This should explain precisely why the Yankees sucked it up over the past three days. Small sample, yes. But we’re not getting predictive here. We’re just saying “man, you guys sucked.”
Looks okay, right? Those guys combined had 45 plate appearances. And, for the most part, they were together in the order (Melky-Jeter-Abreu-Alex-Jorge). So you’d think they’d actually string together some runs. Uh, apparently not. Reason No. 1:
It’s great when four of the first five hitters in your lineup are hitting well. When the guy right in the middle isn’t, though, it effs everything up.
Cano: .273/.273/.364 — 3-11 with a double in the series.
Matsui: .167/.167/.500 — the bomb yesterday helped, but that’s all he did (2-12)
So basically, once we got past the No. 5 guy in the order, we were toast. Matsui was a rally killer (once again, save for his bomb yesterday), and Cano wasn’t much better hitting behind him. Those three — Abreu, Cano, Matsui — accounted for 35 plate appearances.
Giving the stats of the last three guys is easy, because they all had the same line: .000/.000/.000. That means Phillips, Cairo, and Damon. That’s 16 plate appearances of absolutely nothing — freakin’ 17% of our total plate appearances for the series.
Another fun fact: Alex walked three times this series. The rest of the team combined to walk twice. They stuck out 19 times. They had just nine extra base hits, and four of them came in the first game of the series.
I know it’s silly to panic over a mere three games, but the weight of every game is amplified for the Yanks right now. The season isn’t getting any younger, and we’re not reducing the number in that loss column. So let’s propose some action:
DL Damon. It’s been a long time coming. The Yanks could really use the boost from Damon’s bat, but they’re not getting that at this point. He needs at least two weeks to get the abs, hammies, and calves all back to functioning condition. Until he gets to that point, he’s of no use to this team.
Move Jeter to the leadoff spot. He has the highest OBP on the team, so this makes immediate sense. Damon can have the spot back when and if he comes back healthy, but for now, Jeter makes the most sense. Melky and his .308 OBP have been far too inconsistent this season to take over.
Pray Abreu’s series is far, far behidn him. Because if he can’t hold down the No. 3 spot in the order, we’re screwed.
With Damon out, and once we get back to an AL park, I’ll suggest the following lineup:
We also hope to add Milton Bradley to that lineup. Maybe DHing some games would keep him healthy.
Good news on the bullpen: seven scoreless innings this series. Bad news for the rotation: 13 runs in 17 innings. The four home runs were just killers, though. You’d think that 16 strikeouts to only five walks in 17 innings would do the trick, but too many of those hits were falling in. They limited them to seven extra base hits, but when four of those are homers, you have problems. Still, two doubles and a triple over 24 innings isn’t so bad. Damn home runs. Some offense could have given us two out of three.
Side not: Mo is on five days rest right now. Gotta get him work tonight, regardless of the score. In fact, with the off-day on Monday, you gotta get him in two out of the three games, once again regardless of the score.
::sigh:: Kei Igawa vs. Matt Cain tonight. Cain is really good, and the Yanks haven’t seen him. Combine that with the guy we’re throwing out there, and I’m not feeling too good about this one. Cain has a problem with walking guys this year: 4.34 per nine innings. Of course, this means he’ll walk one guy all game. And he’s struck out 6.80 per nine, meaning he’ll mow down at least nine of our guys. Hey, if we usually suck against guys we’ve never seen, wouldn’t it stand to reason that we’d really suck against a really good pitcher that we haven’t seen yet?
Thankfully, logic and reason don’t always hold up in baseball.