The amazing disappearing offense

Hank: "We've got to start hitting. It's getting ridiculous."
Why the Yankees (and Mets) care about the cement-truck drivers strike

When Hank Steinbrenner starts talking, you know things are bad. But just how bad is another matter.

Over the last four games, the Yanks are 1-3. They managed to beat Johan Santana but have since been shut down by the likes of Oliver Perez, some guy named Scott Feldman and Kevin Millwood. That’s quite the rogues’ gallery of pitchers.

With the help of Baseball Reference, we know some cold, hard facts about the Yankee offense lately. Since Saturday, the Yanks have 140 plate appearances. They’re hitting, as a team, .172 with a .230 OBP and a .258 slugging. While the Yanks have had a few unimpressive four-game streaks this season, this one is by far the worst of the year.

For the Yankees, the timing of this slump couldn’t really be much worse. After closing their AL East deficit to about five games, they’ve slipped a beat. Just four games over .500, the Yanks find themselves 7.5 games behind the red-hot Rays and five games behind Boston in a very crowded Wild Card race.

With the Red Sox and Rays due in for a four- and two-game set, respectively, the Yanks needed to beat a mediocre Texas team before playing the AL East’s top dogs. But our Bombers, it seems, weren’t up to the task, and once Texas leaves town this evening, the Yanks — and their currently slumping offense — will face its toughest challenge of the year. While no team built like the Yanks and with their resources can ever be considered down and out by July 10, we’ll know in a week what sort of team we’re pulling for this year and what to expect over the last 70 games of the season.

Hank: "We've got to start hitting. It's getting ridiculous."
Why the Yankees (and Mets) care about the cement-truck drivers strike
  • MD

    in Georgie’s day, we would be welcoming David Justice just about now….

  • Jon W.

    This is the first year in the last 15 I can honestly say I’m very concerned about the Yanks playoff chances. They just seem to be too inconsistent, and beset my too mant injuries. It would be stupid to write them off at the this point, but the playoffs are very much in doubt. Unless the offense gets it going in a big way, the Yankees will most likely be watching October baseball from their couches.

  • Axl

    As if this was any surprise to anyone. The Yankees have been the most inconsistent ball club the past 5 or 6 seasons. The fact that they even made it to the playoffs each year was a near miracle. Which is also why each year their bats have gone cold (combined with facing the AL’s best pitching teams each year in the 1st round)…but still they shouldn’t be as bad as they are.

    It seems the Yankees are always trying to find someway to lose. If they aren’t pitching well…they will hit. If they can pitch good…they’ll make sure they don’t hit that day. And it even goes deeper into that sometimes where if the starting pitching is great, the bullpen will do terrible…and vice versa. The hitting sometimes is sometimes the same kind of thing. Jeter (so-so), Abreu, and Matsui were the most consistent at the beginning of the season and now where are they? Now it’s Robinson Cano, Arod, and sometimes Jason Giambi. It never runs all at once. It’s almost like they do this on purpose.

    Even Derek Jeter who is usually immune to the illness…seems to have had enough and couldn’t fight it off any longer…this year he has succombed to the inconsistent bug. He probably figured…”why not?”

    Watching this team is embarrassing. They are all getting older and richer by the day and as much as I love a lot of these guys…we need to mix it up here. Even our young guys are coming into the club (at first) with fire in their bellies and then quickly molding into the careless inconsistency factory that are the Yankees. Every single one of our young guys stinks? Joba is the only good one? Cano? .245, Melky? .240, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy? I mean what are the fucking odds here? Meanwhile the Red Sox have their young guys stepping up and pitching no hitters and stealing 40 bases before the all star break. Seems about right. Just doesn’t make sense.

    Maybe we are cursed.

  • raymagnetic ®™

    My arbitrary cut off date to know where the Yankees stand on the season is July 27th. They play the Red Sox on that day to end their 3 game series against them.

    This month they’ll be facing a lot of teams they’re competing with for a playoff spot so I’ll give them until then.

    That’s 20 games. I’d like for them to go 13-7 and be 57-47 at the end of the day on July 27th.

    If they do that I think they’ll be well positioned for the stretch run.

    • Axl

      The Rays and Red Sox have 51 wins and 50 wins respectively right now…after 20 games I don’t really see them each going just .500 for us to be in contension. The odds they BOTH go sour at the same time are astronomical. If we go 13-7 that would be better than going .500…but we need a much stronger month than that fellas.

      We’re knee deep in the bullshit right now. And showing no signs of climbing out.

      On the positive side, we’ve looked like shit the majority of the year…or at least I think so…and we’re only 7.5 back while doing so….that’s pretty impressive!

      • Axl

        Another note: The one thing that could save us…that has actually hurt us immensely thus far…are home games. We’re the only team in the AL East with a winning Road Record although we have the exact same record at Home. While others are 20+ games over .500 at home this season, the Yankees are a whopping 2 games over .500. It’s embarrassing.

        The whole team needs a walker. They’re putting me to sleep with the lack of energy they provide each game.

        • JohnnyC

          The ban on aphetamines can really cripple a team with an average age hovering around 34-35.

          • Number 27

            amen. greenies are out of your system in like 30 hours. somebody bring the yanks a bucketful or find a friendly doctor who will. (kidding…kind of)

      • raymagnetic ®™

        Did you think that the Sox would be playing horrible right now? The Yankees can’t worry about their competitors right now, they have to just play and keep trying to win series. Right now they are 5 games out of the wildcard. If they go 13-7 I don’t think they’ll be further out than 5 games until the Sox. The Sox and Rays would each have to go at least 14-6 over their next 20 to push the Yankees further back.

        They do not need for the Rays and Sox to tank. If the Yanks go 13-7 both of those teams could go 11-9 and the Yankees would still be closer than they are now.

    • Chris

      As long as we’re less than 7 games out in the middle of September, there’s still a chance…just as Willie about that.

  • E-ROC

    I think the Yanks should acquire a hitter. Be done with the Melky project and bring back Justin Christian. I guess the Yanks will continue carrying 3 catchers.

  • Ben C

    MELKY ISNT STARTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Pere

      Apart from Matsui not being in there, that’s as good as we’re gonna get right now.

    • Matt M.


  • Axl

    I’m beginning to think it doesn’t matter who we bring in there anymore. Veterans, Youngsters…regardless who it is…they end up stinking and/or inconsistent.

    I have no remedy for this disappointing team. I really don’t know what there is to do. They’re that bad. We know the talent is there…they just don’t seem to really care apparently. At least that’s how they make it look.

    • Pete

      I could be way off base, but couldn’t the reason we always seem to fail against guys we haven’t seen as much (URPs) be that advanced scouting isn’t doing its job?

      Either that or we have managed to assemble the greatest collection of players in the history of baseball who can’t improvise or do something out of the ordinary to win ballgames. It seems like any manager or coach who comes in here, regardless of prior experience, gets sucked into the same tired way of thinking.

      You could bring Scioscia in next week and Cano would still be swinging at the first pitch with 2 men on and looping it lazily to the leftfielder.

  • dkidd

    now that everyone in the game is not on some sort of anabolic steroid and/or amphetamine, teams have to get younger. winning with a bunch of players in their mid 30’s was impossible throughout baseball history except for the 8-10 years of the steroid era. the days of steve finley playing center/hitting 35 home runs at the age of 40 is done. it’s time to go back to the old rules of building a roster

    • raymagnetic ®™

      Look at HOF players and how late in their career they put up great numbers. What were guys like Ruth and Aaron on?

      Roberto Clemente had a monster year at the age of 37. I’ve always been of the belief that great players have the ability to put up great numbers when they age.

      Not everyone who was in their mid 30’s during the so called steroid era was a great hitter either. Do greenies only work for good hitters?

  • dkidd

    i guess i’ve been operating under a belief that steroids make great players and lousy players ever so slightly better but where they really make an impact is average or better-than-average players who used them to get to the next level (brady anderson etc). it will be interesting to see what happens in september, if older teams (mets/phils/red sox) show any signs of missing the greenies.

    is it just me, or does it seem like most of the “surprise” teams are on the younger side (a’s, marlins, rays, twins) and the “disappointing” teams are older (mets, padres, tigers, blue jays)?

    • whozat

      The Rays have two dominant starters, another two guys who can dominate when they’re on, and an array of talented young hitters. No one expected them to put it all together so quickly, but I don’t think that it’s because they’re not tired. You expect young players to be streaky or go into a funk and not have the experience to avoid letting it get to his head…that hasn’t really happened.

      The Twins are where they are because of MINDBLOWING rates with runners in scoring position. Do you think that has anything to do with their being young?

      Anyone who was surprised by the Tigers or Mets sucking shouldn’t have been. They’re old, but they’re also an array of incredibly injury prone guys and guys riding on who they used to be. Pudge hasn’t been an offensive asset in a while, the Tigers’ pitching has been a problem all year (and most of their starters are young), and Miguel Cabrera has kind of disappointed as well.

      The Padres just punted on several positions. It’s not that they’re old, they’re just not that good. Brian Giles is having a great year, and he’s a vet.

      I dunno. Maybe it’s the amphetamine ban. But our young players have been awful this year too. Is that because they’re around guys who are old?

  • dkidd

    my whole “younger is better” thread is probably a reaction to the fact that this team (read: offense) has looked sluggish and tired all month. it’s been frustrating to watch. we’re not even to the all star break!

    • JohnnyC

      We also have had a painfully thin bench for several seasons now. We can neither acquire veterans nor promote minor leaguers to capably fill in now and again so that, in case of injury or just to rest people, we keep hitting dry wells. You can blame whomever you want for the paucity of a bench. They’re probably all guilty.

    • A.D.

      Plus if a young team struggles you can call it “growing pains” or just “youth” but an older team, then you’re screwed

  • D.B.K.

    I think we need a little Ichiro . . .