Jun
22

How to identify a slumping offense

By

Rodrigo Lopez is not a good pitcher. I made sure to highlight this in last night’s game thread. He somehow manages to get by with the lowest swinging strike rate among NL starters along with one of the highest home run rates. He doesn’t walk many, but his other peripherals, including his ridiculously low groundball rate, indicate that other teams should destroy his mediocre offerings. Yet the Yankees couldn’t break through against him last night. It was just one more sign of a slumping offense.

For a while it looked like the Yanks had snapped out of it. After an offensive drought against the Blue Jays earlier this month they went on to score 19 runs in three games against the Orioles and then 22 in the three games against the Astros. The kicker, the game that seemed like it meant more than it did, came a week ago against Philly, when the team rocked Roy Halladay. And then the slump set in. Three runs, only two of which came against Jamie Moyer. One run against Kyle Kendrick. Shutout by Hansori Takahashi. Even when they scored five against Mike Pelfrey the next day they were just 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. On Sunday they were 2 for 9.

Last night we saw more of the same. The team managed eight hits and two walks off Rodrigo Lopez, but just one of those hits came with a man in scoring position. That was Nick Swisher‘s triple. Mark Teixeira could not follow with his own hit with a runner in scoring position. It cost them two outs to score Alex Rodriguez after he hit a no-out, RBI double in the sixth. Even in the ninth it took defensive indifference and two outs to bring home Brett Gardner. Trading an out for a run can be to a team’s advantage in some situations, but not when they’re down by four, five, or seven runs. The price for moving the man over was just too great.

On another night, at another point in the season, I’m confident the Yankees would have done to Rodrigo Lopez what the Diamond backs did to A.J. Burnett. They put the ball in play 28 times against him and managed hits on just eight. That’s a .286 BABIP, right around normal, but it wasn’t only the number of hits. It was the type of hits. FanGraphs had the Yanks at 18 fly balls and four line drives, with just six balls hit on the ground. Of course, three of those six balls on the ground went for base hits. Lopez this season has allowed 12.4 percent of his fly balls to leave the park, 11.7 percent for his career. Last night that was a big fat zero. Worse, they weren’t mere pop flies. They were what Baseball Info Solutions classifies as Fliners, combination line drives and fly balls. Some of these get classified as liners, some as fly balls. A-Rod‘s and Posada’s rips in the eighth were both classified as flies, though they were well-struck balls that, at another time, probably would have left the yard.

There was absolutely no reason, under normal circumstances for this offense, that Lopez should have completed eight innings with 103 pitches. Had the Yankees offense not been slumping, he’d have been out right around the time A.J. exited. If things were going right, maybe Swisher jacks a three-run shot in the fifth rather than missing with a good swing and popping up to the infield. Maybe Curtis Granderson puts a ball in the air that gets past the shortstop. Maybe Teixeira drives home the runner one of the two times he came to bat with a man on third.

It would have taken quite an offensive feat to defeat the Diamondbacks last night. Burnett put them in a hole early, but it looked like they might be able to battle back if he settled down, as he he has after poor first innings a couple of times this season. He did not. With a smoothly running Yankees offense scoring six, seven runs isn’t a big deal. But with the way they’re currently playing it is. There’s not much to do about it, really. These are good hitters who just can’t string together hits. I have confidence that they can find a groove and do it. It’s the question of when that I’m not so sure about.

Categories : Offense

91 Comments»

  1. S.King says:

    the big thing that i notice when the yankees have these “no offense” games, when they don’t look like they have any identity as a lineup:
    they don’t work counts. too many first-pitch swings. we know it’s going to happen sometimes, especially with jeter at the beginning of games, but when the innings start to get going, and there are runners on base, guys need to work the counts. the pitchers, especially bad ones, will tighten up and throw bad balls. but our hitters look like they’re pressing for a big hit on the first pitch, and they bail the pitcher out with a pop-up on a change-up (see: tex in the 7th inning last night). it’s very frustrating. i believe if the yanks take a couple pitches, and work a count a bit, they’ll settle down and focus and get better pitches to hit– mentally, they’ll focus more, too, b/c they are good hitters.
    but look at the 9th-inning at bat jeter had last night. worked the at-bat and got a walk against a fastball-slider pitcher that it would be very easy to go out early on (like K-Rod on friday i guess). again, it’s not going to work every time, but i think things would swing (no pun intended) to the yankees favor in more at-bats if they worked the count more with men on base.

  2. Doug says:

    How about taking advantage of Gardner’s hot streak and moving him to the top of the lineup?

    Not sure where to stick Jeter, though. It’d be best to move him down to 7th or lower, but you know the Yanks wouldn’t due that. And 2nd wouldn’t work because of all his groundballs…..remember those DPs.

  3. Jake H says:

    I wonder what happened to the team that would make a pitcher work? That first inning was terrible. Jeter is a HOF player but his inability this year to take even 1 pitch to start a game is frustrating.

    • ADam says:

      Agreed, Jeter might be on borrowed time in the 1-2 hole, also not terrible for negotiations sake after the season if he ends up hitting like 280 with 12 home runs and needs to be bumped in the order… just a thought

      • Doug says:

        agree with you that it may be best to move jeter down in the lienup, but do you honestly see the yankees doing this…other than to 2 maybe?

        • ADam says:

          Probably not, but if ( I Emphasize if) Arod and Tex continue to be mediocre and the Yanks start to struggle you could see A Gardner/Swisher 1/2, and a Cano/Tex/Alex 3-5 dumping Jeter to 6 or 7.
          But I think that only happens in the most extreme cases

          • Jake H says:

            Any thoughts that Jeter might be pressing since this is the only time he ever didn’t have a contract following the season?

            • Doug says:

              maybe, but more likely it’s that he’s a 36 year old shortstop who’s got a lot of wear and tear on that body of his.

          • … you could see… a Cano/Tex/Alex 3-5…

            I personally don’t get the fascination with the “Tex is slumping so we should move him from #3 to #5 and Cano is hot so we should raise him from #5 to #3″ idea I keep seeing from Yankee fans. Each move up the batting order is like 10-15 more plate appearances a year. Moving Cano up two spots halfway through the season would thus be like 15 more plate appearances, tops. That’s not a big deal. If Cano was hitting 7th, 8th, 9th, then maybe it would matter, but what order the 3-4-5 hitters come in doesn’t much matter on an abstract level, IMO.

            On a practical level, I think it’s a bad idea. Cano doesn’t work walks and isn’t an OBP skill guy, he’s a contact/power guy. Tex and ARod, even when slumping, work walks and keep their OBP’s high. They’re better guys to hit in front of Cano, as they’ll still get on base for him to drive them in. If Cano’s hitting 3rd, though, and Tex and ARod scuffle, Cano will just get on and end up stranded.

            Even before you consider any of the psychological effects of moving Tex or ARod out of their customary spots in the order, changing the 3-4-5 combo of Tex/ARod/Cano seems like a mistake to me.

  4. ZZ says:

    I don’t think you can underestimate what it does to an offense when your pitcher puts you in a 6 run hole in the 1st inning.

    They looked like they were pressing last night to make something happen, hence the low pitch count.

    And who can blame them when you are looking up at a touchdown on the scoreboard.

    • Doug says:

      when you’re down that big early, all the more reason to take pitches, work the count, draw some walks. you’re not gonna get it back all in one shot. you need baserunners.

  5. Bret says:

    Have you ever considered the fact that the Yankees offense just isn’t that great this year? They scored 915 runs last season, are currently on pace for 879 (rounded) and that is with wonderful (and unlikely to continue) production out of Gardner, Swisher, Cano and Posada. Cervelli has 29 RBIs as a part time player with a .743 OPS. Arod and Tex might hit better but Arod is now 35 and off roids and it shows. Name me a non-steriod player that put up great power numbers at Arod’s age. Jeter is on pace for around the same OPS he put up in 2008 and given he is two years older it is clear 2009 was an aberration for him. The team is trying to replace Matsui who had 28 homers last year with fill ins and Damon hit 24 homers. It is a much weaker lineup and I frankly think the lineup has overachieved to this point. Luckily for them, the pitching is on pace to give up 100 fewer runs than last year but I’m not sure I would want to be betting my house on that continuing.

    • They scored 915 runs last season,

      Which was #1 in all of baseball

      are currently on pace for 879 (rounded)

      Which is only 4% less than last year and would be #2 in all of baseball.

      More Yankees 2010 offensive marks:
      Team BA: .276 (#4 in baseball)
      Team OBP: .359 (#1 in baseball)
      Team SLG: .440 (#4 in baseball)
      Team HR: 78 (#6 in baseball)
      Team wRAA: 65 (#2 in baseball)
      Team wOBA: .354 (#2 in baseball)

      Have you ever considered the fact that the Yankees offense just isn’t that great this year?

      I have. Then I realized that that fact is wrong, so I stopped considering it.

      • Bret says:

        If they score 35 fewer runs and give up the same amount they will not make the playoffs. Last year they went 915/753 runs scored/allowed which is a phythag of 95 wins. Even 95 wins might not make it this year.

        The pitching is keeping them in it right now but I think it is unlikely that they will allow 100 fewer runs than last year given that the bullpen is worse, 3/5ths of the rotation is the same and Hughes is on an innings limit.

        Plus, you are missing my point that the team is lucky to be on pace for 879 runs. Cano is not going to hit .370, Swisher has a way higher batting average than his career numbers, Gardner is not going to hit .330 and Posada isn’t going to have a .936 OPS not to mention Cervelli’s timely hitting. If they don’t get a big bat at the deadline they are in big trouble.

        • Doug says:

          and teixeira and arod are not gonna end with OPSs of .748 and .807, respectively.

        • Templeton "Brendog" Peck says:

          If they don’t get a big bat at the deadline they are in big trouble.

          oh well when you put it that way…..

          it still doesn’t make it true.

        • Rose says:

          If they score 35 fewer runs and give up the same amount they will not make the playoffs. Last year they went 915/753 runs scored/allowed which is a phythag of 95 wins. Even 95 wins might not make it this year.

          But this team isn’t taking a DeLorean back in time to take the place of the 2009 Yankees. They’re currently in 1st place in a strong division with a ridiculous amount of injuries already.

          Plus, you are missing my point that the team is lucky to be on pace for 879 runs. Cano is not going to hit .370, Swisher has a way higher batting average than his career numbers, Gardner is not going to hit .330 and Posada isn’t going to have a .936 OPS not to mention Cervelli’s timely hitting. If they don’t get a big bat at the deadline they are in big trouble.

          Again, why is it ok to say that Swisher, Gardner, etc. can’t continue their hitting pace because it’s way above their career numbers…but Arod, Tex, Jeter, etc. are unlikely to increase their productivity because they are hitting lower than their career numbers?

          • The one good thing about trolls: they make Rose more positive.

            • Rose says:

              Haha you know what? They do…

              I don’t write negatively to get a rise out of people (not that this particular person is either but)…I literally just try to change it up a little bit. Because believe it or not, when I write something “negative” and people respond (either professionally or unprofessionally)…I learn a lot more that way. People throw facts and other reasons as to why what I’m saying is wrong. If I just agree with everything people are saying I don’t get nearly as much back. May seem a little selfish…but they probably learn a few things too (maybe not from me specifically but from looking up the facts to prove me wrong). This is the same reason I become positive with trolls. I look stuff up to prove them wrong and learn quite a bit in the process.

              • … when I write something “negative” and people respond (either professionally or unprofessionally)…I learn a lot more that way. People throw facts and other reasons as to why what I’m saying is wrong… This is the same reason I become positive with trolls. I look stuff up to prove them wrong and learn quite a bit in the process.

                Rose, you know I love you, man. But, just a thought: You don’t have to wait for a troll to say something dumb to look stuff up to prove someone wrong. You can look stuff up unprompted.

                You don’t have to write negatively in order to get people to teach you things and provide you with useful facts that help you learn. You can just ask what you want to know and let people tell you without creating flimsy faux arguments.

                I’m just sayin’.

                (puts soapbox away)

          • bexarama says:

            (looks who wrote this positive response)
            (faints in shock)

            Holy crap, Rose >>> the trolls

        • If they score 35 fewer runs and give up the same amount they will not make the playoffs.

          Why, because you say so?

          The pitching is keeping them in it right now but I think it is unlikely that they will allow 100 fewer runs than last year given that the bullpen is worse

          The bullpen always looks bad the first half. Be patient.

          3/5ths of the rotation is the same

          And 4/5ths of the rotation is pitching better than they did last year. The only pitcher not pitching well is Burnett, and he isn’t really pitching any different than he did last year anyway.

          and Hughes is on an innings limit.

          Which he’ll hit right around the same time that rosters expand in September, when it’ll be moot and we’ll be able to give starts to other guys to fill his slot. And come postseason, we’ll have a 4 man rotation so it’ll be moot one way or another (and whomever ends up in the bullpen strengthens it, thus rendering the bullpen concern moot as well).

          Plus, you are missing my point that the team is lucky to be on pace for 879 runs. Cano is not going to hit .370, Swisher has a way higher batting average than his career numbers, Gardner is not going to hit .330 and Posada isn’t going to have a .936 OPS not to mention Cervelli’s timely hitting

          ARod and Tex aren’t going to not hit homers all year, either. For every Yankee playing over his head, there’s another one slumping. They’ll even each other out. Our 879 run pace isn’t a mirage, it’s the accumulation of our entire team’s production, which is entirely within our normal true talent level range.

          If they don’t get a big bat at the deadline they are in big trouble.

          Why, because you say so?

    • A.D. says:

      Name me a non-steriod player that put up great power numbers at Arod’s age.

      Cobb, Ruth, Mantle, DiMaggio, Thome, Frank Thomas, Fred McGriff, Gallaraga, Hank Aaron, Mike Schmidt…to name a few.

      *As far as I’ve seen the modern guys haven’t been linked to roids.

    • Tampa Yankee says:

      Name me a non-steriod player that put up great power numbers at Arod’s age.

      ~Hank Aaron — From age 35 on, 245 home runs. From ages 35-39 he hit 44, 37, a career-best 47, 34 and 40 home runs.
      ~Babe Ruth — Hit 198 of his home runs from age 35 on. Had seasons of 49, 49, 41 and 34 homers from ages 35-38.
      ~Willie Mays — Hit 37 home runs in 1966 at age 35. Never hit 30 home runs in a season again despite not retiring until age 42. Had 163 home runs from age 35 on.
      ~Ken Griffey — hit 35 home runs at age 35. At age 37 he hit 30, but never again reached 20 home runs in a season before retiring at 40. Hit 147 home runs from age 35 on.
      ~Frank Robinson — Hit 28 homers for Baltimore at age 35, and 30 two years later for California. Had 133 homers after age 35.

      http://www.pinstripealley.com/.....-from-alex

    • The team is trying to replace Matsui who had 28 homers last year with fill ins and Damon hit 24 homers.

      Despite Curtis Granderson missing a month and Nick Johnson missing more than a month, the players who have replaced Matsui, Damon, and Cabrera in the LF/CF/DH spots are collectively outproducing Matsui, Damon, and Cabrera this year. Holistically, those three spots (the only three spots that changed from 2009-2010) have been upgraded.

      No, seriously. Look it up.

      • 2009, WAR:
        LF Johnny Damon: +3.6
        CF Melky Cabrera: +2.1
        DH Hideki Matsui: +2.7
        4th OF Brett Gardner: +2.2
        TOTAL: 10.6

        2010, WAR:
        LF Brett Gardner: +2.0
        CF Curtis Granderson: +1.2
        DH Nick Johnson: +0.1
        4th OF Marcus Thames: +0.2
        Injury replacement Randy Winn: -0.2
        Injury replacement Kevin Russo: 0.0
        Injury replacement Juan Miranda: 0.0
        TOTAL: 3.3 (43.2% of total season played)
        TOTAL, extrapolated to 162 games: 7.3 WAR

        And that extrapolation includes Randy Winn’s negative total continuing to hurt us (even though he’s been released) and assumes Nick Johnson does virtually nothing the rest of the year. Even considering the injuries and scuffles we’ve had so far, that’s a pretty decent swap (when considering that Damon/Matsui had career years last year that they’re not repeating.)

        • Bret says:

          Right and all you had to do for that swap was give up Austin Jackson, Phil Coke, Ian Kennedy all of whom were playing pretty well the last time I looked. And they were combined much cheaper than Granderson. Or does that part of the story not matter?

          • Right and all you had to do for that swap was give up Austin Jackson, Phil Coke, Ian Kennedy all of whom were playing pretty well the last time I looked.

            When was the last time you looked? April?

          • Rose says:

            And they were combined much cheaper than Granderson. Or does that part of the story not matter?

            It matters to the people who pulled the trigger on making the deal. It certainly doesn’t matter to the same magnitude to you, me, or any other fan without a dime invested into the team. If you don’t want to pay $6 for a soda…don’t get one. If you don’t want to pay the prices being asked for tickets…don’t go. It’s that simple.

    • Since you’re bringing up last year, through 70 games last year the Yankees were on pace to score 874 runs.

      • Bret says:

        Last year they hadn’t played the Orioles 12 times in their first 70 games or the Astros and Indians 7.

        And like I said, the outfielders are outproducing last year’s team at the moment but Gardner will not continue hitting like this, neither will Swisher.

        • No, you’re right. They only played the Orioles 9 times in their first 70. But they played 7 against the Indians and 3 against the Nats.

          • Bret says:

            The Orioles weren’t the 1899 Cleveland Spiders last year they are a huge break on a team’s schedule this year and when you consider that the Rays still have 12 games with them and the Yanks 6, that is a huge advantage for the Rays in a tight end of year race.

            • A.D. says:

              I mean the 2009 Orioles did lose 98 games, they weren’t as bad as this year’s model, but bad none the less.

            • Rose says:

              and when you consider that the Rays still have 12 games with them and the Yanks 6, that is a huge advantage for the Rays in a tight end of year race.

              Rest of Season:

              Rays: Yankees (8), Twins (4), Blue Jays (9), Tigers (3), Orioles (9), Rangers (3), Athletics (4), Angels (6), Red Sox (6), Mariners (3), Royals (3)

              Yankees: Rays (8), Blue Jays (12), Red Sox (10), Rangers (6), Royals (4), Tigers (4), Mariners (3), White Sox (3), Athletics (4), Orioles (6)

              Pretty even to me.

              • Bret says:

                Rose,

                Your information is simply inaccurate. The O’s play the Rays 3 times in July, 3 in August and 6 in September. That is 12 games, not 9 as you state. I won’t check the rest but I’m sure there are errors.

            • rek4gehrig says:

              Dude, you’ve been trumped…give it up already.

              • Bret says:

                Trumped by inaccurate information? Why don’t we just say the Yankees are undefeated now then? I’m sure it won’t get factchecked here.

        • Templeton "Brendog" Peck says:

          no last year as of june 20 they had played the nats 3 times, the mets 3 (the injury riddled shitty ass mets) the indians 8 times, the oprioles 9 times and the royals 3.

          argument fail

    • Mike HC says:

      So, the way you see it, is that Gardner, Swisher, Cano and Posada are going to drop off big time and A-Rod, Jeter and Teix are never going to get it going. And you consider Granderson a “fill-in.”

      That is some scouting report there. It seems like you just looked at things in the worst possible light, and without any thought or evidence into whether the worst case scenario will play out for each and every player, you have accepted it as fact.

      Nice work. I will be looking for more of your insights in the future.

      • Today is his first day posting on RAB. It comes after a tough loss. We’ve seen this a thousand times. He’ll be gone when they’re winning. I’m kicking myself for even getting into the argument.

        • Bret says:

          Way to encourage new input.

          I’m not ripping the Yankees, I just think from an analytical standpoint they have some major issues. If you can explain how you expect them to score 900 runs again I’m all ears. Or is the plan for Hughes and Pettitte to end the year with sub 3 ERAs?

          Jeter and Arod are 35/36, you cannot count on great production from them forever and Granderson has been on the decline steadily and obviously for the past 3 years.

          • Rose says:

            If you can explain how you expect them to score 900 runs again I’m all ears.

            http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....ent-933587

          • If you can explain how you expect them to score 900 runs again I’m all ears.

            If you can explain how scoring 900 runs is an automatic ticket to the playoffs but 879 runs means we’re going to be sitting at home watching Dancing With The Stars, we’re all ears.

            Your “analytical standpoint” is ridiculously arbitrary and forced. Last year this team got great pitching and great hitting and won the World Series. This year, this team is getting great pitching and great hitting, but somehow the 4% decrease in our offensive rate stats mean we’re doomed to fail unless we add a major bat, in your opinion. That’s just silly.

            BTW, did your analytical standpoint forget to mention to you that runs are down across ALL of baseball, so our 4% decrease is in line with the entire league? No? I thought not.

            • Templeton "Brendog" Peck says:

              he is also basing most of his argument on batting average……

              • Bret says:

                What am I basing on batting average. Granderson’s OPS was higher in 2007 than it was in 2008 and higher in 2008 than it was in 2009. Go look up Cano and Posada’s career OPS and then look at what they are doing now.

                It is called regression to the mean, but that probably requires passing a math class which 95% of Yankee fans haven’t.

            • Bret says:

              Go look up the formula for Phythag wins. If you score 915 runs and give up 753 that equates to 95 expected wins (though the Yanks got very lucky last year and outperformed by 8 wins). You score 35 fewer runs that means 2 or 3 fewer expected wins. Again, it depends on what you think it will take to make the playoffs, as I said before 95 wins may not be enough this year. 92 almost certainly won’t be enough, Rays, Sox and Yanks are currently well above that pace.

              • bexarama says:

                Go look up the formula for Phythag wins. If you score 915 runs and give up 753 that equates to 95 expected wins (though the Yanks got very lucky last year and outperformed by 8 wins).

                I think most people here are pretty familiar with that formula and the Yankees’ Pythag record from last year.

                You score 35 fewer runs that means 2 or 3 fewer expected wins.
                Sure. But what if the 2010 Yankees score 35 fewer runs… and give up 100 fewer runs?

                Again, it depends on what you think it will take to make the playoffs, as I said before 95 wins may not be enough this year. 92 almost certainly won’t be enough, Rays, Sox and Yanks are currently well above that pace.

                Agreed.

                • Bret says:

                  You are the smartest person here. Obviously if they give up 100 fewer runs they will run away with the division. However, Burnett and Vazquez are both 33, Sabathia has a ton of miles on his arm. And Sabathia, Pettitte and Burnett pitched very well last year leaving little room for improvement. If Hughes and Pettitte keep up what they are doing I will tip my cap, but Hughes is already missing a start and Pettitte is almost a run below his career ERA. And Joba instead of Hughes, no Phil Coke, Robertson’s struggles etc. mean the bullpen is likely not be as good. Time will tell but it will be very hard to keep up the current runs allowed pace or anything close to it.

                  • Bret says:

                    Check that, I meant run and a half under his career ERA (2.47 versus 3.86).

                  • bexarama says:

                    You are the smartest person here.
                    Thank you. I’m not, though.

                    Obviously if they give up 100 fewer runs they will run away with the division.
                    That’s not even necessarily true. Sure hope it is though :D

                    And Sabathia, Pettitte and Burnett pitched very well last year leaving little room for improvement.
                    Sabathia totally ruled but is one of the better pitchers in baseball so I’m still expecting very very good things, Pettitte and Burnett were just a bit above league average overall. Plus, I think our #4 and #5 starter situations are much better.

                    If Hughes and Pettitte keep up what they are doing I will tip my cap,

                    Yep. Me too. Even if they regress a bit I think they’ll still be good, though.

                    but Hughes is already missing a start
                    Because of innings limits. Pettitte missed a start, the world didn’t end.

                    and Pettitte is almost a run below his career ERA.

                    And Joba instead of Hughes, no Phil Coke, Robertson’s struggles etc. mean the bullpen is likely not be as good.
                    a. Joba’s got great periperhals. I don’t think either his bloated ERA or his sparkling FIP tells the full story of his season.
                    b. Phil Coke, really?
                    c. Robertson’s been very very good of late.
                    d. The bullpen always sucks until it gets its shit together.

                    Time will tell but it will be very hard to keep up the current runs allowed pace or anything close to it.
                    You just seem to assume the worst will happen to pretty much everything. You seem to think pitchers will fall apart and hot hitters will regress while the cold hitters are doomed to be that way for the whole year. I don’t know if you really do think that, but that’s how it comes off. That kind of thinking irritates a lot of people.

                    • Bret says:

                      Coke appeared in 72 games last year with a respectable ERA. Thus far Marte has pitched 12 innings – it changes a bullpen when you have a reliable lefty to go to. Joba may be better but Hughes was unbelievable last year, Joba won’t be that good. Rivera is still Rivera. It is a decent pen but probably not as good as last year which is what I’m basing everything on.

                      As far as starters, Sabathia had a 3.41 ERA last year, Burnett and Pettitte barely over 4 – even with that they gave up 753 runs. It is extraordinarly unlikely that a 38 year old pitcher will end the season with an ERA a run and a half below his career ERA. Could it happen? Yes, but math isn’t on his side.

                      I don’t think every bad thing is going to continue – I think Tex Arod and maybe Granderson will improve some but most of the lineup is playing above their heads right now. And there is plenty of room for regression on the runs allowed front.

          • Templeton "Brendog" Peck says:

            Granderson has been on the decline steadily and obviously for the past 3 years.

            sigh. and let me guess, nick swisher is a 4th outfielder?

        • Mike HC says:

          Yea. I’m out. If “new insights” is him telling us the Yanks suck and non of their players will ever hit well again, then I can do without those new insights

    • bexarama says:

      Oh, people like this. “Everything that has gone wrong will continue to go wrong. Everything that has gone right is in no way sustainable.”

  6. Rose says:

    and that is with wonderful (and unlikely to continue) production out of Gardner, Swisher, Cano and Posada. Cervelli has 29 RBIs as a part time player with a .743 OPS. Arod and Tex might hit better but Arod is now 35 and off roids and it shows.

    Why is it OK to assume that Gardner, Swisher, Cano, and Posada are “unlikely to continue” their production but Arod, Tex and whoever else (who have been producing for several years with incredible consistency) are “likely” to stay where they are…regardless of several years of incredible production and consistency?

    • Rose says:

      Reply fail.

      Don’t know how that happened…definitely hit “Reply”…oh well.

    • Bret says:

      I think Arod and Tex could hit better but there are 4 offensive positions to mitigate due to current overperformance (5 when Posada DHs, Cevelli catches). I think they end up scoring around 850 runs and if they give up 750 that equates to 90 or so wins.

      But the pitching has been much better than I expected so far and if it continues like this it won’t matter if the offense struggles.

      • Rose says:

        The pitching has been outstanding…the offense hasn’t been THAT bad either…and when you consider Tex has been slumping most of the year and Arod has gone through spurts here and there…as your #3 and 4 guys…when they start turning it around for themselves it will increase that (already pretty good) 879 runs they are on pace for. Because think about it…they are on pace for 879 runs with Tex and Arod continuing their inconsistent production in the middle of the line up.

        If you truly believe they can turn it around like you say you do…that projected runs scored amount will be entirely different. More than likely for the better.

  7. vin says:

    May I submit to you:

    2009 Yankees
    March/April – .281/.362/.473/.835 ops (.302 babip)
    May – .282/.349/.497/.846 (.297)
    June – .253/.354/.433/.788 (.268)

    2010 Yankees
    March/April – .271/.362/.454/.816 (.297 babip)
    May – .297 .371 .451 .822 (.337)
    June – .247 .338 .406 .745 (.274)

    The 2009 team went on to post OPS’s of .853, .868, .839 (with babip of .316, .318, .330).

    June was by far the worst offensive month of the season last year. There doesn’t seem to be a correlation with previous years, so either its just a coincidence (most likely) or this crop of players, for whatever reason, just so happens to struggle in June (less likely, but possible).

    The important thing to realize is that 1 month does not necessarily doom an entire season – especially when the team is still winning its fair share of games, and has the talent to overcome the struggles.

    • “The important thing to realize is that 1 month does not necessarily doom an entire season – especially when the team is still winning its fair share of games, and has the talent to overcome the struggles.”

      Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

    • The important thing to realize is that 1 month does not necessarily doom an entire season – especially when the team is still winning its fair share of games, and has the talent to overcome the struggles.

      (looks up from tying noose)

      What’s that? What did you just say?

      • the209 says:

        “The important thing to realize is that 1 month does not necessarily doom an entire season – especially when the team is still winning its fair share of games, and has the talent to overcome the struggles.”

        I thought Tim McCarver posted over at NoMaas….

  8. Guest says:

    One thing I noticed about last night’s game: all of the pop-ups on off-speed pitches that hung over the plate. The Grandy man had a couple, so did Jete, so did Tex, so did Swish. Their reactions made it clear that they knew they had a pitch to hit and just missed it.

    What’s my point? Over the course of a 162 game season, games like last night are just going to happen. It will seem like the team justmissed on everything for the whole game. Last night was “one of those games.”

    Until September, there are two things I worry about: 1). Health, and 2) . Not falling too far behind playoff contenders. There have been a ton of nagging injuries, but the health picture seems to be getting better (as evidenced by last night’s starting lineup) and they are in first place this morning.

    Not at all worried about the offense. They will be fine. Just one of those games.

    • RL says:

      “Until September, there are two things I worry about: 1). Health, and 2) . Not falling too far behind playoff contenders. There have been a ton of nagging injuries, but the health picture seems to be getting better (as evidenced by last night’s starting lineup) and they are in first place this morning.

      Not at all worried about the offense. They will be fine. Just one of those games.”

      OK, I feel much better now. I’ll check back in a month.

  9. bexarama says:

    I just read the comment sections here and holy crap, Rose. I’m impressed. Seriously.

    Anyway, a game like last night was extremely frustrating. Not just because of the AJ thing, but because there were so many pitches that juuuust missed and any long fly ball and/or liner to the outfield just seemed to find gloves. Hopefully this means there’s a BABIP correction coming and we pound Haren. ;)

  10. A-Rod's Hip says:

    With all respects to the article, I felt last night we ran into more of a case of bad luck then anything offensively (combined with some pretty good, rangy defenders in Arizona’s outfield in Parra, Young, and Upton).

    We hit plenty of balls right on the screws all game long, and we also hit a fair share of warning track fly balls which I can’t really equate with “slumping” necessarily.

    I do agree that there’s an issue regarding the inconsistency with plate discipline from game to game, and the seemingly lack of ability to adjust to softer tossers. I just think we ran into some bad luck last night moreso than the Moyer, Kendrick, or Takahashi games.

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