Jun
26

Breaking down the Yanks with runners in scoring position

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A topic which seemingly never fades from our collective conscience is the Yankees hitting with runners in scoring position. It’s an aspect of the game which seemed to plague the team throughout 2008, and we’ve seen them falter in those situations in 2009. How bad is it really, though?

Answer: not as bad as some make it out to be. The explanation for this is simple: certain memories stick in our heads, and if not checked with an objective account of what happened can define the situation for us. When we see the Yankees fail with runners in scoring position, we tend to harp on their constant failure, because those failures are the mind’s most prominent memories. That doesn’t mean that it is so.

The Yankees have put themselves in position to score plenty of runs. Not only do they lead the league in long balls, but they have the seventh most plate appearances with runners in scoring position. For the most part they’ve succeeded, as they have scored the second most runs in baseball, 12 ahead of third place Boston, but 22 behind first place Tampa.

(Yikes! 1-2-3 are all in the AL East. Toronto is 5th.)

In terms of converting on those chances with runners in scoring position, though, the Yankees rank 15th, or right in the middle of the league, with a .262 batting average. So while the Yankees aren’t horrible with runners in scoring position, they could certainly stand to improve a bit.

Last night, in a discussion of Nick Swisher with runners in scoring position, I chimed in with a simple model for the level of desired outcomes when hitting with RISP. I doubt there will be much arguing with the following:

Hit > Walk > Out

In terms of outs the Yankees are 7th in the league, with a .366 OBP. It would appear, then, that the Yankees are good at not making outs with RISP, which is a good thing. It would be better if they could raise that average, since hits drive in the ducks, not walks. But in terms of not making outs, the worst of all outcomes, the Yankees are better than three quarters of the league.

Where the Yankees are also proficient with RISP is RBI. They rank seventh in the league in RBI with RISP. In some ways, though, that’s not fair. The Yanks come to the plate with runners in scoring position more often than three quarters of the league, so it’s expected that they should drive in more runs, in pure counting terms. In terms of RBI per plate appearance, the Yankees rank 13th in the league.

So have the Yankees driven in runs with men in scoring position primarily because they’ve given themselves more opportunities than most of the league? In part, yes. Another part is that when they do get hits with RISP, they’re hard hits. While the Yanks are 15th in batting average, they’re sixth in slugging percentage. This is notable because slugging percentage includes singles. Iso-P, which removes singles from the equation, puts the Yanks third in the league.

The power angle is a bit interesting. The Yankees rank sixth in MLB with a .271 team batting average — which I suppose makes the number with RISP a bit more frustrating — but rank 11th with a .427 SLG. That puts them at 14th in the league in Iso-P. So most of their power comes with runners in scoring position, it would seem.

It’s easy to conclude, based on the numbers, that the Yanks need to start dropping some more singles with RISP. While that would be nice, it’s not exactly necessary. The Tampa Bay Rays, during their 97-win 2008 campaign, finished 28th in the league in average with RISP, last in the American League. Hitting with RISP counts, and counts for a lot. But in the end, it comes down to pitching, pitching, pitching. Funny how an article about numbers with RISP concludes that way, huh?

Categories : Analysis

90 Comments»

  1. It’s always about pitching.

  2. John says:

    Nice article. What comes to mind are all of those HRs we hit during our 9-game winning streak. We got a lot of timely HRs to comeback in games.

    Some have suggested that we have become dependent on the long ball, this kinda agrees with that argument, no?

  3. radnom says:

    Well looking at these numbers the Yankees are
    -second best at offense
    -seventh best at creating RISP situations
    -fifteenth best at converting RISP situations

    What does this mean, considering that the second two factors are but sub-factors partially resulting in the first one?
    The Yankees offense is unbalanced – getting a lot of production from power (situations in which they come to the plate without RISP).
    Why is this a bad thing?

    Well – when the run against a pitcher who is ‘on’ they will have a hard time scoring runs. It is much easier to shut down the Yankees power production (or limit it to solo shots) than it would be if they were also getting RISP and cashing in on those.

    • radnom says:

      Also, considering they are pretty good at getting runners in scoring position, but only average at cashing in creates the fan notion of them not producing with RISP.

      If they were say, 10th in the league in both categories, they would score the same number of runs from RISP situations, but there would be less situations in which they did not come through with RISP.

      This doesn’t affect the offense’s production at all, but the imbalance certainly has an affect on perception.

    • JP says:

      That is a great comment. One of my brothers has harped on this for years…unbalanced, relying too heavily on power. Power is good, yes, but, well, you explained it.

      However, your honor, there is a discrepancy.

      You are alleging – logically – that the Yankees are getting too much offense via power, in situations where there are not RISP.

      Yet Joe’s last paragraph contends just the opposite, with the Yankees having a low isolated power rank, but scoring lots of runs, suggesting that our power tends to be distributed in situations where there are RISP.

      Someone please straighten this out.

      • jsbrendog says:

        only MO can save us now.

      • radnom says:

        Well here is how I see it. There are two situations in which a team can score runs – with RISP and not.

        When you have runners in scoring position there are lots of ways to score runs. Homeruns, doubles, singles are all game.
        Yankees are good at utilizing this, but not great.

        The other situation is when there is no RISP. There are much fewer ways to score runs in this situation – namely a bomb or an extra base hit (if there is a speedy runner on first).

        Since the Yankees are only good/average at the first situation, but great overall, they must truly excel at the second situation.

        I actually think the last paragraph further highlights the problem this unbalance causes. To me, the extremely high isolated power ranking with RISP seems to indicate that when the Yankees do come through with RISP, they often come through big. To this indicates smacking a pitcher around who might not be pitching well in that game. The fact that they lack singles in those situations probably means they are having trouble plating runners when a pitcher actually is pitching well against them.

        • jsbrendog says:

          The fact that they lack singles in those situations probably means they are having trouble plating runners when a pitcher actually is pitching well against them.

          this makes sense. the numbers might be a bit askew also because of games like 15-0 (santana) and such high scoring affairs as last night, whch there have been mroe than a fair share.

          • radnom says:


            the numbers might be a bit askew also because of games like 15-0 (santana) and such high scoring affairs as last night, whch there have been mroe than a fair share.

            But that is the whole point.
            The Yankees have more than there fair share of night where they destroy a pitcher who isn’t on his game. This leads to a lot of there good power numbers with RISP.

            On the flip-side though, they are real good power-wise with RISP, but average overall, which means they are not so average in other situations (ie when they are facing a halfway decent pitching performance).

            Obviously every team is worse against good pitching, but what these numbers show is that the Yankees are average/below average comparitively to the league in such games.

        • JP says:

          Nice, radnom, nice.

      • MLB – .261/.333/.416
        MLB, RISP – .258/.352/.405

        Maybe during RISP situations, pitchers pitch more carefully and throw generally fewer hittable pitches (explaining the slight decrease in batting average) but more balls off the plate (resulting in more walks and a higher OBP).

  4. AlexNYC says:

    I believe the Cubs are in last in hitting RISP. Am I correct?

  5. Salty Buggah says:

    With so many oppotunities and good hitter on the team, I expect the numbers with RISP to improve. It’s a lot of luck really.

    Albert Pujols, for all his heroics this year, has one hit with a RISP and two outs (1 for 14, with 15 BB and 10 IBB). (read this is a Heyman article).

  6. yankee in virginia says:

    Outs are not the worst of all outcomes if they drive in runs –

    the Yankess have failed several times to plate a runner from 3rd with less than 2 outs — the batter with the responsibility walks — the next guy makes an innocuous out or hits into a dp

    think of when gardner has pinch run and moved to 3b – only to have the next guy walk and set up the dp

    jeter hitting into a dp

    in late innings joe g looks like he is lusting for a big inning instead of getting the tying run in

    I said several times — perhaps many more than several times since the end of that errorless streak — in game tying / game winning situations — but even more frequently in the course of the game’s early innings — i have remarked on the failure to a fellow watcher — another run wasted – and I am strictly refering to the less than 2 outs situations with a runner on 3rd

    a run scoring out would have been better than the dp setting walk

    • But the guy who drew the walk is not at fault. Obviously, a hit or sac fly or whatever would be better, but getting on base via the walk is a good thing. It’s not his fault if the next guy grounds into a double play. A prime example of this is the A-Rod/Cano thing vs. the Nationals. The next day, more people were on here complaining about Rodriguez taking a walk than Cano hitting into the double play.

      • Sweet Dick Willie says:

        But the guy who drew the walk is not at fault.

        True. While there are some notable exceptions (Yogi, Tony Oliva and Vlad come to mind), generally, expanding the strike zone does not lead to more hits.

        So if the pitcher isn’t throwing strikes, it’s best to take the BB and hope the next guy doesn’t hit into a DP.

    • a run scoring out would have been better than the dp setting walk

      False dichotomy, meet yankee in virginia. Yankee in virginia, false dichotomy.

      You kids play nice.

      • The snark returns, eh?

      • Ok… I haven’t put too much thought into this… So go ahead and rip this comment to shreds but at least know I’m just tossing it out there for conversation’s sake…

        So take the following hypothetical situation: Tie game, Yanks at home, bottom 8, 1 out, runner on third, Mo available out of the pen. Let’s go a bit further… A-Rod at the plate (and not slumping), and a fast runner at 3rd (Gardner/Jeter/Damon, etc.).

        So, obviously, you have a few different possible outcomes here… (1) Run-scoring hit, resulting in a 1 (or 2 in case of HR) run lead and a man on base (or bases clear in case of HR) with 1 out; (2) walk resulting in tie game, 1st and 3rd, 1 out; (3) run-scoring flyball resulting in 1 run lead, 2 outs, bases empty (assume runner tags and scores); (4) flyball resulting in tie game, 3 outs (assume runner thrown out at home); (5) flyball resulting in tie game, 2 outs, runner on 3rd (assume ball not hit deep enough to try to score); (6) run-scoring groundout resulting in 1 run lead, 2 outs, bases empty (assume batter is out at first); (7) groundout resulting in tie game, 2 outs, runner on 1st (assume runner thrown out at home); (8) run-scoring groundball resulting in 1 run lead, 1 out, runner on 1st (assume runner beats throw home); (9) strikeout resulting in runner on 3rd, 2 outs.

        Now… Faced with this situation… Is the walk not less valuable to the Yankees than a number of other possible outcomes, some of which involve A-Rod’s at-bat resulting in an out? At that precise moment in the game, the most important result is getting that run home. There are many ways to get that run home without walking – either by getting a hit or by putting the ball in play and either getting a sacrifice or just putting the defense in position to have to try to throw the runner out at the plate.

        If you’re the opposing team, are you not walking A-Rod intentionally in that situation because the walk is less onerous to you than either a hit or a sacrifice would be? If so, isn’t the walk NOT actually better than the out, in that situation, since the out allows the (pretty decent) possibility of scoring the run? If you walk A-Rod you put your team in position to end the inning, without yielding a run, by getting a double play. That is a possibility that did not exist without the walk, and that situation is better for the team in the field. I think the fielding team prefers (1) 1st and 3rd, 1 out, bat out of A-Rod’s hands over (2) runner on 3rd, 1 out, A-Rod at the plate, if their sole goal is to prevent that runner at third from crossing the plate.

        From the Yankees’ POV… Are their chances of winning the game not greater if they are leading by a run with 2 outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the 8th than they would be with runners on 1st and 3rd and 1 out in the bottom of the 8th?

        Please note that I’m not saying the batter should be faulted for working a walk in that situation. If the guy doesn’t get good pitches to hit, he shouldn’t necessarily be faulted for leaving the bat on his shoulder and taking the walk and passing the baton along.

        (Cringing as I click “add comment,” I’m sure I’m just being dumb and missing the point here.)

        • JP says:

          That’s alot there, but your one point is simple and elegant in a sort of “in your face” type thing. Indeed, if a team is willing to intentionally walk a batter, it may mean that the team values the walk below the value of a productive out.

          I guess you could say the defense is deciding to take the lesser of 2 evils there…settling for the walk, rather than risk the big hit, but I dunno. Maybe they’re taking their chances that they will get out of it without a run.

          See other comments below…on trying to bridge the gap between context-independent stats like linear weights, runs created, etc., and the situational debate.

  7. Mike HC says:

    The fact that the Yanks avg with RISP is low means there is something they can improve upon even though they have scored second most runs in baseball. The obvious area of improvement will be A-Rod. He was not playing the first month of the year, and has come back a bit rusty. If he can hit even .280+ for the rest of the year, that would help the team’s avg with RISP. Cano is the other drain. He is still young and developing, so it is not out of the question for him to improve on this part of his game as well. The Yanks offense is really good, and it may just get even better.

  8. Drew says:

    It is tough to argue, as you said, Hit>Walk>Out. Sometimes though, I’d be just as happy or more happy with an out as opposed to a walk. Say, 7th inning, man on 3rd, 1 out, down one or tied. Get the Sac! Not to say I disagree with you, but the situation certainly dictates the desired outcome, especially now in NL parks with the pitcher hitting 9th.

    • JP says:

      The “situational” hitting debate beckons. I think the out is better than the walk only rarely. Very high “leverage” situation, like to tie the game or take a 1 run lead, maybe in the 8th or 9th.

      We’ve seen some awful DPs in the last streak, it’s like we’re having nightmares about them. But I think in the whole universe of possible outcomes, there are more good outcomes coming from first and third one out than runner on third one out. See what I’m saying? For every DP, there are instances when, if you get the walk and get another guy on, a hit later in the inning ends up giving you 2 runs, instead of 1.

      This debate has been quantified exquisitely with all the data on “win expectation.” I haven’t studied that stuff with respect to this specific question (when is an out for one run better than a walk…), but I have a hunch overall it’s better to have the two guys on and take it from there.

      • Drew says:

        Generally with our lineup, I’d take my chances with two on one out, I was just making the argument… More specifically, if we have Phil Coke in the 9 spot (NL park) and Melky in the 8, with a man on 3rd, I don’t really want Melk walking with one out (provided a ball taken was one that could be driven, we don’t want a guy swinging way out of the strike zone). It is however, with our lineup, kind of moot in AL play.

    • Salty Buggah says:

      A sac fly isn’t an out really, right? It doesn’t count toward the AVG.

    • YankeeScribe says:

      With a RISP and less than 2 outs, a walk greatly increases the chances of a DP. So the value of a walk greatly decreases with RISP.

  9. Rich James says:

    I’ll take a small sample size.

    the yankees lost the last 2 games of a 3 game series vs the Washington Nationals..

    in that 3 game series the yankees were 3 for 20 with RISP. The Yankees didn’t give up more than 3 runs in any of the games..so pitching does matter…but you have to drive those runs in when they get on 2nd and 3rd.

  10. I doubt there will be much arguing with the following:
    Hit > Walk > Out

    Allow me to argue with it, then.

    Your infographic should read:

    Hit > Walk >>>>>>>>>>> Out >>>>>>>>>>>>>Multiple Outs

    Getting a hit is better than getting a walk. However, the difference between a hit and a walk is way, way, way, way smaller than the difference between a baserunner and an out.

  11. Here’s a beef I have with the whole situational hitting thing. This musing/rambling is probably dumber than I think it is, but here goes:

    I come to the plate with men on first and third and no one out. I ground into a 6-4-3 DP, but the run scores. It’s shitty–two outs were traded for one run and that’s inefficient. Everyone’s pissed off at the double play/aforementioned outs/runs trade.

    I come to the plate to lead the inning off and get a double. The next guy bunts me over and the guy after that drives me in with a sac fly. Again, two outs were traded for one run but because this is seen as the “right” way to do things and it’s “fundamental” everyone thinks it’s awesome.

    I understand that situation one is more frustrating because much more should come out of that situation and making two outs on one play is no good. But, at the end of either scenario, two outs were traded for just one run.

    • I’m thinking of something that involves birds, hands, and bushes.

    • jsbrendog says:

      i agree to an extent. you can’t black/white this. there has to be smoe grey. circumstances and situation help determine how you view this.

      i mean, who is the one bunting, pitcher? angel berroa? melky circa last yrs black hole version? msot of the time this would be spot on, but there are some circumstance where it is different. top 9 tie game you bunt for the 1 run to get it to MO. i mean there’s somany diff scenarios

      the idea tho is sound at its core.

    • Mike HC says:

      It is slighty different though. In your DP scenerio, a second runner was already safe on first base. Thus the run expetency for that inning is higher than if a man was only on third.

    • radnom says:

      Here is why one is worst than the other.

      Bases loaded – no one out – chance of scoring multiple runs is high – lets say L1. Chance of scoring one run is even higher – L2.

      Leadoff double – no one out – chances of scoring multiple runs – D1, chance of scoring one is D2.

      A rough comparison puts these percent chances at:

      L2>>>>D2>L1>>>>>>D1

      Do you see why the trade-off for two outs is totally different in each senario? The lower percentage of D2 makes it a more even trade.

  12. CB says:

    Most of these issues have been quantified. That’s how linear weights are created. From one season to the next it changes but roughly:

    A walk is worth roughly .315 runs.

    A line drive is worth .356 runs.

    So on average a line drive produces 12% more runs than a walk does. That’s a considerable margin.

    Other distributions of hitting events in terms of the runs they produce:

    Outfield Fly: .035
    Groundball: -.101
    Bunts: -.103
    Infield Fly: -.243
    Strikeout: -.287

    So a strikeout is a significant drag on producing runs. Much worse than any other kind of hitting event. But if a guy walks and strikeouts at a 1:1 ratio the walks will definitely create a net plus.

    At the same time the value of walks that a guy like Swisher produces is significantly decremented by the strike outs he generates. Not completely in any way. But it takes out a significant chunk of the value.

    This is how hits break down in terms of runs they produce:

    1B = 0.47
    2B = 0.78
    38 = 1.09
    HR = 1.40

    So any hit – even a single – is considerably more valuable than a walk. A single produces 33% more runs than a walk.

    • Linear weights are so fun.

      • CB says:

        It’s helpful to look at the actual numbers.

        No one would argue that a walk isn’t better than an out.

        But what’s more helpful to look at is that the actual run values of potential at bat events.

        People have traditionally undervalued walks. At the same time people have more recently started to undersell how much a strikeout hurts. They are not a non-trivial outcome from an at bat. -.287 runs stings.

        • But what’s more helpful to look at is that the actual run values of potential at bat events.

          This is why I’m trying to train myself into using tRA more than FIP.

          • CB says:

            FIP is such a narrowly defined stat. And it’s now being used to represent the innate value of a pitcher’s talent or how innately “good” he is. That wasn’t it’s original intent at all. It’s an example of scope creep in statistics.

        • RAB poster says:

          Question, then: Why are strikeouts worse than infield pop outs?

          Also, there are certain intricacies. For example, a ground ball out to the left side with a man on third is far less valuable than one to the right side. And a fly ball to the OF can be more or less useful depending on which OF’er it’s popped to, who’s on base, what base they’re on, and how deep to the Of it’s popped up.

          There isn’t a simple answer.

          CB, you’re not the same CB from lohud are you?

          • CB says:

            Because Luis Castillo plays baseball.

            Pop ups can be dropped. Strike outs really can’t in the same way. So some pop ups will result in runs. The hitter putting the bat on the ball is a better outcome than him not touching the ball in general. And there aren’t any simple answers but on the whole that’s what happens.

            And I am the same CB from lohud. I enjoy RAB a great deal and post here sometimes.

          • whozat says:

            “Question, then: Why are strikeouts worse than infield pop outs? ”

            Because there are SOME times when an infield pop out can do SOME good. Very, very few…but more than with a strike out. It’s very rare, yeah, but it can happen.

            “Also, there are certain intricacies. For example, a ground ball out to the left side with a man on third is far less valuable than one to the right side. And a fly ball to the OF can be more or less useful depending on which OF’er it’s popped to, who’s on base, what base they’re on, and how deep to the Of it’s popped up.”

            On average, those effects are negligible compared to the differences between LD, groundout, pop up, K. It’s noise in the measurement.

    • JP says:

      Most of these issues have been quantified. That’s how linear weights are created. From one season to the next it changes but roughly:

      A walk is worth roughly .315 runs.

      A line drive is worth .356 runs.

      This is an example of how the use of advanced metrics can be dangerous, or how they can be inappropriately applied to a baseball argument. “Linear weights” are not real things that happen on a baseball diamond. There is no such thing as “.356 runs.” There are only integer runs… These numbers only have meaning in describing a universe of data, a baseball season.

      To use numbers like this to answer a debate on the merits of situational hitting – should you go for the productive out (Honorable Congressman Mondesi), or take the walk – is, I think, illogical.

      The debate is part quantitative, part non-quantitative. It’s like taking risks in the stock market, maybe…can you sleep at night with your decision? So in congressman Mondesi’s example, and using CB’s linear weights perspective, I think, maybe Mondesi would say I want ARod to put the ball in play, no matter what (within reason…no swinging at 56 foot pitches…). He’s probably the best hitter on the team, and maybe has the best chance of hitting the ball hard and plating the run. I’m happy to get the run and take my chances that Mo will finish the game.

      By linear weights, maybe over the course of a season, you’ll score more runs by taking the walk every time. You “should” win more games, pythagorean-wise, because you score runs.

      But maybe with respect to late game situations, playing the averages will get you more runs, but fewer wins. How? Because all you need is 1 run to win in that situation typically, and adopting the other strategy could conceivably get you fewer wins, but by a bigger margin.

      I, too, cringe, as I hit the button….3…2…1

      • CB says:

        “To use numbers like this to answer a debate on the merits of situational hitting – should you go for the productive out (Honorable Congressman Mondesi), or take the walk – is, I think, illogical.”

        I wasn’t trying to answer that debate. I was trying to add context to the notion that:

        Hits > Walks > Outs.

        I’m not sure I fully understand your point but I think you’re getting at the limitations of context independent statistical analysis.

        And on the whole I agree with that point (if that’s the point you are making…).

        Baseball isn’t played in a linear regression model. Determining who the “best” player is by stripping away as much game context as possible doesn’t necessarily dictate how the team wins in any particular season. If you simulate the season a million times sure it’ll work out – but that’s not what happens.

        I’m not one to dismiss what happens empirically when it disagrees with what should happen abstractly in a model. It’s the season that matters not the model.

        • JP says:

          I’m not sure I fully understand your point but I think you’re getting at the limitations of context independent statistical analysis.

          And on the whole I agree with that point (if that’s the point you are making…).

          Baseball isn’t played in a linear regression model. Determining who the “best” player is by stripping away as much game context as possible doesn’t necessarily dictate how the team wins in any particular season. If you simulate the season a million times sure it’ll work out – but that’s not what happens.

          I’m not one to dismiss what happens empirically when it disagrees with what should happen abstractly in a model. It’s the season that matters not the model.

          I’m not sure I fully understand my own point, CB, but yes, I think what you said is the gist of it. I missed the fact that you were simply trying to add context to the hit > walk > run.

          Yeah…linear weights tells us that every 100 walks will yield, or be associated with, 3.56 runs. But that number doesn’t tell us what situations in which those runs will occur, whether they will occur singly or in bunches, etc. It’s quite possible that choosing a course of action that yields fewer runs over the course of a season will yield more wins.

          Not saying it does, or that I know that certain strategies are better than others. I’m saying that context independent stats might lead you to erroneous conclusions when you apply them to specific game contexts.

      • whozat says:

        “and maybe has the best chance of hitting the ball hard and plating the run.”

        You know why he has the best chance, percentage-wise? Because he doesn’t swing at bad pitches. That means that, when he doesn’t get a pitch to hit, he’ll take his walk.

        Every hitter should have a good two-strike approach in which he’s just looking to make solid contact. No hitter should start looking to expand the zone, because that’s just going to result in more outs. All any hitter should be doing is looking for a good pitch that he can hit hard somewhere.

        • CB says:

          I don’t know. It could very well also be that he swings so hard he’s only able to make contact on pitches that catch most of the plate and/or are systematically easier to make contact on. So the contact witnessed is an issue of selection bias.

          For example with Swisher I haven’t notices him taking a good two strike approach. I’ve seen him swing very hard with two strikes and often not make any contact. I’ve been struck by how hard he swings whenever he swings regardless of count.

        • “You know why he has the best chance, percentage-wise? Because he doesn’t swing at bad pitches. That means that, when he doesn’t get a pitch to hit, he’ll take his walk.”

          I don’t know… I think there’s an aspect of this issue that you’re not recognizing… Hitters shouldn’t swing at “bad” pitches when they’re trying to get a hit or a walk, but if the goal is different (in this case, the goal is to get the run home), the hitter should expand his zone accordingly and maybe swing at certain pitches he wouldn’t swing at otherwise. Obviously I want the Yanks to wait for pitches to drive, but in this situation, I think they should expand their zone a bit because all that’s necessary is lofting the ball into the outfield.

          So, I guess, I think there is a larger pool of pitches the hitter should swing at if the hitter is not necessarily looking for a pitch to drive but rather just a pitch he can put a swing on and put into the air with some semblance of authority.

  13. Jake H says:

    Just hit baby.

  14. YankeeScribe says:

    Relying too much on the longball explains why we’re regularly getting shut down by halfway decent pitchers who keep the ball down and get routine groundball/flyball outs. We can’t win against good pitchers with a team full of sluggers. The offense lacks balance. I blame Brian Cashman…

    • jsbrendog says:

      please be sarcasm.

    • whozat says:

      Our catcher is slow, as is the DH. Most are.

      Other than these guys and Swisher, who are these one-dimensional sluggers? Certainly not Melky, Gardner, Jeter, Damon, Cano or Tex. ARod during his slump? Yeah. Normally? The guy’s a 300+ hitter. I’ll even give you ARod. So, on any given day, there’s at least 5 guys in the lineup that aren’t sluggers.

      How is that “unbalanced”?

      • JP says:

        Goatees promote success in situational hitting. That’s why we’re 0-8 against Boston. That, and the fact that Joba isn’t in the bullpen.

  15. jim p says:

    I find the use of “the league” a bit odd here.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always seen it referring to either the National or American. With “Major Leagues (or MLB)” being the term for both. So where do the Yankees rank in the American League in all these considerations? That being “the league” where these stats would have the most meaningful context.

  16. [...] Breaking down the Yanks with runners in scoring position [...]

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