Shin-Soo Choo was arrested for DUI yesterday

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We have scant details as of yet, but Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Shin-Shoo Choo was arrested for drunk driving early yesterday morning in suburban Sheffield Lake, Ohio, west of Cleveland. UPDATE: MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports that Choo blew more than twice the legal limit.  Paul Hoynes reports that Choo stopped to ask police officers directions to his house. Then, when he drove away, they arrested him.  That’s … unique. UPDATE II:  The entire police report can be seen via this post.

Indians GM Chris Antonetti released a statement saying that he and the organization are disappointed and all of the usual stuff you hear at these times.

What needs to happen next, however, are not more quotes about how disappointed everyone is.  What needs to happen is some sort of baseball discipline for players who are doing this. Many players: Choo makes the sixth baseball player to be arrested for DUI this year, joining Miguel Cabrera, Austin Kearns, Adam Kennedy, Coco Crisp and Derek Lowe.

Major League Baseball has suspended coaches in recent days for using Twitter improperly and for acting like jackasses to fans.  While we can debate how serious those things are — the Roger McDowell stuff is serious in my view, the Ozzie Guillen stuff not so much — ballplayers getting behind the wheel drunk are endangering lives.

I don’t propose some zero tolerance policy with unthinking, blanket punishment because facts can make a big difference. But there is something wrong with these guys always being in the lineup the next damn day, regardless of the circumstances.

In the playoffs, the Yankees’ weakness has become their strength

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Two weeks ago, when the playoffs began, the idea of “bullpenning” once again surfaced, this time with the Yankees as a focus. Because their starting pitching was believed to be a weakness — they had no obvious ace like a Dallas Keuchel or Corey Kluber — and their bullpen was a major strength, the idea of chaining relievers together starting from the first inning gained traction. The likes of Luis Severino, who struggled mightily in the AL Wild Card game, or Masahiro Tanaka (4.79 regular season ERA) couldn’t be relied upon in the postseason, the thought went.

That idea is no longer necessary for the Yankees because the starting rotation has become the club’s greatest strength. Tanaka fired seven shutout innings to help push the Yankees ahead of the Astros in the ALCS, three games to two. They are now one win away from reaching the World Series for the first time since 2009.

It hasn’t just been Tanaka. Since Game 3 of the ALDS, Yankees pitchers have made eight starts spanning 46 1/3 innings. They have allowed 10 runs (nine earned) on 25 hits and 12 walks with 45 strikeouts. That’s a 1.75 ERA with an 8.74 K/9 and 2.33 BB/9. In five of those eight starts, the starter went at least six innings, which has helped preserve the freshness and longevity of the bullpen.

Here’s the full list of performances for Yankee starters this postseason:

Game Starter IP H R ER BB SO HR
AL WC Luis Severino 1/3 4 3 3 1 0 2
ALDS 1 Sonny Gray 3 1/3 3 3 3 4 2 1
ALDS 2 CC Sabathia 5 1/3 3 4 2 3 5 0
ALDS 3 Masahiro Tanaka 7 3 0 0 1 7 0
ALDS 4 Luis Severino 7 4 3 3 1 9 2
ALDS 5 CC Sabathia 4 1/3 5 2 2 0 9 0
ALCS 1 Masahiro Tanaka 6 4 2 2 1 3 0
ALCS 2 Luis Severino 4 2 1 1 2 0 1
ALCS 3 CC Sabathia 6 3 0 0 4 5 0
ALCS 4 Sonny Gray 5 1 2 1 2 4 0
ALCS 5 Masahiro Tanaka 7 3 0 0 1 8 0
TOTAL 55 1/3 35 20 17 20 52 6

In particular, if you hone in on the ALCS starts specifically, Yankee starters have pitched 28 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on 13 hits and 10 walks with 20 strikeouts. That’s a 1.61 ERA.

While the Yankees’ biggest weakness has become a strength, the Astros’ biggest weakness — the bullpen — has become an even bigger weakness. This is why the Yankees, who won 10 fewer games than the Astros during the regular season, are one win away from reaching the World Series and the Astros are not.