Road woes behind second half slide

Thoughts following the sweep in Chicago
Yankees rank second in ESPN's Future Power Rankings
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The Yankees still sit atop the AL East and own the second best overall record in the league, but they’ve scuffled to a 20-19 record in the second half and a 14-18 record since heading out to Oakland a few weeks ago. They did win seven of nine about a week ago but have since lost five of seven. No team plays roughly .500-ball for more than a month by alternating wins and losses, there’s a few hot and cold streaks mixed in there.

On a macro level, the club’s performance on the road is responsible for their second half slide. The Yankees have won just six of 17 games away from Yankee Stadium since the All-Star break, including that four-game sweep at the hand of the Athletics and this week’s three-game sweep in Chicago. At home, they’re 14-8 in the second half. Here’s a real quick breakdown of the team’s basic home/road splits…

Home Record Home RS/G Home RA/G Road Record Road RS/G Road RA/G
First Half 25-16 (.610) 4.6 4.0 27-17 (.614) 5.0 4.2
Second Half 14-8 (.636) 5.4 3.8 6-11 (.353) 4.5 4.6

The Yankees have only been outscored by three total runs on the road in the second half (76 to 79), which tends to happen when six of the eleven losses were by one run. The club is scoring roughly half-a-run fewer run per game on average away from the Bronx though, and their overall road batting line sits at .263/.320/.411 since the All-Star break. It was .263/.340/.453 in the first half. With a .263/.334/.441 overall road line on the season (108 wRC+), the Yankees have been the second best hitting team in baseball away from their home park this year (Angels, 113 wRC+).

Given the small sample, I think the second half drop in OBP and power production is tied directly to the four games in the pitcher friendly Coliseum in Oakland (ten total runs in the four games) as well as Curtis Granderson‘s mega-slump. He’s typically a major source of on-base skills and especially power. Robinson Cano‘s smaller and more recent slump factors in as well, plus the Raul IbanezAndruw Jones platoon hasn’t done much since the break either. The increase in runs allowed per game (also roughly half-a-run) has an awful lot to do with Phil Hughes throwing duds in Detroit and Toronto as well as the sketchy middle relief.

Twenty of the club’s final 38 games are on the road, including the upcoming three-game series in Cleveland. After that it’s nothing but AL East parks and a quick three games in Target Field. The Yankees haven’t forgotten to play on the road or anything, they’ve just lost an inordinate number of close games away from the Bronx since the All-Star break. I don’t think these road struggles are a big concern going forward, but those losses are already in the bank and they do count in the standings. Taking care of business against the Indians would be a real good (and necessary!) step twards fixing these second half road issues.

Thoughts following the sweep in Chicago
Yankees rank second in ESPN's Future Power Rankings
  • Mike Myers

    Bad on the road….reminds me of

    This guy is like Leatherface, Chucky and Jan Brady all rolled into one.
    Are you or are you not the Black Angel of Death?
    (Trying to pronounce “roads”) Row-ads. Roods

    • MannyGeee

      limit….. limit…. thats a funny word too.

  • cashmoney

    pretty good takes. I think the bp arms aside from Robertson and Sori have regressed/rough stretch have lot to do with losing close games. Combine with the absence of rod, tex’s wrist and the above mentioned key hitters’ slumps all contributed some.

  • Murderers’ Row Boat

    They also got swept by two really good teams who both have plus pitching, and the Sox have plus hitting.

  • Robert

    Age and weak bats have taken its toll, outside of Cano and Jeter and Tex the lineup is old and weak,Bullpen set up men have hit the wall.
    Makes me laugh the telephone numbers that the media throws around for Granderson and Swisher.Who is gonna give them long term 40-50 million dollar contracts? They should both thank there lucky stars and sign any 1yr contract for 8-10mil.
    2014 Tyler Austin, Slade, and Mason Williams in the Yankee outfield all making the MLB Min 500K and out hitting our currant 3 starters.

    You can bet your Hal Steinbrenner on it!!!!

    • jjyank

      “They should both thank there lucky stars and sign any 1yr contract for 8-10mil.”

      Well you clearly have a very tenuous grip the baseball landscape, so I won’t bother addressing the rest.

      • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

        I just want to throw out there that I’d sign any one year contract for 8-10 mil. Robert read the Robinson Tilapia market perfectly.

        Also, if this were my mother-in-law after a loss, they’d be lucky to get a job for minimum wage.

  • Brian S.

    Injuries in the AL East have been brutal this year. Can’t wait until Andy and A-Rod are back but it still feels like they are incredibly far away.

  • Robert

    Teams are tired of the Jason Bay,Carl Crawford and Jason Werth long term disasters.Swish and Grandy will not get what you think on the open market. The yanks will offer Swish the 1 year tender of 13mil and I still think thats two much!!!

    • jjyank

      I assume that this is a reply to me.

      “I still think thats two much!!!”

      Poor grammar aside, you’re nuts. 1/13 for Swish or Grandy? Have you followed contract trends at all? You are under-estimating the contracts by so much I’m starting to think that this is in jest.

      • Gonzo

        Well, have you considered if the Yankees make the qualifying offer to Swisher in a card that says “I Choo-Choo-Choose You.”

      • Robert

        V. Wells 24M,Crawford 20M,A. Soriano 19M, T Hunter 18M Bay 18M are the highest paid Outfielders this year. All I am saying is that I do not believe that these past contract offers will be out there for Grandy or Swisher!

        • jjyank

          That’s fine, but the will get (and deserve) much more than a 1 year deal.

          • Robert

            I would agree….

    • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

      I look forward to Nick Swisher sitting in a bathtub full of money, champagne, and tramps next season once the Dodgers actually offer him $100 million.

      (Not that I condone this. Please stay, Swish.)

  • OK Computer

    Granderson in August: 71 ABs, 25 Ks.

    Dude could strikeout playing T-ball.

    • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

      Best rock album ever, post-1980 edition.

      • OK Computer

        You’ll get no arguments from me. The Bends is top shelf as well.

        • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

          Add “Kid A” to that and you’ve got arguably the best 1-2-3 punch ever.

  • LiterallyFigurative

    This last month and change really makes me worry more about the long-term Yankees than whether they’ll win the WS this year.

    Noone knows how the team will perform in the postseason. Anyone with an answer is probably lying to you.

    I worry about the offense going forward. The infield is locked in unless Cano wants Matt Kemp money, and even then they might keep him.

    With Grandy and Swish, I am on the fence.

    Grandy has power, which seems to be a dwindling commodity. But even for his amazing year last year, his .OBP, AVG and SO are really not great. This year he’s been good, but is regressing at the plate. Is he worth the 5 year deal, which his HR and RBI will warrant?

    Swisher is a below average RF, and that’s not gonna get any better as he ages. He has a pretty good .OBP, but not great. He’s usually around 28 HR and 90 RBI’s. What is that worth on the market? People have floated him signing some kind of discount contract, but haven’t given much of a reason behind why he would do that when this is his first (and probably) last chance at a big payday.

    But even worse, how would we replace that production if we let them leave? The lower level stud prospects are at best 2 years from the big club. By most responses, noone wants Almonte or Mesa. Potential impact OF like Hamilton, Melky, Ellsbury all come with serious risk. Justin Upton is bandied about, but is he worth 3 top prospects when he’s ALREADY making like 13 million and has yet to show consistency?

    If I’m the Yanks I would look to sign Hamilton to a 5 year deal. I don’t think he’d break down any worse than Grandy, as he’s been away from the drugs and alcohol for a real long time. He hasn’t been failing physicals or anything. I think the Yanks, if we’re going to have to scrimp in certain areas of the team, would be wise to get the best impact player available and pair him with Cano in the middle of the order. Because it’s foolish to keep Cano and have very little around him.

    Maybe re-sign Ichiro to a short deal and bring up an Almonte or Mesa to pair with him. Gardner in CF. This way you have two spots not locked up long-term for when either of the big 3 OF in the system come up, or when the punitive luxury tax penalty stage of the CBA ends.