The New York Post reports Matt Harvey was out drinking until 4am Saturday morning

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This report comes from the New York Post’s Page 6. That’s a gossip page, so give it whatever weight you feel is appropriate, but we should probably acknowledge that this is the sort of story where gossipy reporting is more likely to tease out the truth than official statements and on-the-record quotes.

Anyway: the Post reports that Matt Harvey‘s suspension-inspiring Saturday absence from Citi Field was preceded by a Friday night of Cinco de Mayo partying. Specifically, the Post has a source in a club that says Harvey and his boys showed up at 1am, ordered a bunch of champagne, tequila and vodka while sitting at a private table and stayed until 4am.

Harvey’s story is that he played golf Saturday morning, had a nice lunch, took a nap and then texted in sick with a migraine that afternoon. The Mets, it seems, weren’t buying that, and sent some goons to go figure out what, exactly, Harvey was up to. I have no idea what Harvey was really doing, but even if he went straight home after the club I’m struggling to see anyone hitting the links for a morning of golf after doin’ bottle service until the wee hours of the morning. But what do I know? I’m not a professional athlete.

On one level, eh, Mickey Mantle did this stuff  back in his day, only with bottles of Cutty in bars instead of Armand de Brignac Champagne at clubs. Another difference then was no one was telling tabloids about it or, if they were, the tabloids weren’t writing about it because it was a different time. A more significant difference then was that, for the most part, Mantle showed up at the park the next day, for better or for worse, and likely didn’t tell his team stories about it all that they didn’t believe like Harvey apparently did. Oh, and he was Mickey Frickin’ Mantle, not a guy more than two seasons removed from his last bit of effectiveness and a 5.14 ERA.

Whatever the case, Harvey’s suspension ends today and he’ll pitch for the Mets later this week. If he pitches well and shows up on time from now on, this will all be forgotten soon. If he struggles or if these problems continue, it’ll be a story that never goes away.

For what it’s worth, my biggest takeaway is confusion at how, in the age of social media and gossip and stuff, a very famous person can go to a club and not expect someone to say that they saw him there. But go with that “I was out golfing and had a migraine” story, Matt.

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.