About Last Night: Rainout Notes
By Mike Whiteman May 7, 2022 Born on this day in 1896 was Tom Zachary. The crafty lefty yielded Babe Ruth’s 60th home run in 1927, then joined Ruth and the Yankees in 1928, throwing a complete game win in Game Three of the World Series. He went 12-0, 2.48 in 1929. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/z/zachato01.shtml https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/tom-zachary/ One hundred nineteen years ago, the Boston Americans beat the New York Highlanders in front of 5,462 spectators at the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds in Boston. The efficient hour and thirty-eight minute contest was the first encounter of what would become perhaps the most storied rivalry in sports history. https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS190305070.shtml
Quick Stats: Seven teams in Yankee history have started their season with an 18-6 or better record 1928 (19-5) 1932 (18-6) 1939 (19-5) 1958 (19-5) 1998 (18-6) 2003 (20-4) 2022 (18-6) Every team listed aside from 2022 won the American League pennant; all but one was World Series champions. That’s darned impressive company for this year’s squad. Big Story: The big story of the season is of course the Yankees’ great start. Some interesting subplots: 1. Yankee pitching has been ridiculously impressive. The team has a 2.60 ERA, which is a half run better than the next team. The staff has allowed three or fewer runs in 17 of the 25 games played. 2. IKF – Isiah Kiner-Falefa has been exactly what the Yanks hoped for when they added him in a trade before the season. In 2021 Yankee shortstops had a combined WAR of 0.9. Kiner-Falefa has 0.8 WAR in about a sixth of the season. His play has been a big part of the stabilizing of the team’s fielding when compared to the 2021 edition. He has also provided energy and pesky offense at the bottom of the order. 3. The offense seems to have returned after it was unwatchable at times last year. The team leads the AL in home runs, and is second in runs scored. Lest you think this is just a group of folks swinging for the fences, they are fifth in stolen bases. 4. Health - This is a bit anecdotal, but it seems like injuries has been dogging this team for years. Fans have wondered what the team would do at full strength, and this year we’ve gotten a small sample of what this group of players is capable of. Player of the Season (thus far): Aaron Judge betting on himself and declining the Yanks’ contract extension offer looks like a pretty good decision right now. His solid play and great moments like the home run ball story in Toronto only increase his marketability, and thus his asking price. Notable Performances: Anthony Rizzo has been impressive at bat and in the field…Mike King looked good last year, but who thought he would be the asset he has become out of the bullpen in 2022?...DJ LeMahieu has been healthy and played well all over the infield…”Nasty Nestor” Cortes Jr. has picked up right from where he left off from in his breakout 2021 season, leading the starters with a 1.74 ERA and 31 strikeouts. Better to Forget: Joey Gallo struggled mightily in April, though he showed signs from emerging from his slump the past few games…Kyle Higashioka has an OPS+ of 30. His Spring Training power show sure feels like a long, long time ago…It seems silly to express concern about a relief pitcher with a 0.00 ERA and 6/6 save conversion rate, but it seems like nothing has come easy with Aroldis Chapman. They said it: “It’s a different guy every night.” – Aaron Judge when asked his favorite part of the team’s recent hot streak. Next Up: The Yanks take on the Rangers today at 1:05, with Gerrit Cole (2-0, 3.00) taking the mound. Last night’s rainout will be made up as part of a twinbill tomorrow. UPDATE: Today’s game has also been postponed due to the inclement weather forecast, to be re-scheduled for Monday.