Listless Yankees get swept by the A’s with a 7-3 loss

Mike Stobe/Getty Images

It hurts to get swept. It hurts even more when it happens at your home. The Yankees have lost seven out of their last nine and are 5-9 for season. On the bright side, Luis Severino pitched a pretty nice game and the offense delivered three hits in RISP situations (3-for-11, which certainly is better than 2-for-49). But in the end, on the night that Prince passed away, the Yankees partied like it’s the early-90’s: getting swept by the Oakland Athletics.

Back and Forth

The Yankees had a dance with RISP situations in the second. Rich Hill walked Mark Teixeira and A-Rod to begin the frame. Chase Headley followed it up by hitting into your usual 1-4-3 fielder’s choice out to put the runners second and third. Aaron Hicks snapped his 0-for-17 skid and poured some relief in the Yankee RISP drought with a bloop single to drive Tex in for a 1-0 lead. Well, Yankees had two more chances with RISP that inning and they failed to bring another one in (Austin Romine and Ronald Torreyes both K’d). Busts!

Severino got into a bit of a trouble in the fourth. He allowed a back foot slider double to Josh Reddick to start the inning. Jed Lowrie hit a low changeup into right for an RBI single, tying the game at one apiece. Stephen Vogt added more pressure with another single but Severino cleaned it up with a Chris Coghlan fly out and striking out both Khris Davis and Coco Crisp. Not too much harm done.

In the bottom of fourth with one out, A-Rod walked. As he attempted to steal second, Hill tried to pick him off at first but he badly overthrew the 1B Mark Canha, advancing A-Rod to third. The Yankees got another run in with Romine’s two-out swinging bunt single that was just placed niftily. Another RISP hit! 2-1. Unfortunately, that would be the last lead that New York had for the rest of the game.

The A’s tied it right back in the top of fifth. With two outs, and on a 2-2 count, Severino hung a slider up the zone that Canha reached and sent it to the right field seats for a home run. 2-2.

Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Severino, who had a 5.91 ERA coming into tonight, had an outing much more like himself. He pitched six innings of two-run ball while striking out four. He now has a 4.86 ERA with 3.47 FIP. I expect that ERA to keep climbing down in next few outings. Like Nathan Eovaldi last night, I feel like he pitched himself to an outing deserving of a win. However, baseball is harder than that – it certainly isn’t easy when you have the Yankee offense hitting like how they have for past week or so.

The Downward Spiral

Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Chasen Shreve, who had been great in the young season, came in the seventh to relieve Severino. In the first two pitches, he gave up two solo homers. Khris Davis and Coco Crisp both jumped on first pitches to give Oakland a 4-2 lead. Not ideal. It also seemed quite hard to ask Yankee offense to score two.

In the next frame though, Brett Gardner led off with a walk. Brian McCann followed it up with a strikeout and Didi Gregorius flied out to make it two quick outs. Jacob Ellsbury singled to give a breathe of hope to rally and Starlin Castro followed up with an RBI single to bring it within one, 4-3. Hope!

The A’s weren’t done though. In the top of eighth, with Johnny Barbato on the mound, Chris Coghlan hit a two out, two-run homer to make it a three-run lead, 6-3 A’s. Oakland added another run in the top ninth off Kirby Yates with a Canha sac fly, 7-3. If the game wasn’t out of reach already, well, they had done it there.

Leftovers

Ellsbury has not had the best defensive display this season but he saved a run in the first inning. With speedy Billy Burns on the first, Canha hit a liner that appeared to be a gap double. Ellsbury ran a good route and dove all-out to make a highlight reel catch. He also had a good night at the plate; going 3-for-5, raising his average to .255.

Hicks showed off his cannon arm again. In the top of sixth, Jed Lowrie hit a single to left and tried to stretch it to double. Hicks threw another laser to second that got Lowrie out pretty, pretty easily. It was really not close at all.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 8.52.19 PM

The Yankees had three relievers in the game and each of them allowed at least a run – Shreve and Barbato each allowed two and Yates, one. Sure, they are no Dellin Betances or Andrew Miller but… just not the team’s night at all. But hey, at least they didn’t face the same fate as the Cincinnati Reds.

Box Score, WPA, Highlights and Standings

Here’s box score, updated standings, video highlights and WPA.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees welcome Tampa Bay Rays for a three-game series for this weekend. The big man CC Sabathia is going to look to turn it around for the Yankees while the Rays will send out Matt Moore.

DotF: Sanchez goes deep; Kaprielian strikes out nine

OF Slade Heathcott is day-to-day with a contusion after taking a pitch to the hand last night, reports Shane Hennigan. X-rays came back negative, so that’s good.

Triple-A Scranton (6-5 loss to Buffalo)

  • CF Ben Gamel & RF Aaron Judge: both 1-5 — Gamel struck out
  • C Gary Sanchez: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB — second homer of the year
  • DH Rob Refsnyder: 1-4, 1 R, 1 K
  • 1B Chris Parmelee: 1-2, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 BB, 1 K
  • RHP Luis Cessa: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 5/3 GB/FB — 37 of 57 pitches were strikes (65%) … first start here after one tune-up relief appearance
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 28 of 45 pitches were strikes (62%)
  • LHP James Pazos: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB — half of his 22 pitches were strikes

[Read more…]

Game 14: The Elusive Third Run

(Mike Stobe/Getty)
(Mike Stobe/Getty)

The Yankees stink right now. They’ve lost six of their last seven games, and they’ve scored two runs or fewer in all six losses. The Yankees are 5-1 when they score three or more runs this season and 0-7 when they’re held to two or less. That third run has been pretty big so far. Too bad it has been so hard to come by of late.

Those six losses in the last seven games are in the books. Nothing the Yankees can do about them now. Today is another opportunity to bust out of the slump, get some runs on the board, and start a winning streak. There are 149 games to be played. The season is still mighty young. Here is the A’s lineup and here is the Yanks’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. 2B Starlin Castro
  3. RF Carlos Beltran
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. DH Alex Rodriguez
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. LF Aaron Hicks
  8. C Austin Romine
  9. SS Ronald Torreyes
    RHP Luis Severino

The Yankees have stunk during this homestand but the weather has not. Another great day in New York today. A tad cool, but there are only a few clouds in the sky. Pretty great. Today’s game is scheduled to begin at 7:05pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Brett Gardner (neck) is available to play today, Joe Girardi confirmed this afternoon.

YES Update: FOX regional sports affiliates, including YES, can now be streamed on Sling TV. It’s $20 a month — there’s a free seven-day trial — so it’s not free, but it’s not too pricey either. You will be able to stream Yankees games on YES, even if you’re in-market and a currently dealing with the Comcast nonsense. Here’s the Sling TV link. I’m going to post this reminder one last time tomorrow, so if you know someone who may be interested, don’t forget to tell them.

2016 Draft: Nolan Jones

Nolan Jones | SS

Background
Jones attends Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, which is about halfway between Trenton and Philadelphia, so he’s kinda sorta local to the Yankees. He is 10-for-14 (.714) with a double, a triple, two home runs, and ten walks through six games this spring. Jones impressed with his ability to handle advanced prep arms from warm weather states in showcase events last summer. He’s slated to attend Virginia in the fall.

Scouting Report
At 6-foot-4 and 185 lbs., most expect Jones to outgrow shortstop and move to either second or third base down the line. His bat will play anywhere, however. The left-handed hitter has a drool worthy offensive skill set. Jones has very strong hands and good raw power, yet his swing is simple and controlled, allowing him to barrel up the ball consistently. He knows the strike zone and looks very much like a player with the potential to hit for a high average with power and on-base ability down the line. The kid can even run a little. Defensively, Jones has a strong arm — he’s been clocked at 88-91 mph off the mound — and good hands, so third base won’t be an issue if that’s where he ends up.

Miscellany
In their latest rankings, Keith Law (subs. req’) and Baseball America ranked Jones as the 14th and 16th best prospect in the draft class, respectively. MLB.com had him further down at No. 29. The Yankees hold the 18th overall pick. I’m just an idiot with a blog, so take the following with a grain of salt: Jones strikes me as an underrated draft prospect who would be getting much more attention if he were playing year round in California or Texas. I get that he hasn’t faced great competition as a high schooler, but he did rake against the best of the best in showcases last year, and the tools are very impressive. Virginia commitments can be tough to break, and if Jones winds up going to college, he has a chance to come out as potential No. 1 pick in three years.

Yankees want to see improvement from Severino, not just the offense, Thursday against the A’s

(Elsa/Getty)
(Elsa/Getty)

When a team struggles offensively, especially as much as the Yankees have struggled of late, it’s almost like nothing else matters. The bats have been comically bad these last few games, and there’s nothing in baseball more frustrating than not scoring runs. I’d rather watch a good offense/bad pitching team over a bad offense/good pitching team any day of the week.

As the offense has struggled, it’s been easy to overlook the way the rotation has started to turn the corner. The Yankees have had their starter complete six full innings — a very modest goal, of course — five times in the last seven games, and during that time the rotation has gone from a 5.97 ERA to a 5.01 ERA. Don’t get me wrong, that’s still not great, but it’s progress. They’re moving the right direction.

Young Luis Severino will make his third start of the season tonight, and the first two weren’t all that good. He allowed three runs on ten hits and no walks in five innings against the Tigers first time out, and last week the Mariners tagged him for four runs on eight hits and a walk in 5.2 innings. Two starts is two starts. Every pitcher is going to struggle at some point or another. It’s not a big deal yet.

Severino is a 22-year-old kid who came into the season with some clear developmental goals, most notably commanding his offspeed stuff a little better. He tends to leave his slider up in the zone more than anything. Here is the location of every slider Severino threw in his first two starts, via Baseball Savant:

Luis Severino sliders

Through two starts Severino has thrown 57 sliders, and opponents have more hits (nine) than swings and misses (five) against the pitch. Eight of the nine hits are singles (the other is a double), but still. That is: bad. Slider location is an obvious flaw Severino and pitching coach Larry Rothschild have to correct, and Severino is well aware of it.

“I think I’m trying too much. I’m pulling (my slider), not just throwing it, like I was in Spring Training,” said Severino to Brendan Kuty earlier this week. “I’m missing spots. I’m missing pitches. I’m not commanding my top stuff, and that’s the difference … I’ve been battling myself over there. I have to be better.”

Severino’s potential is so obvious when you watch him on the mound. He has true front of the rotation ability, but like any kid his age, he still has some things to work on. Unlike most kids his age, Severino has to work on them while pitching for the New York Yankees and being hyped up as the next great thing. That can be daunting, though I’ve been impressed by Severino’s poise in his 13 big league starts, and I think we can make those adjustments on the fly.

The story of tonight’s series finale against the Athletics is the offense. The Yankees need to get their bats going, if for no other reason than my sanity. Not scoring runs is just the worst. Severino’s start is a huge sidebar though. He’s struggled his first two times out and we all want to see that frontline ability we saw last year. Severino’s not just some kid they’re breaking in. He’s an important part of the team, and the Yankees need him to be successful.

Let’s try to find a bad contract-for-bad contract trade for Jacoby Ellsbury

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Jacoby Ellsbury is a problem. Following last night’s 1-for-3 game, he is hitting .263/.321/.383 (95 wRC+) with 4.8 WAR in two years and 13 games as a Yankee. He’s now 32 years old, his defense is kinda sorta slipping, and he is still under contract for another four years and 149 games. Ellsbury is talented and he could certainly turn things around, but yeah. Outlook not so good.

Trading Ellsbury is far-fetched. He’s owed roughly $110M through 2020, and very few teams can and will be open to taking on that much money. Did you see how long it took good outfielders like Justin Upton and Yoenis Cespedes to sign this past offseason? Ellsbury’s value is down well below those two. And oh by the way he has a full no-trade clause, so he can shoot down any deal. Not great, Bob.

Unless the Yankees eat a ton of money, which just isn’t happening, any Ellsbury trade would have to be a bad contract-for-bad contract trade. Those trades are surprisingly rare — straight salary dumps are much more common — but they do happen from time to time. At Ellsbury’s pay grade though? Forget it. It’s never happened at that salary. Moving Ellsbury in a bad contract-for-bad contract deal would be unprecedented. Not impossible, just unprecedented.

The number of teams with a similar bad contracts to trade are limited — there are lots of bad contracts out there, but few have over $100M remaining — and even fewer need a player like Ellsbury. Finding a match is tough. Here are four possible fits — I guess it’s five, but there’s no sense in listing the Red Sox and some ridiculous Pablo Sandoval scenario — for a bad contract-for-bad contract trade that sends Ellsbury elsewhere. The teams are listed alphabetically.

The Team: Los Angeles Angels
The Player: Albert Pujols
The Remaining Money: $165M through 2021

Does It Make Sense For The Angels? Oh yes. The Halos would shed more than $50M in future salary obligation and get a more dynamic two-way player. They could stick C.J. Cron at first base full-time, put Ellsbury in the leadoff spot and in either center or left field (Mike Trout has played a ton of left field), and then find a cheap DH. Angels GM Billy Eppler may have some lingering affinity for Ellsbury dating back to his time as Brian Cashman‘s right hand man.

Does It Make Sense For the Yankees? Nope. Even if the two teams finagle the money so the Yankees don’t take on any additional cash, New York would be acquiring the older and much more one-dimensional player. The last thing they need is another lumbering DH type on the wrong side of 35. Sure, they could stick Pujols at first base and let Mark Teixeira leave next offseason, then put Pujols at DH and Greg Bird at first when Alex Rodriguez retires the offseason after that, but yuck. This one doesn’t work for the Yankees at all. That Pujols contract is the worst contract in baseball.

(Denis Poroy/Getty)
(Denis Poroy/Getty)

The Team: San Diego Padres
The Players: Matt Kemp and James Shields
The Remaining Money: $117.75M through 2018 plus another $20.25M in 2019

Does It Make Sense For The Padres? It might! They’re currently rebuilding and looking to both shed money and add prospects. Ellsbury for the Kemp/Shields duo wouldn’t net them any prospects, but it would wipe almost $30M off the books, reduce their annual payroll through 2018, and also land them an upgrade in the outfield. Kemp has a degenerative condition in his hips and is a year or two away from being a first baseman or DH, and DHs do not exist in the NL. Ellsbury gives them the kind of speedy contact hitter who would ostensibly thrive in spacious Petco Park.

Does It Make Sense For the Yankees? Again: it might! Shields’ contract complicates things because he can opt-out after the season. If Shields opts out, the the Padres would actually end up taking on money in this trade because he would be walking away from $44M. I suppose the two sides could work out a conditional trade — if Shields opts out, the Yankees send a prospect or two over, or kick in more money — but when things start getting that complicated, bet against it happening.

If nothing else, Shields would give the Yankees an innings guy even though he’s dangerously close to a Sabathia-esque decline. Kemp would fit in decently. They could put him in left this year to replace Ellsbury, then put him and Aaron Judge in the corners next season since Carlos Beltran will be gone, and then put him at DH once A-Rod retires. Kemp would also add another righty bat. Would the Yankees take on money to move Ellsbury and take two declining players in return though? Seems unlikely.

Kemp alone would not work — the Padres owe him only $73M through 2019, so significantly less than the Yankees owe Ellsbury — so Kemp plus Shields it is. The Yankees would be taking on more money in the short-term, screwing up their plan to get under the luxury tax threshold, but the contracts would be off the books a year sooner. That’s not something that should be glossed over. They’d get out of the bad deal(s) sooner.

The Team: Seattle Mariners
The Player: Robinson Cano
The Remaining Money: $192M through 2023

Does It Make Sense For The Mariners? Yes if the only goal is shedding approximately $80M and three years worth of contract. No if the goal is improving the roster. Cano is a better player than Ellsbury, there’s no doubt about that, and the difference in the contract commitments is massive. Seattle doesn’t have a ready made second base replacement and they don’t really need another outfielder, so Ellsbury doesn’t fit their roster, at least not in the super short-term. Their motivation for a Cano-for-Ellsbury deal would be dumping all that money.

Does It Make Sense For the Yankees? No for a few reasons. One, that’s way too much money to take on. The Yankees had a chance to re-sign Cano and balked at that price. I personally would rather have Cano for ten years and $240M than Ellsbury for seven years and $153M, but that’s just me. Obviously the Yankees feel differently, otherwise Robbie would still be wearing pinstripes.

Two, the Yankees now have Starlin Castro at second base, so they don’t really need Cano. An Ellsbury plus Castro for Cano deal would be fun in an lolwtf way — it would also even out the money slightly — but c’mon. The Yankees aren’t going to add Castro to the trade and still take on $40M or so just to get rid of Ellsbury. Not happening.

In a vacuum where positions and things like that don’t matter, I’d trade Ellsbury for Cano in an instant. This ain’t no vacuum though. That stuff matters and neither player fits the roster of their would-be new team. Ellsbury for Cano seems like the kind of trade none of us would even consider had Cano not been a Yankee once upon a time.

The Team: Texas Rangers
The Player: Shin-Soo Choo
The Remaining Money: $102M through 2020

Does It Make Sense For The Rangers? Finally, a trade that seems remotely plausible. Ellsbury and Choo both signed seven-year contracts two offseasons go, and while Ellsbury received an additional $23M in guaranteed money, Choo’s deal was back-loaded, so the two are owed similar dollars from 2016-20. Bridging the gap between the $102M left on Choo’s deal and the $110M left on Ellsbury’s doesn’t seem like it would be a huge issue, right?

(Christian Petersen/Getty)
(Christian Petersen/Getty)

Rangers GM Jon Daniels has reportedly coveted Ellsbury for years, so I’m sure there’s still some level of interest there. The problem? The Rangers have a good young center fielder and leadoff hitter in Delino DeShields Jr., who is making close to the league minimum. Texas also has a top flight center field prospect in Lewis Brinson at Triple-A. They have options at that position, so it’s not a pressing need.

Either way, the Rangers will have a declining veteran outfielder making $20M+ a year through 2020 on their roster. The question is whether they prefer Choo or Ellsbury, who are very different players. Ellsbury is the two-way threat and Choo is the bat first guy. They both have their pluses and minuses. This would almost be like a change of scenery trade.

Does It Make Sense For the Yankees? I think so, even if the money is evened out. The Yankees need Choo’s offense — he’s hit .259/.360/.419 (114 wRC+) with the Rangers, including .276/.375/.463 (127 wRC+) in 2015 — more than they need Ellsbury’s two-way skill set. Choo slots in perfectly in left field in the short-term, then at DH in the long-term once A-Rod is gone. As with the Rangers, the Yankees are going to have a declining veteran outfielder making $20M+ a year on their roster no matter what. Would they prefer that player to be Choo or Ellsbury?

* * *

It goes without saying those four bad contract-for-bad contract trades above are all pretty unrealistic and very unlikely to happen. This just goes to show how tough it would be to move Ellsbury without eating a significant chunk of money. It’s not impossible, crazier things have happened, but his trade value is very low for the time being. And of course there’s the whole no trade clause thing.

My sense is the Yankees really like Ellsbury as a player and wouldn’t look to move him in a bad contract-for-bad contract deal. Their best course of action is to remain patient and hope he shakes off his slow start, and gets back to being the dynamic leadoff hitter he was prior to his knee injury last year. Ellsbury’s contract is really bad, and while trading him seems like a good idea, it’s very possible the best bang for all that buck will come from Ellsbury, not a declining player on another team’s roster.

Some calm and collected thoughts about the struggling Yankees’ offense

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees lost for the sixth time in seven games last night, and in all six losses, the team scored no more than two runs. They again blew scoring opportunities and went 1-for-whatever with runners in scoring position Wednesday night. The Yankees are struggling in a bad way right now. It would be easy to go on a bumbling tirade against the offense — I’ve done my fair share of that over the years — but let’s not do that. Let’s talk about this offensive malaise in a calm and rational way, because we’re adults. (Well, most of you are.)

1. Joe Girardi is the type of manager who stands up for his players through thick and thin, but even he had to call out Didi Gregorius for his base-running blunder in the seventh inning last night. It was that egregious. “It’s bad base-running. You’ve got to understand what your run means … That’s a blunder we have to take care of,” said Girardi after the game. Gregorius had the entire play in front of him and he still didn’t stop to make sure he wasn’t tagged out. That’s Baseball 101. Every team is going to go into an offensive funk at some point(s) throughout the season, that’s just the way the games goes. But when you start adding bad mental mistakes on top of it, things get ugly. That was a bad, bad play by Gregorius. It’s the kind of play that earns someone a spot on the bench for a day or two.

2. Given the way the Yankees are built — and the way every team is built, really — their offense starts at the top of the lineup, and right now Jacoby Ellsbury is hurting the club. He did have the double and yet another catcher’s interference last night, but through 51 plate appearances this season, Ellsbury is hitting .220/.264/.320 (63 wRC+) with three walks. He’s currently in a 1-for-15 slump. The Yankees are going to give Ellsbury an awfully long leash thanks to his contract, so I don’t expect him to be moved down in the lineup anytime soon. Maybe Ellsbury and Brett Gardner will flip flop and in the one-two spots or something, but hitting Ellsbury seventh or eighth? Not happening. Ellsbury has a history of getting hurt and staying hurt in a way that impacts his performance for weeks or months — that’s exactly what happened with last year’s knee injury — so I can’t help but think back to that pitch he took to the wrist in Spring Training. Either way, Ellsbury is part of the problem right now. A big part of it.

3. This to me is the is the single biggest reason the offense has sputtered so much recently. Here are numbers since the start of the homestand:

Mark Teixeira: 1-for-15 (.067)
Brian McCann: 1-for-16 (.063)

Teixeira’s slump actually dates back to the Detroit series (3-for-30), though, to be fair, he is still drawing a ton of walks and providing value that way. Teixeira and McCann are not high average hitters, but they do hit the ball out of the park, and right now they’re not doing that. They’re not hitting much of anything. Gardner and Carlos Beltran are the Yankees’ two hottest hitters — they have a combined .463 OBP on the homestand — so they’re putting the team in position to score. The two guys hitting behind them are slumping bad and those opportunities created by Gardner and Beltran are being wasted. That’s why those two have scored six total runs on the homestand despite that .463 OBP, and three of those six runs have come on their own home runs. Getting Teixeira and McCann going is Priority No. 1 in my opinion. They are the keys to turning this mess around.

4. The Aaron Hicks Hate Train seems to be up and running already. The guy has 21 plate appearances in 13 games and eight of them have come the last two nights. The Yankees took a player who is used to playing every day and made him into a bench player, and that can be a tough adjustment. It looks to me like Hicks is pressing and trying to do anything he can to impress during his limited playing time. He saw four pitches in three at-bats last night. This is a guy with a 10.0% walk rate in the big leagues and a 14.4% career walk rate in the minors. Hicks is making more of an effort to be aggressive and swing at pitches in the strike zone, but I doubt he wants to be this aggressive. He’s jumping at everything. That’s not his game. The Yankees are going to see a lot of left-handed starters over the next week — my guess is either Gardner sits against Rich Hill tonight if his neck is still stiff, or Alex Rodriguez sits and Beltran slots in at DH — and hopefully that allows Hicks to settle in and feel more comfortable. He has a new role with a new team in a new city. No wonder why he’s started slow.

5. The bottom of the lineup has been pretty abysmal of late. Chase Headley has had a rotten start to the season with the bat — he’s one of only five players with at least 40 plate appearances and zero extra base hits — and his only saving grace right now is his batting eye. He’s drawn eight walks and has a .333 OBP — he didn’t draw his eighth walk until Game 32 last year — which is fourth highest on the team, believe it or not. But still, walking only gets you so far. Eventually Headley is going to have to do something more than push a ground ball single through the infield. Gregorius had two hits including a homer last night to snap a 3-for-25 (.150) slide and Starlin Castro has quietly gone 7-for-38 (.184) since the end of the Astros series. That’s not a lot of production from the bottom of the lineup. No one expects those guys to carry the team offensively, but they do have to provide support, and it’s hasn’t happened of late. When your fourth and fifth hitters slump like Teixeira and McCann have, you look for others to pick up the slack, and the bottom third of the lineup ain’t doing it.

6. I don’t see any potential quick fix for the offense. I suppose Girardi could shake up the lineup, but even if he does that, what lineup should he use? Bat Gardner and Beltran first and second, then make them go up to the plate in the three through nine spots wearing everyone else’s jersey? The Yankees are not a true talent .189 hitting team with runners in scoring position because I don’t think any lineup in baseball history is a true talent .189 hitting team in any situation. At some point Ellsbury will go on one of his insane hot streaks, and at some point Teixeira and McCann will hit a baseball out of the park. It’s going to happen. How soon? Soon, hopefully. Right now the best (only?) thing the Yankees can do is stay the course, clean up the sloppy mistakes like Didi’s base-running blunder last night, and wait for their good at baseball players to start being good at baseball again.