Sep
05

How to blow a ten-game lead in 48 days

By

(J. Meric/Getty)

The Yankees have played impossibly bad baseball for a little less than two months now, ever since they went out to the West Coast and got swept in four straight one-run games by the Athletics. It’s easy to forget that they’d won five of their first six games after the All-Star break immediately prior to that road trip. New York was ten games up after beating the Blue Jays on July 18th and 48 days later, they’re tied for the division lead for the first time since June 11th. It’s ugly.

A fall from grace like this takes a total team effort. The starting pitching needs to be bad at times, the offense needs to be bad at times, and the bullpen needs to be bad at times as well. Lately all three seem to have performed poorly simultaneously. Here’s a quick breakdown of some things that have gone wrong during his 48-day slide…

The Bottom of the Order
As a team, the Yankees have hit .253/.315/.416 as a team during this stretch, which is almost exactly league average. This is a team that hit .265/.339/.467 in their first 91 games of the season, which was approximately 15% better than league average. Quite a fall.

Most of the blame goes to the bottom third of the order, the 7-8-9 hitters. Those three spots have combined for a .236/.286/.374 batting line during these 48 days, which is just unfathomably bad. The primary offenders have Raul Ibanez (.202/.284/.356), Russell Martin (.230/.304/.377), and Ichiro Suzuki (.273/.299/.402 as a Yankee) just because they’ve spent the most time hitting there. Once upon a time, guys like Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner were batting in the bottom third of the order. That level of lineup depth has completely disappeared.

Too Many Homers
Since opening up that ten-game lead on July 18th, the pitching staff has allowed 54 homers (!) in 44 games. That’s a 1.25 HR/9 as a team, and don’t just blame Yankee Stadium — they’ve surrendered 27 dingers in 22 road games (1.29 HR/9). Obviously Phil Hughes (1.96 HR/9) is the poster boy of the homer problem, but David Phelps (1.35 HR/9), Freddy Garcia (1.76 HR/9), and even CC Sabathia (1.44 HR/9) should not be absolved of blame. The one guy keeping the ball in the park is the one guy everyone thought would have trouble doing so before the season: Hiroki Kuroda (0.66 HR/9).

(J. Meric/Getty)

The Trade Deadline
This kinda ties into everything else, but the Yankees didn’t make a single significant move to improve the team at midseason. When Ichiro is your impact acquisition, you failed. Casey McGehee and Steve Pearce were brought in to hit lefties and they haven’t done much of that in their limited time. Rather than seek out the quality middle reliever they needed following the loss of Mariano Rivera, the Yankees opted to wait for Joba Chamberlain while supplementing with Chad Qualls and Derek Lowe. Those three have combined for 16 runs allowed on 44 baserunners in 18.2 innings during this 48-day stretch. The help the team needed was not the help it acquired.

Losing to the Losers
During these 44-games, the Yankees have played seven series and 21 total games against teams with a sub-.500 record. They’ve won just 12 of those 21 games. That’s a winning record obviously, but they haven’t fattened up their record enough against the clubs their supposed to beat. The old mantra is pound away on the bad teams while playing even against the good teams, but the Yankees haven’t really held up the first end of the bargain (or the second, for that matter). Sixteen of their final 27 games will be played against clubs with a losing record, and they need to do better against those teams than they have been.

Injuries!
I hate using injuries as an excuse but you can’t ignore their impact. Of these last 44 games, Alex Rodriguez has played in just eight and Mark Teixeira just 32. Andy Pettitte, Gardner, and Rivera have obviously played in zero. It’s common sense that older players are more prone to injury but some of those injuries are just flukes. Mo tripped while running. Andy Pettitte got hit by a comebacker. A-Rod took a pitch to the hand. Do younger players not get hurt long-term in those situations? Eh, that’s very debatable given he nature of the injuries. The point is that’s an awful lot of lost talent to overcome.

* * *

There are plenty of other factors that led to the Yankees blowing their big, cushy lead — Curtis Granderson‘s three-month long slump, Robinson Cano‘s complete inability to drive in any runner besides himself on a homer, every reliever not named David Robertson or Rafael Soriano, etc. — but those five factors above really stand out to me. The most frustrating part is that the Yankees have typically excelled in those departments in recent years. The bottom of the order was always productive, the pitching staff always found a way to keep the ball in the park relative to what was expected given the division and ballpark, and they did so much damage against sub-.500 teams that people actually thought it was a fault. This kinda stuff was never really a problem, but I guess this now is just the perfect storm.

Categories : Musings
  • Frank Messer

    Don’t forget how far our announcers have fallen since my heyday in the 70s & 80s

  • Frank Messer

    Joba is one lost finger digit away from becoming Bob Wickman

    • FIPster Doofus

      I think he’s some lost hair and a shave away from being Tony Soprano.

  • Kingslayer

    Add to the list the fact that there is no speed (Arod is the steals leader with 11, and Ibanez leads in Triples with 3), and you can add another reason why they cannot generate runs.

    • Jon G

      Speaking of which, any updates on Gardner?

  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Drew

    I agree with mostly everything in this article but I think its a little unfair to blame Ichiro, the Yankees knew what they were getting was no sure thing. Can’t blame them when it turns out to be true. Not getting an impact reliever I think is the most egregious error Cashman has made all season.

    • Frank Messer

      Yanks let go their biggest impact reliver at the trading deadline – Dewayne Wise

  • Louie

    How to blow a ten-game lead in 48 days

    Keep playing a 198 Catcher.

    Don’t play small ball.

    Keep sending a different lineup out there each and ever single day.

    Don’t believe in your youth or don’t believe in youth at all.

    Keep signing old over the hill done other teams junk.

    Sit tight and don’t upgrade and keep telling your fans we are happy & believe.

    • Rome

      How to overcome a 10 game lead in 48 days, on the Rays perspective.

      Keep playing a .207 catcher.

      Plays some small ball.

      Keep sending a different lineup out there each and every single day.

      Run out rookies and AAAA players and hope they succeed.

      Take a chance on old over the hill players like Matsui.

      Sit tight and don’t upgrade and keep telling your fans we are happy and believe.

      Sound familar?

  • Beans

    How to blow a ten-game lead in 48 days

    Keep playing a 198 Catcher.

    Don’t play small ball.

    Keep sending a different lineup out there each and ever single day.

    Don’t believe in your youth or don’t believe in youth at all.

    Keep signing old over the hill done other teams junk.

    Sit tight and don’t upgrade and keep telling your fans we are happy & believe.

    • Rich Vos

      Louis Beansch! That guy owes me $20 bucksch.

      • Big Members Only (formerly RI$P FTW)

        Double guns, baby.

  • Better off Eddard

    The post fails to blame Robinson Cano. Where has he been? As the best player on the team he should be carrying us and he’s been non-existent. 1st and 2nd no outs last night, Swisher Ks which is typical and then Robbie Cano hits it right back to the pitcher for a DP. The night before that he failed to run out a grounder where he could have been safe and failed to dive for a ball to prevent the go ahead run from scoring. The only ones who don’t deserve any blame are Jeter, Kuroda and Soriano.

    • Kramerica Industries

      I think saying “Robbie’s completely inability to drive in anybody but himself” is kind of a serious shot at him.

    • DC

      A new day; a new low for your intelligence level.

  • http://www.twitter.com/vinnyscafuto Vinny S.

    I feel like this is the sort of stretch where Jorge Posada would be ripping people a new one in the clubhouse. I wonder if anyone has picked up that role since he retired.

    • Better off Eddard

      Doubt it. This team lost its heart when Jorgie was forced out and lost its soul when Mo and Andy went down with freak injuries. If the Yanks don’t make the playoffs they should hire Jorgie and O’Neill as manager and bench coach, don’t care which one is which. Coney as pitching coach and A-Rod as Player/Hitting Coach.

      • FIPster Doofus

        They should hire Babe Ruth’s ghost to do something, too.

      • Big Members Only (formerly RI$P FTW)

        Jorge quit on his team.

  • Frank Messer

    Only on RAB could a miracle like this happen – Louie and Beans had the same exact thought only one minute apart

    • Beans

      lol I thought it didn’t go through

      • Frank Messer

        Yep – it happens to all of us. You are both right.

  • Jim McNemar

    Wonderfully balanced article. I would add one more thing: the failure of management to make major acquisitions last off-season. We passed on any number of foreign players (could we use a Yoenis Cespedes or Yu Darvish right now?) and passing on any number of free agents who were out there. Apparently, because of the concern over the $189 million threshold. George loved winning more than money, the same cannot be said for his sons.

    • M&M Boys

      “George loved winning more than money, the same cannot be said for his sons.”

      Ding, ding, ding!

      Signing free agents and making smart trades is the only way to improve. When you’re winning 90+ games a season, the blue chippers in the amateur draft are gone by the time you pick.

    • DC

      “George loved trading away talent for washed up veterans…” – fixed that for you.

    • DT

      George signed a ton of old players to bloated contracts. The Same thing you criticized the current management for. Last season what off season moves could they make? The only move was for another pitcher basically and they got Kuroda who is very good and Pineda who got injured. The rotation was the biggest flaw going into this season and they got guys to cover it. And as Bad as Russ is, he wasn’t completely useless last year and with our depth in the minors, Montero was expandable. our OF was set, our infield was set and bullpen was the best in the AL. The rotation was stabilized with Andy, Kuroda and Pineda joining it. DH was a problem but the plan to platoon a righty mashing Ibanez with a Lefty mashing Jones was not a bad one. At the time it looked like the Team plugged the holes that plagued them last year.

      Off course no one forsaw us losing Gardner for the season, forcing Ibanez and Jones to play the field. Nova, Pineda and Andy all went down with injuries. Mo went down, phelps was forced into the rotation and Corey Wade forgot how to pitch mid way through the season which limited our Pen. Jones forgot how to hit lefties, Ibanez still hits righties but Joe leaves him in at big spots vs lefties. Then ARod goes down, Tex goes down which leaves two holes in our corner infield. None of this can be foreseen during the last off season. By all measures Cashman during the off season addressed the team’s weakness by getting arms for the rotation and building up on our bench. Injuries took out 3 of our starters and forced our bench players to be starters.

  • Beans

    Rather than seek out the quality what the Yankees do is sign 5 different guys to play one position. Instead of going after final fix one player to play every day they go out and get several guys for a position. Why do the Yankees do this can anyone explain to me why?

    • Ro

      This is something Cashman and the Yanks have excelled at in recent years. Having a deep, experienced and productive bench, however, I do believe they deviate from that theory this coming year. Andrew Jones, Ibanez, Chavez, Pearce, Ichiro and Mcgee will not be back. Chavez is probably the best of the bunch, but he’s pretty much done health wise, plus the Yanks need to get younger at that corner. You can’t have Arod, Chavez, McGee and Nyx all doing the same job. I’d rather Rendon, Arod and a McGee type (who can play that and 1st) for the bench and position. The OF will shape itself up this next year. We’ve got several young prospects and there are options via trade. Chu and Upton to name a few. By default this will happen with Swisher departing and what now seems like, Granderson playing himself out of the lineup here. Basically, they just need to get younger.

      • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

        How are the Yankees going to get younger at third with Rodriguez signed to a lengthy and expensive contract they’re unlikely to ever trade away? We all know this NEEDS to be done. The problem is that it likely can’t be done. The same thing will probably happen with Teixeira before long. I hope they’ve learned a lesson and don’t fall into that trap with Granderson.

        • Ro

          ? Weird comment, dude. They are not trading Arod. He’s part time 3rd base next year and the year after that and pretty much full time DH for the remaining 3 years. This is EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!the time they need to get younger at 3rd. Chavez, as much as I love him, is toast. The McGee, Nyx, and whoever else thing isn’t going to fly next year and beyond. No the Yanks at this point, more than any other position, really need to shore up 3rd going into next year. As for Teixeria, you’re nuts. Dude’s been money on defense. Perhaps still the best in the league, actually has his pretty well this year. He’ll been fine and play out his contract just fine. 4 years and I have ZERO!!! concern about Tex, frankly. Trust me, Tex ain’t the problem. I guess I do agree with the Granderson sentiment however. Don’t think he’s here past 2013.

  • Nathan

    This team lacks clutch hitting: RISP fails and zero comeback wins.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      zero comeback wins *in the ninth inning*

      fixed

  • Beans

    Suzuki, I- of
    Nix, J – inf
    Stewart, C
    Ibanez, R -of
    Jones, A -of
    McGehee, C – inf
    Pearce, S – inf
    Chavez, E -inf

    Instead of finding a fix a guy who can go out there each and every day this is what they do. They have 4 infielders that they rotate who could hit a lick! Go for a FIX not a temp fix. I understand you wanna rest a guy here and there but not every night really now…

    • Hoss

      I think that they should have given Mustelier a shot. It’s not too late, either.

    • WhittakerWalt

      And yet a shitty lineup didn’t hurt the Rays much. Chris Gimenez beat us the other day.

  • Mike

    Man oh man with all these articles it feels like the season is over and we ended our season like the Red Sox last year.

    A bit of history, and recent history, 5 years ago the Red Sox had a 14 game lead in the AL East in July. While the Yankees did not come back to tie or win the division, they cut the division lead to as little as 1 game and Boston hung on to win the division by 2 games. What happened in the playoffs then? Boston went on to win the World Series.

    Am I saying the Yankees will do the same thing? Absolutely not. Could it be done? Absolutely. So until this team is mathematically out, let’s not jump to conclusions and talk about firings, who needs to get dropped immediately. Things can change. Any team and actually any player, can get hot (or cold) at anytime. Anybody expect Cody Ross, David Freese, Mike Lowell, David Eckstein, Jermaine Dye, etc. to be World Series and postseason heroes?

    The Yankees deserve the bashing and on this site too, so I am not calling out Mike on this. It’s more so of all newspapers and TV’s around the country. Plus, NOBODY is mentioning the Orioles at all. All the talk is the Yankees “collapse”. Until the season is over, they haven’t collapsed from anything.

    This team can come back and win the division by 5 games, they might continue to sink and lose it by 5 games.

    Again Mike, if you read this, this isn’t a knock on you. I’m just saying I’m sick of people quitting on this team adn bashing this team as if we are as bad as the Red Sox.

    And again I am just as disappointed as the rest of you, but I am sick of people eveyrwhere automatically eliminating us and calling it a collapse. It’s also, at least in my mind, not giving any credit to the Orioles.

    With that said, I’ll be at the Giants/Cowboys game tonight and will be somewhat relieved. Perhaps at the half I’ll check out the scores of these games

    Go Yankees (and go Giants too lol)

    • Hoss

      I agree with much of what you say and I’m certainly not giving up either.
      HOWEVER, there was this tendency all season long to look past the deficiencies and mention that the team had either the best record in the majors, AL or was still in 1st place, so why were we complaining about a one-dimensional offense? That went on for a long time. The problem is that people got complacent, and that includes Yankee management.
      So now they have to make a strong September run. Not the worst thing, mind you. Worked well for the Cards last year, and they were certainly not the best team in the majors. The issue remains: Can they do it? Do they have the team that can play quality baseball to win this thing? My answer is that they are going to have to do some things differently and that they should have started doing that months ago.

      • Mike

        You’re right, people were talking about playoffs back in June too. I for one wasn’t. I said I liked our chances. I don’t make guarantees in baseball or any sport for that matter. Yes we had the right to brag because we had the best record in the league, and yes Now we have the right to be a little worrisome because we can’t hit lick.

        And I agree with you they will have to do things differently to change this team around. As an article right before this mentioned, maybe more small ball.

        I’m just sick of everyone counting this team out as if last night was the end of the season.

    • Marcy

      Mike Lowell could have been–oops he was a Yankee, another mistake.
      Lowell might be out of the game now but there are some that think Alex is getting pretty close too and at least Lowell wasn’t – well, Alex and all the $$ and baggage that came with him.

      • FIPster Doofus

        Money, baggage, and that time in 2009 when he strapped the Yankees offense on his back en route to a championship. What a jerk.

      • DT

        Mike Lowell when he retired had a .674 OPS. His Career OPS is .805. ARod in his worst season yet has a .805 OPS matching Lowell’s career numbers. Basically ARod in decline is as good as or better than Lowell was for his career.

    • rek4gehrig

      This is precisely why I am not watching EPSN, reading the papers etc (not until the Yanks turn this around – which they will)

  • Marcy

    Anyone else surprised how few comments there are? This feels like a depressed fan base; me included, BTW. It’s interesting – in the late 90’s they brought in older stars and they won – the problem is that the team itself is old and the few younger guys – well, Gardner got hurt, Swisher is squeezing the bat like it’s the post-season, the pitching isn’t very good, the bullpen is bad, etc. And anyone who says because of Soriano they don’t miss Mo – remember it would make the bullpen that much deeper & that roster spot was never properly filled. If everyone knows that location is the last thing to return then why were they depending on Joba? It’s not even fair to him (yes, he looked better last night.) Everyone says Girardi is great w/a bullpen – well, maybe w/Mo it’s easy to be great; Look at all the appearances Logan has had and as bad as Joba’s been Derek Lowe is worse.
    I could go on and on and on but there are somethings that could have changed/been different even w/the injuries. Curtis Granderson was used way too much, Jeter was used way too much, even Robbie is used way too much; anyone would get worn down playing as much as they are. And BTW, just because Ichiro wanted to come to the Yankees didn’t mean the Yankees had to take him – they didn’t like the toolsy young Maxwell so they released him, years before they traded AJax (and Ian Kennedy & Phil Coke) for Granderson – nothing against Curtis but why can’t they trust and bring up their legit prospects? I heard Hawk Harrelson saying that Kenny Williams was trying to trade for AJax for a long time before he went to the Tigers. Ok, old complaint there.
    Aren’t there any players – outfielders (yes, I know they’re in the playoffs) that could come up and help? They need to give these guys a break and get some fresh young legs out there.
    I’m frustrated – they’re probably more frustrated but this time there is blame for management and while I know Hal doesn’t want to “act like his father” by talking to the press I hope he sees it-

    • Hoss

      Wow, I thought that I was the only person in the Yankee fanbase that thought the the Granderson trade would come back to haunt them for years! Giving up AJax, IPK and even the marginal Coke was way too much. Even Cashman as much as said so at the time.
      The trades after the 2009 championship and decisions to let Matsui and Damon walk in favor of Johnson and Winn were an abomination that no one gave Cashman proper “credit” for.

      • Bartolo’s Colon

        in hindsight, looks like the ajax trade will be a big miss by cashman. matsui and damon were not too good after 2009, so i don’t think you can get too upset there

        • Hoss

          Agreed that they were on the downward slope, but replacing them with Nick Johnson, Randy Winn et al? Was that advisable?

          • DT

            Randy winn was a bench player known for his defense. Gardner replaced Damon. Nick Johnson is a good hitter who can never stay healthy. He has a career .400 OBP which is great.

      • DT

        AJax and IPK for Grandy isn’t way too much if consider the fact that Ajax has had one really good offensive year( This year…or should i say the first half of this year) and IPK has been a pretty average starter in the offensive weak NL west, except last year where he outperformed his peripherals. All things considered Grandy outperformed Ajax by a bit in his first two years and IPK likely would not have made our rotation.

  • Hubward

    I believe in the clubhouse they know the hole they are in. I also believe they haven’t given up the ghost & are still working like crazy to turn the ship round, which is why it’s so depressing as a fan to see the results & performances remain the same for so long. Particularly as the offense was a concern right back in spring training. We’re left hoping for a change in fortune with no obvious reason for that change. Just blowing in the autumn wind hoping…

  • RossA

    If you have to pick one factor that underlies the skid, it’s age.

    The Yankees got great production from Jones and Ibanez, for example, early in the season. Old guys get tired and production tapers late in the year.

    ARod – a shell of his former self. Age.

    Teixeira – again, age takes its toll. Years of injuries, minor, lead to nagging, persistent injuries as you get older. He’s not really old, but this is the stuff that happens when you get on the wrong side of 3-0.

    Jeter – the exception, of course, having a great year. Can’t say anything bad about him. The only thing relevant to age is that a 26-30 year old Jeter having as good a year as this 38 year old version is, would have even better stats, and would be playing better SS.

    Pitchers – well, I guess the age thing isn’t glaring here. Our young pitcher is giving up tons of homers, and the oldest pitcher is the staff ace.

    On Cashman and the trade deadline, let’s not fool ourselves. There wasn’t alot of low hanging fruit available, and the fact is that General Managers are much smarter today, and teams like the Yankees simply cannot obtain “bargains” by trade any more. Teams ask for – and often get – incredible packages of talented young players in exchange for what is often nothing more than a washed up star. I’m sort of happy with the way Cashman has handled the team.

    The Yankees are Old. I’m not complaining. They are still good. But to think that a team this old was going to steamroller their way to a 105 win season was wishful thinking. I hope they make the playoffs. If ARod continues to produce like a league average player, if Pettitte doesn’t turn in consistent quality starts, if guys like Martin and Ichiro don’t pick up their offense a bit, the Yankees have a high likelihood of missing the playoffs. The race is too close.

  • BTG

    It’s very simple. This team does not get base hits. They walk and they (used to) hit home runs, but they don’t advance runners or score men with singles and doubles. When you are overly reliant on home runs and you stop hitting them, you are not going to score. The 1990’s Yankee teams took walks and hit home runs (although not 40), but they also had a bunch of hitters (not just two) that hit well over .300, including Paul O’Neill, Bernie Williams and Jeter. Even Tino and Posada didn’t bat less than .260. Teixeira, Granderson and, of course, Russell Martin don’t get hits often enough to justify their status as team stars. Swisher walks but at least bats close to .270 which is no great shakes anyway. Too many strike outs and not enough hits.

    • WhittakerWalt

      Have you ever heard of On Base Percentage? It’s kinda important.

      • TomH

        Sure it’s important, especially when a good chunk of it is made up of active hits more than mere walks. HITS, high average HITS. Singles, doubles, triples–that sort of thing. Look at some of those high-end career .obp’s that came with BASE HITS: singles, doubles, triples. Lots of them. The kinds of HITS for lack of which the Yankees are, in significant measure, dying.

        • WhittakerWalt

          It was mostly a response to Swisher’s .270 being “no great shakes” when batting average isn’t a big part of Swisher’s game.

          • TomH

            I’m sorry. I pulled the trigger too soon.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      2012 AL average: 256/320/412 2012 Yankees: 261/332/450 110 wRC+
      1996 AL average: 277/350/445 1996 Yankees: 288/360/436 103 wRC+
      1997 AL average: 271/340/445 1997 Yankees: 286/362/436 111 wRC+
      1998 AL average: 271/340/432 1998 Yankees: 288/364/460 117 wRC+
      1999 AL average: 275/347/439 1999 Yankees: 282/366/453 111 wRC+

      Comparing to the offense to the 90’s teams really isn’t a fair comparison. Offense is much weaker across baseball now than in the late 90’s. The overall offense related to league average is about the same this year as it was in the late 90’s (better overall now than 1996, worse now than 1998, about the same the other years). It does seem those teams overall offense was achieved a bit more with stronger average and a bit less reliant on power.

      I’d like to see the Yankees find more players in the high average mold, but the problem is there aren’t all that many available, especially if they aren’t willing to add big contracts.

  • Kevin

    I’m in England so don’t get to watch many Yankees games sadly, but when I do I think I’ve noticed something – perhaps you guys can confirm for me?

    I recall one of the Yankees’ great strengths was working the count?! Look at a few pitches, guage the pitcher, take accept a walk, build up the pitching count, hit the bad/tired ball. From what I’ve seen, Yanekes don’t look like they’re doing that anymore? It’s all swing/miss, swing/miss, swing/miss. Occasionally one goes swing/thwack…..but because nobody is on base it is doing minimal damage.

    As I say, I have a limited sample to work from, but checking the box scores each morning it seems like there might be a pattern to it?

    • Hoss

      Opposing pitchers seem to have caught on to this, and have been throwing strikes instead of nibbling with Yankee hitters. Most have been good enough to set them up, in fact. They are extremely susceptible to the change up, because they are sitting on fastballs.
      The fact that one can generalize like this about a lineup is a problem in and of itself.

    • RossA

      This is getting harder and harder to do. Umpires are calling alot more strikes than they did in the 1990s. The stats of pitchers overall this season are off the charts good. Fewer fly balls land in the seats (less steroid use), which I think is encouraging pitchers to throw the ball in the strike zone more often, challenge hitters more.

      And while not relevant to walks, more and more defenses are employing extreme shifts, and that takes tons of base hits out of the league. You see a guy hit a hard ground ball up the middle these days and there’s a guy standing there to field it. Didn’t used to be this way.

      The Yankees shift some, but not in the extreme like Tampa. Tampa has some of the best pitching in the league. Hmmmmm.

    • rek4gehrig

      “I’m in England so don’t get to watch many Yankees games sadly”

      Lucky you. You’ve been spared this madness cos watching the Yanks now is like watching paint dry.

    • DT

      The hitter have been overly aggressive suddenly..especially swisher, who’s motif for the last 3 seasons was to work the count. Now he is flailing away. Same with Robbie except he always did that.

  • Ro

    The Yanks will still win the division. This losing is a collective effort from the entire team, but I am more suspect of the offensive and frankly, the defense over pitching these days. The pitching while not top 5 has been overall solid, good enough to keep the Yanks in the game at most times. It’s really the offense that’s been a disaster this entire season, with the exception of the homer. Granderson and Cano both have been disappointing this season. A quick glance at their RBI totals will prove Mike’s point about being very one dimensional this year. They score themselves, which isn’t good enough. I’ve become very concerned about Granderson. Sure, he hits for power/homers, but it’s to the point that he is pretty much useless at the plate for anything else. Problem is you don’t drop a 40 homer guy to 6th/7th in the line-up, so the Yanks feel compelled to bat him 2nd or 5th. This is becoming more of a predicament than expected and I have to wonder if Granderson is playing himself out of New York after next season. I also think there are beginning signs of legitimate concern for Cano. Not injury, not even overall production, just yet, but there is the chance he could begin to regress a little or even stagnant for a period of time. I’d take Cano all day every day as my 2nd basemen for the next 5 years, but I am questioning his demeanor a bit on the field and if he’s going to cost $140mm +, well it makes you think about resigning him also. I believe he’ll be fine, he needs a kick in the back from Jose (father). Teixeria actually hasn’t been that bad. He’s actually been a fairly productive hitter this year. Arod, well, what can one say. Jeter’s been great, but looking forward to next season, you can’t expect him to replicate this. Anything close, great. Swisher is a bit streaky these days, but he’s been here 4 years and I just don’t see the Yanks signing him for another 4 or 5. Not happening.

    I’m actually sensing some big changes for this team going into the offseason. Its to that point where you need to move Arod in the DH role for 120 games and have him in the field for maybe 40. The Yanks need to get younger at 3rd and they need a guy like Anthony Rendon and before anyone jumps off a cliff “the Yanks don’t have the pieces” they do, to get him. He’s still only a prospect and pretty much blocked, at least for now. I also would be keen on them going after Justin Upton. Again they have the pieces to make both of these deals work. The Nat’s have asked about Gardner for two years. I’d move Gardner and Tyler Austin or Campos or Gardner, Hughes and Phelps for Rendon. As for Upton, I wonder is something like Granderson (who would cost the same for the year) + Nunez + Campos/De Paula + Romine gets it done?

    The Yanks need to fast track Sanchez, Williams, Banuelos and Pineda at this point. No more excuses. With the exception of Williams and Pineda (provided healthy in the Spring) these 4 players should be on the team next year. The talent is there and this is starting to get ridiculous with the Yanks not having these younger players come up and being able to perform. Spare me the bullshit about ruining their development. Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, along with a young Arod and many other players have proved this theory wrong at times. Sanchez, sure, as a catcher requires a greater deal of development, but if Mason Williams is healthy next Spring, then he should be playing on this team sometime after July, even if for a short period. Ditto for Banuelos as this point. I don’t care if he’s 1-8 up to July 1st. Get this kid in some real MLB action.

    • Ro

      …and I don’t believe the pitching is “the issue” going into the offseason, believe it or not.

      CC
      Kuroda (who I do believe will be an easy resign considering he is very selective about where he goes) In fact MLBTR rumored the Padres would be interested in him, which I though was absurd knowing what we do about Kuroda and wanting to pitch places were it matters.
      Nova or Hughes (yeah, yeah I know, they’ve been horrible much of the season)
      Pettitte (yes, I think the Yanks extend him another offer to come back)
      Pineda or Banuelos (out of the gate in Spring and spare me the “they’re not ready bull.” This is provided both are healthy. If they are, give one of them the freaking 5th spot. The A’s are a great example is flying by the seat with some young arms who weren’t that hot the first few months, but now all are like Cy “freaking” Young.

      Two of Hughes, Nova and Phelps will be traded I believe.

  • lt

    Put Cervelli in the lineup.

    First, he should never have been sent down for Stewart, second, he always gives this team a jolt, third, he gets big hits, fourth, he can’t do any worse throwing out runners than what we have, fourth, he can bunt, fifth, he plays with enthusiasm.

    Cervelli won’t solve all the problems, but it’s a start. Along with Nunez, a bit of youth can’t hurt…especially youth that has big league experience.

    • Better off Eddard

      Couldn’t agree more. Cervelli needs to play tonight. Nunez needs to be in there vs the LHP. Either DH Jeter or A-Rod to get him in there, defense be damned. We need to score runs, period. Bench Martin, bench Jones. Play Pearce. Stop trotting the same failures out there and expect different results!

      • DC

        Dear It:

        The fact that Eddard agrees with you should give you pause to rethink the Cervelli stance.

        Sincerely,

        DC

      • Ted Nelson

        So instead of rational evaluations of large enough sample sizes, we should reactionarily shuffle AAAA players in every time a proven player has a slump?

    • DC

      “he always gives this team a jolt”

      Yeah, by throwing the ball to centerfield instead of second.

      • Hoss

        Fist pumps for everybody!!!

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      “he can’t do any worse throwing out runners than what we have”

      He can. He has.
      And even worse, not only does he not throw runners out, he throws the ball into CF to give the runners extra bases.

      I’m all for giving him a shot, especially ahead of Stewart, but let’s not pretend Cervelli is something he’s not.

    • Tampa Yankee

      Cervelli had a OPS around 650 in AAA, what makes you think he would do better? The guy has like 1 hr, numerous fist pumps and all of a sudden he’s a star. F that noise.

      • Klemy

        I fear that you may not be giving proper respect to said fistpumps!

        • DC

          I’ve heard fistbumps are worth .5fWAR over a full season.

    • WhittakerWalt

      You seem to have forgotten that Cervellis is horrible. Like, cover-your-eyes-when-he-releases-the-ball horrible.

  • paul a

    According to Hal Steinbrenner in todays paper, Cashmans or Girardi’s job is not in jepordy. My question is who is going to be held responsible for this mess. Granted the players are the onesmbut they are not the ones who put this roster together. Every year it seems the game plan is to surround the starting eight or nine with these one year bargain basement players. And quite simply that equation dosn’t work. I don’t know what the off season game plan is. It appears the team will once again not be a big player in this years free agent crop, and since they are no saviors in the minors, 2013 looks as if it will be even worse than this.Next year we will be this years version of the Red Sox.

    • JohnC

      Nice to know you have it all figured out already. So lets just go ahead and cancel next season then since you already know what the yanks are gonna do.

    • DC

      I hope you were pounding your fist into a desk as you typed this. I need that visual.

  • Naved

    Panic Mode as set in at RAB.

    • Klemy

      Actually, that kind of set in a few days ago.

    • DC

      Have you missed the past few game threads?

      This sums them up:

      http://youtu.be/5ilGGP9BDZs

  • Frank Messer

    If I wake up tomorrow and the Yankees are out of first, someone other than me is going to have a really bad day.

  • rek4gehrig

    Tonight we turn this around.

    • Frank Messer

      where have we heard that before? oh yeah, now I know

  • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

    We are tied for first. We are angry. We have tons of injured guys who will be back and have just come back. We are playing crappy teams soon. We can still win the division and certainly make the playoffs even without

    Jesus.

  • DSF

    Blaming the fringe players is not fair. The Yankees have lost their division lead because the in-prime stars are having subpar seasons. Sabathia and Cano should be carrying the team but they have come up small during the 2nd half (CC has really been shaky IMO since the second half last year). Granderson and Tex are awful/injured. Regardless of their history and amount of their contracts, Jeter and A-Rod should not be expected to carry this team anymore.

    • WhittakerWalt

      CC is a big disappointment. When’s the last team you thought to yourself “don’t worry, CC’s pitching! We got this.”?

    • Ro

      Dude, come on. Tex has been money at 1st base. He’s hit pretty well this season. Freaking panic. No Cano, Granderson, Arod deserve more blame than Tex.

      Edit * Arod get’s the Nancy Reagan treatment so we’ll omit him from the blaming part. Granderson is the one who’s really pissing me off, personally. Dude is pretty much become an automatic out and I’m really conflicted about what the Yanks should do with him. I’d trade his 34 homers in a heartbeat for another .320 lefthanded Jeter hitter in that 2 hole.

    • Ted Nelson

      We should blame players for getting injured?

  • mick taylor

    i blame girardi for the decision to send nunez down in april. he is the only young hitter they had who could manufacture runs with his bat and legs like gardner. instead they kept that useless piece of crap andruw jones. if nunez fielding was so bad , they could have dh’d him occasionally and lived with some of the errors.

    • JohnC

      glad to see I’m not the only one who can’t stand Jones

  • Jose M. Vazquez

    We will win the division but I dare not go beyond that. Like you fans above I don’t know why we have no good young position players available. Don’t blame the CBA or that we finish at or near the top every year. A team like the Cardinals who are always near the top is able to develop pretty good young players. The Reds are another example. Why haven’t we done the same?

    • Klemy

      I think the Reds have a bit of a small sample of finishing toward the top. They had a lot of bottom finishes not so long ago to stock up. They weren’t giving up draft picks to sign type A free agents, that helped too, while we were off winning now and stuff.

      • Jose M. Vazquez

        Agreed.

  • dc874

    Clutch players from the past added mid-season….cecil fielder…david justice…chili davis..that type of player we should have picked up at the deadline….

    • WhittakerWalt

      Chili Davis was not a midseason acquisition.

    • Ted Nelson

      Too bad all those guys have been retired for years…

      Who did you want this deadline and at what price?

  • Herby

    How nice would it be to still have Tyler Clippard still on this team now too. Odds are he probably would’ve been traded away by now anyway. Young pitchers just don’t stand a chance around here.

    • Marcy

      Just as Buck didn’t know what Mo was in ’95 Cashman didn’t know what Clippard was; did they even try him in the pen?

      • Mike

        Actually Showalter did know what he had in Mo, he went as far as asking Mo to pitch in relief and said he liked what he saw, he liked it so much that against Seattle he gave Rivera the ball in relief.

        It was Buck’s idea to try Mariano as a reliever instead of as a starter, but JoeT took the credit because that’s the way he has always been, and won with what Buck and Geno created.

    • Ted Nelson

      Every team has a Tyler Clippard or five that they gave up on as a starter…

  • Marcy

    Probably not the right place but I’m glad we finally got back online – does it seem to anyone else that more pitchers have gotten hurt this year on comebackers?

  • Mike

    WOW Mr. Axisa, your hatred for Ichiro made you oblivious to the fact that Curtis Granderson has not been in a three month slump, but merely a two year slump, batting barely above 0.235 in those now 10 months of baseball.

    If you insert Ichiro in the 3rd slot instead of Granderson, you’d have way better results than with the K’man himself in there, striking out like there is no tomorrow. Sure, Suzuki’s peripheral stats look awful because he is not producing, but how can he produce when he is batting in between mediocre hitters like Ibáñez, Rusell Martin, and Andruw Jones?

    Yeah, Ichiro doesn’t get on base at the same “awesome” clip of 0.320 Granderson does, but would you rather have Curtis Granderson batting with Jeter on second base or Ichiro? Take into consideration that when Suzuki gets on base is mostly via hits, while Granderson either fans out or takes a walk, which doesn’t help because the only dangerous hitter after Granderson has been either Canó or a punchless ARod.

    Why do the Yanks fail so much with men on base? A lot has to do with allowing Granderson bat 2nd and 3rd most of the year, a free swinger who hits 70-80% of his homeruns with nobody on base, and has a ‘fantastic’ 0.239 AVG with men on base. A lot has to do with allowing Rusell Martin play all season. To not reprimand Andruw Jones for not hustling, he also didn’t hustle with the Braves and got taken out of the game a couple of times by Bobby Cox, he didn’t hustle with the Rangers and he was lifted by Washington. Nowadays he doesn’t hustle and JoeG only says “I am happy with my players effort”.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      wow this post is just insane.

      Ichiro sucks. Big time.
      The great Ichiro wRISP for the Yankees: 200/243/257
      Ichiro with men on base for the Yankees 204/232/278
      But yeah, more of that please. Bat him third. Much better results. If you completely ignore Ichiro’s performance.

      Yeah, I’d rather have Granderson with men on base. He hasn’t been good in those spots, but Ichiro has been drastically, god awfully, worse.

      LOL at 2 year slump. He was an MVP candidate last year. Because of his offense.

  • OMG! Bagels!

    I hated interview after interview about how things will come around and people will come around and that’s the way it goes and blah blah and there goes the season.

    Oh well, win some/lose some.

    Boss is spinning in his grave.

  • Ted Nelson

    Have to disagree about the deadline. Way too short-term a view to take. Winning the trade deadline is as much about what you give up as what you get.

    It’s mostly about injuries. They’ve suffered an insane number. They’ve had four SPs hurt at some point. Their closer. Two or three of their middle of the order bats. Take 7 or 8 key guys off any team and they’ll lose. It’s a testimate to their depth that they’ve handled this many injuries and are tied for first.

    • Ted Nelson

      And injuries are not an excuse… They are the root cause of those problems. The guys at the bottom of the order would not even be in the order without injuries. Pineda, Pettitte, and Mo might be among their best Ps. Nova and CC’s performances might be impacted by injury. You wouldn’t be whining about the deadline if the team stayed healthy and had a 5 game lead.

      It all boils down to injuries. Rational analysis is not an excuse.

  • Marcy

    I hope they win – that picture up there says it all. Moore needs an off-night and we need a smiling picture to replace that.

    Good luck all -

  • DUgan

    The Picture says it all!! Put a large fork in them.I