Bad timing killing the Yanks

Dan Johnson 4, Yankees 3 as Rays take over AL East lead
Help is on the way

The Yankees have been in a strange kind of slump. They’re putting men on base, but aren’t bringing them around to score. That’s both a good and a bad thing. It’s good, because they’re putting themselves in a position to score runs. It’s bad, because they’re not capitalizing on those opportunities. But it’s good again, because we know that in many ways the Yankees’ offensive woes involve luck. That is, when you put 13 runners on base in a game more often than not you’re going to score more than two or three runs. Sometimes you won’t. That’s how the game works. But you’re going to have a lot harder time scoring more than two or three runs if you’re putting only five or six guys on per game.

Since the current slump started on September 5, the Yankees have had little trouble getting guys on base and into scoring position. On Sunday against Cliff Lee and on Monday against David Price they did run into issues getting men on base, but against those two it’s understandable. They’ve already roughed both of them up earlier in the season, so it’s not as if they can’t beat them. But this time around, as will happen from time to time, they faltered. Otherwise they’ve been subject to two damning factors. First is the obvious lack of timely hits. Second is the lack of the longball.

Date H + BB RISP Runs
9/5 14 3 for 12 3
9/6 9 1 for 7 3
9/7 9 2 for 11 2
9/8 10 1 for 4 3
9/10 22 3 for 17 5
9/11 21 3 for 13 6
9/12 5 1 for 3 1
9/13 7 0 for 4 0
9/14 19 2 for 12 8
9/15 15 2 for 9 3

These numbers, as you can imagine, don’t add up well. Since the fifth they’ve been 18 for 92 with runners in scoring position, a .196 batting average. Before this skid they were hitting .265 with runners in scoring position. If they hit to their season average they go 24 for 92, and those extra six hits make us a lot happier. It also means they would have left fewer than 97 men on base in those 10 games.

Also killing the Yanks was the lack of the longball in these 10 games. They hit just six, and that looks much better because of the three they hit on Tuesday. That’s one every 68 PA. Previous they have hit a homer every 31 PA. If they hit homers at their season pace they hit 13 homers in the past 10 games and again we’re a lot happier fans.

The Yankees are slumping. There is no doubt about it. Thankfully, it’s easy to put their struggles in perspective. They’ve put tons of men on base, but haven’t driven them in with hits and haven’t cleared the bases with a homer very often. Given what we saw from the first 136 games of the season I don’t think that this should cause any panic. Every team goes through stretches like this. Once Swisher and Gardner return to the lineup we’ll see them turn it around. Best of all, the recovery could come at the exact right time.

Dan Johnson 4, Yankees 3 as Rays take over AL East lead
Help is on the way
  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder


    The only thing more frustrating than seeing your team fail in RISP situations ten times a night is seeing your team not have ten RISP situations in the first place in which to possibly fail.

    I’ll take a 10 hit, 3 run performance over a 2 hit, 1 run performance every single day and twice on Sunday.

  • Joltin Joe

    Definitely agree, but sometimes you create your slumps by doing things like bunting 3-0 and letting Kearns/Curtis kill rallies.

    • Ross in Jersey

      Bunting 3-0: Not OK

      Letting Kearns/Curtis hit when you literally have no other options: OK

      • Joltin Joe

        By the 8th inning, it might have been time to give Miranda or even Nunez a shot, but yes, not hitting for Kearns/Curtis was not as bad as the 3-0 bunt.

        • Ross in Jersey

          Nunez is not a better hitter than either of those two guys. He is far inferior to Kearns.

          If you wanted to let Berkman hit and then pinch hit Thames for Kearns, alright. But, you could certainly second-guess that too.

          • Joltin Joe

            But Berkman is awful from the right side, so I can see why Joe went that route, esp. because you can keep Thames as the DH.

            I wouldn’t say Nunez isn’t better than Curtis. I don’t think we know that. Also, Kearns is a better hitter because has experience, but at some point you have to look at the player in context, and for whatever reason, it just seemed as if Kearns was lost in Tampa.

            Again, I agree that you could go both ways on this issue, but sometimes there is benefit to just changing for change sake when the options aren’t very good one way or the other.

  • Ross in Jersey

    Good article, Joe. Shit happens. It’s not like the Yankees suddenly forget how to hit when someone reaches second base. It also doesn’t help that it seemed every time there were runners on base, it was Kearns/Curtis coming up.

    Also not mentioned, the Yankee regulars that ARE in the lineup have been swinging well. A-rod is hitting .333/.390/.556 since coming off the DL. Berkman is hovering around .400. Cano and Jeter have been getting their hits. Granderson had 3 extra base hits in 2 games. So, I have no problem thinking they’ll turn this around. As I’ve said before, they’re due for one hell of a statistical correction with RISP.

    • 42yankee

      Ross, I can’t disagree with you more on Cano and Jeter hitting well. WHEN???? Jeter is heading for the .250 mark and Cano has dropped 60++ points since early summer. The last 2 series with Texas and Tampa, we left 118 men on base and you call that the regulars in the line-up are doing WELL!!!!!Cano 9/10 hits in last 60 AB’s. Jeter 8/9 hits in last 50+ AB’s. Tex 7/8 hits in last 45+ AB’s. If that’s hitting then offense has no place in baseball. Baltimore almost swept us. Kearns 7 K’s out of last 9 AB’s. What the heck do you consider “”””POOR”””” hitting. Waiting to hear an answer….. Wake up Yanks as the wild card is getting IFFY for ya!!!!

  • Jon

    Let’s not forget that no matter how good the Rays are, they are all very young and most of them do not have the kind of experience in post season play that the yanks do. Also, Maddon hasnt exactly been kind to his pitching staff like Girardi is. I have a feeling a lot of them are going to tire heading into the post season. Especially Soriano and Beniot.

    • Joltin Joe

      Excellent point. Their effective starters are mostly young and their best relievers all have histories of arm problems. Maddon could be pushing the envelope. Having said that, I still think Girardi went to the opposite extreme on Friday, but that’s water under the bridge now.

  • Tampa Yankee

    Great article. I’d be more upset if the team was getting killed and were not in these games but they’ve been competitive with a chance in every game despite their troubles. They will eventually get the job done when they needed to and all will be well again.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder


      FWIW, I’m sure Tampa would gladly trade the four times they’ve been no-hit or one-hit shutout this year for four of our games where we’ve piled up 10+ hits but stranded most of those runners and only pushed across a run or two.

      • Mike

        It really is amazing that for a team as good as the Rays how frequent they get no hit or 1 hit

    • goterpsgo

      My coworkers were jerking my chain this morning and I reminded them NYY was in every game despite having half the lineup out or playing hurt. And having lots of LOB meant they had lots of chances but no luck scoring. They should be much better once Swish and Brett come back.

      OK boys go and tear the 0’s a new one!!!!!

  • Zanath

    Totally agree. This has got to turn around. Hopefully it’s sooner rather than later. Let’s start tomorrow against Millwood.

  • Yank the Frank

    This too shall pass…hopefully soon.

  • A.D.

    Rather they slump now, then have a read hot Sept only to suck it up on Oct.

    • seimiya


  • larryf

    Live by the homer/die by the homer-or the lack thereof for 10 days.

    What is Kearn’s injury? It was not evident in his swing. At least his fielding didn’t hurt us as it often has with Thames.

  • vin

    By my count, Cruz’s two home game accounted for the only 2 home runs hit in the Texas series. If the ball is carrying normally in Texas, its probably a different road trip (even if it means the Rangers hit a couple more HRs). There were so many balls hit to the warning track in that series.

    Also, besides Tuesday’s barrage, Curtis hit the only Yankee HR in the Tampa series. Perhaps the boys are a bit worn out, and the ball isn’t carrying as well off their bats as we’ve become accustomed.

    Whatever it is, getting back to Yankee Stadium next week will be like a Mo-send.

  • YankeesJunkie

    Sadly, the time I have watched the Yankees is dramatically down sicne the games usually start at 1 am and I am not man (or stupid) enough to stay up and see the games. However,it sucks that the Yankees are going on bad streak, but they are pretty much guaranteed a playoff spot and how they finish is more for pride than how hard the ALDS and ALCS will be (extremely good competition this year. At this point I want to see Pettitte, Gardner, and Swisher to get healthy by the playoffs and hope some key Yankees get on a hot streak in October and get to a World Series matchup in which they should be favored.

  • seimiya

    There’s nothing to be ashamed of in losing to the Rays. They’re a GREAT team. That’s not to say I’m not looking forward to a little Kevin Millwood in my future.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      It does kinda suck to lose to the Dan Johnsons and Willy Aybars of the Rays, though, instead of the Carl Crawfords and Evan Longorias.

      But then again, I’m sure other teams get pissed when they lose to Marcus Thames and Boone Logan and Frankie Cervelli.

  • http://riveraveblues bob

    Maybe if we all look at fact,its hard to be a yankee fan. The balt o,s are red hot and were not,the red sox have won 4 5 in a row thats baseball. Lets no forget they beat who they just beat on the west coast trip.The yankees just lost to a rays team that just wants to win the east,they will be out in the first round.the texas rangers are hot and just wanted to show they can beat us.the big pictuce is
    we will win #28 and maybe we all need to know how lucky we our to be yankee fans. The team needs to come home to a loud,loud home field. PS sorry about my writing recovering from major head injury and this is my first step back.thank you

    • RL

      We’re certainly able to understand your points. Best of luck with your recovery.

  • pastadivingarod

    Seems to me that Girardi/Cash have decided to get the WC and deal with Minn instead of Tex. They must have saw something in Tex last weekend that made them weary of going to Tex and seeing Lee and CJ Wilson.

    CC Pettitte and Hughes at YS is a lot stronger in Minn.Yank series.

    • pastadivingarod

      I think the Rays take out Texas and We beat the Twins to set up a AlCS for the ages as we beat Tampa in 7 hard fought games.
      Price is the only pitcher the Rays have who I think the Yankees can not beat. Sheilds,Garza,Niemann all beatable.

      • bexarama

        I dunno, we beat Price pretty handily in the game where Pettitte got hurt. He’s a really good pitcher but hardly unbeatable.

      • AndrewYF

        The only pitchers I can remember who I would deem ‘unbeatable’ were the Johnson/Schilling duo in 2001.

        Nowadays, Everything can be beaten.

        • Tim

          And yet, we won one of those 5 starts, and should have won two.

          • AndrewYF

            Well that’s called beating the Kim, not the pitcher.

    • Tim

      I don’t see that. It seems like Girardi/Cash have decided to get to the playoffs healthy, which is the best (only) way to win a World Series. They aren’t trying to lose games, and they aren’t sitting guys because they think the games are unimportant. The organization takes a lot of pride in winning the AL East, and that remains the goal today. Be thankful that the current regime is wise enough to realize that winning the East, while still an excellent goal, is not the most important goal.

      I love that after monday’s loss, Andrew Marchand tweeted that Steinbrenner would have fired Girardi for his moves late in that game. Can’t believe that someone actually pays him to report on anything.

  • http://riveraveblues bob

    its going to be a fun 3 weeks grey hair coming.

  • AndrewYF

    This is a great example when someone tries to tell you that September wins are more important than April ones.

    The Yankees went 15-7 this April. The Red Sox went 11-12.

    Switch those, and the Red Sox are nipping at the heels of the Yankees. However, they are out of it in large part because they had such a bad April.

    Never let anyone tell you that any regular season month is more or less important than any other. They all count exactly the same.

  • tonymo

    Is there anyone who would not want to see Matsui and Damon in big situations rather than Kearns or Berkman! And it’s not simply the numbers. Those two have been career long winners, and used to the late season pressures.

    These guys now playing are a joke. In September, Kearns and Berkman (who were signed because of the obvious holes in Cashman’s quarter of a billion dollar white elephant)have no home runs and TWO rbi between them, and Kearns has 14 Ks in 29 ab!

    This team is constructed to beat up on the Royals, Indians, D-Backs, and Orioles, (until now!). They simply do not hit in the clutch enough of the time.

    Unlike last year, this team is not good enough to overcome Girardi’s “curious” managing. He is routinely outmanaged by Maddon, Francona, and now Showalter. Last night was Soriano’s 4th consecutive game, while Girardi’s porcelain dolls are not permitted to pitch 2 innings per week! What a joke. I looked earlier today and did not see Soriano’s name on the DL!

    • AndrewYF

      I would rather have Curtis Granderson than both of Damon and Matsui.

      You know who else is a ‘winner’? David Eckstein. Should we just jettison everyone from the bench so Eckstein can play every day? He’ll show these no-ring bums what’s what.