Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Why I'm Not Afraid of Carlos Carrasco in Game Two Tonight

 The New York Yankees offense was not afraid of 2020's presumptive American League Cy Young Award winner, so should they be afraid of Carlos Carrasco tonight in Game Two? In a word, no. Here's why!

The New York Yankees generally struggle against pitchers that they are seeing for the first time, it doesn't make sense but it is definitely a thing for this team. The good news tonight is that the Bombers have seen Carrasco plenty, to the tune of the stats below provided by ESPN: 

New York Yankees Career Statistics Vs. Carlos Carrasco
Clint Frazier31100001.333.333.6671.000
Brett Gardner226110356.273.407.409.816
Aaron Hicks100000013.
Aaron Judge20000012.000.333.000.333
Erik Kratz42000001.500.500.5001.000
Giancarlo Stanton10000001.

Is that a huge sample size? Unfortunately not, but it is better than nothing. With the above, do the Yankees start Clint tonight or do they start Gardner? Originally, my thought process was that Clint would get the start, but that was before Gardy's big game last night against Bieber and the Indians. 

Carrasco has made 12 appearances, nine of them starts, in his career against the Yankees and currently owns a 5-5 record with a 4.04 ERA. Carrasco has allowed eight home runs to the Bronx Bombers over that span with a 1.204 WHIP. Carrasco will get his strikeouts against this team, he has struck out Yankees batters 60 times in 55.2 innings pitched against them while drawing just 15 walks. That's not what you want to see, but ultimately I think the Yankees offense should be fine. 

Remember, Carrasco is not the same pitcher he was just two-or-three seasons ago, he is a shell of his former self. A lot of this gaudy strikeout numbers came while Carrasco was at his peak, and Carrasco has since fallen from that level due to injury. Carrasco's 3-4 record, 1.206 WHIP and 1.6 WAR, while good, are not what he was in 2017 and 2018. 2017 and 2018 were his Cy Young contending years, while he has stepped back each of the last two seasons. 

Bieber scared me a little last night, although I wasn't worried, but Carrasco really doesn't. I'm not looking past Carrasco by any means, but I am confident that the Yankees will close out this series with a victory tonight. See you in the ALDS. 

AL Wild Card Game 2 - New York Yankees @ Cleveland Indians

 The New York Yankees slugged their way to a victory in Game One of the 2020 American League Wild Card Series with the Cleveland Indians, hitting the first home run of the season off Cleveland ace Shane Bieber while knocking him out of the game after just 4.2 IP. Tonight the Yankees offense will look for much of the same, and a series victory, while they back Masahiro Tanaka. Playoff Tanaka tonight on the mound with the series on the line, let's do this. 

Masahiro Tanaka owns a career 1.76 ERA in the postseason along with 37 strikeouts across eight starts since 2015, thus earning the nickname of Playoff Tanaka. Tanaka also finished the 2020 campaign strong with a 2-1 record over his last three starts, compiling a 2.25 ERA over that span. Tanaka looks to send the Yankees into the American League Division Series with a victory tonight. 

Carlos Carrasco will make his third career playoff appearance tonight for the Indians with their season and backs against the wall. In his two previous postseason starts, one in 2017 and one in 2018, Carrasco has posted a 1.64 ERA with 10 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched. 

The game will be played at 7:08 pm ET inside Progressive Field and can be seen nationally on ESPN. Go Yankees!