look post-game without the help of Curtis Granderson, who crashed into the centerfield wall to snare Evan Longoria's fifth-inning missle.
--Anthony Rieber wrote about Carlos Beltran, who will very likely play in his final home game (for now) at Citi Field today. Once Beltran is dealt, we can analyze his entire, fascinating run as a Met.
--Jason Bay left last night's Cardinals-Mets game early with a tight right hamstring, and if you're a Mets fan, what can you say? "Don't hurry back"? Very tough spot for a good guy with what has turned into a horrible contract.
--Have a great day.