In many regards, the Yankees had a frustrating month of June. They went 15-11, their second-best monthly total of the season, but with tough losses against the Nationals and Marlins as well as another sweep at the hands of the Red Sox, June seemed almost to be a disappointment. As we turn the calendar over to July and the dog days of summer, let’s see how the Yanks performed last month.
We start on the mound. For the month, the Yanks’ hurlers were outstanding. The pitchers sported a combine ERA of 3.55 and a WHIP of 1.228. Both figures are season lows. The staff also supported a K/9 IP of 8.5 and K/BB ratio of 2.47. The bullpen, an Achilles’ Heel early on, sported a 2.46 ERA. The breakdown is as follows:
What really jumps out at me are the walks. After issuing 112 free passes in 254.1 May innings — or nearly 4 per 9 IP — the staff held the walks to 3.44 per 9 IP. The strike outs go up, the walks go down, and everyone is happy.
On an individual level, the Phil’s and Al Aceves led the charge from the bullpen. The three of them combined for 39.1 innings, 40 strike outs and just five earned runs. Mariano nailed down nine saves, and outside of one bad start in Boston, A.J. Burnett dominated June.
How then did the Yankees managed to finish just four games over .500 for the month? The offense wasn’t nearly as good as the pitching. For June, the Yanks hit just .253/.354/.433, and their OPS was nearly .060 lower than it was in May. They may have allowed just 102 runs in June, but they scored only 140. They also ran into some bad luck as their Pythagorean expectation pegged them for 17 wins this month.
The main cause of this offensive malaise were a series of slumps. A-Rod, Hideki, Jorge, Robbie and Melky all had sub-par months, and A-Rod with a .190 BABIP really struggled until the final week.
But now June is over, and July is upon us. The Yankees have won six in a row and a primed for a run at first place. If the pitching can replicate its June success and the bats resembled the last six June games instead of the first 20, this team should be in the driver’s seat until the All Star Break and beyond.