The Yankees and the home-road split

Most of the Yankee fans I know have had the same, lone (whiny, and I include myself here too) complaint about the 2010 team: the offense just hasn’t clicked the way we’d hoped it would.

Yankee detractors can make the solid argument that Yankee fans are insane because the Yankees have the best offense in baseball, which is a fair point. But the counter-point this Yankee fan would make is that Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson have all had subpar offensive seasons. Imagine what the team could do if all its offensive gears were well oiled!

The team came back from the All-Star break and gave us all a glimmer of hope that the offense would come together in the second half. The Bombers pounded the ball on their nine-game homestand. With the exception of a two-run performance against the Angels and a four-run Saturday against the Royals, the Yankee offense put up anywhere between 5 and 12 runs in Yankee Stadium. Heck, even the struggling Curtis Granderson got in on the action.

Then the boys went to Cleveland. Sure, the team won the first game of the series, but it managed only three runs in that game and it took two home runs to do it. And let’s not relive Tuesday’s debacle.

To anyone paying close attention to the team’s home-road splits, the offensive drought to start the series in Cleveland shouldn’t have been a surprise. Here’s why:

The above is the lineup the Yankees have used the most this season. The following players on that list have hit well on the road this year: Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano. That is all.

The Yankees throw up a completely different lineup at home. In the Bronx they really are the Bombers. Curtis Granderson and Francisco Cervelli are their worst hitters, and even they’re not so bad in New York. But the real standouts are the guys who have been having subpar seasons: A-Rod, Tex and Jeter. At home those guys have been…A-Rod! Tex! And Jeter!

Take these guys out of the Stadium, and the lineup dissolves. Tex and A-Rod have been, at best, average on the road. Derek, meanwhile, defies description. I’d rather grant the opposition an out for his at-bats to avoid all the double plays he bounces into. But the pain doesn’t stop there. Jorge Posada and Brett Gardner fall apart on the road as well, especially Jorge, who I’m willing to let bat outside the Bronx, but only on the condition he try to draw a walk every time. For those who wonder why the team puts up a lot of National League scores when they leave home, there’s the answer.

Fortunately, the Yankees can pitch, which is why they are actually an excellent road team. Their 29-20 record away from home translates to a .592 winning percentage, which equals about 96 wins over 162 games. In all of baseball, only the Rays are better, at 33-18 on the road (shockingly, the Rays are better on the road than at home, where they sport a 28-20 record). So, despite their offensive struggles away from home, the Yankees are still the second-best road team in the game. But, man, imagine if that offense started clicking!

6 thoughts on “The Yankees and the home-road split

  1. Wow, those are some scary home/road splits.Jeter's OBP is .298 on the road? A-Rod's is .317?Keep this post away from children; it's absolutely terrifying.

  2. I find Jeter's .313 road slugging to be far more frightening.

  3. Mike,If memory serves, Jeter was hitting when Nick Johnson was still around. Was he seeing more fastballs in front of Nick the Walk? Is Jeter seeing different pitches this year in general?Despite these offensive home/road splits, I dont feel the Yankees need to make a trade for somebody like Adam Dunn – unless they can get him for nothing, that is; no more of this offering Jesus Montero junk. I heard some espn radio knuckleheads talking about trading to get Matsui back… no thanks!I'm still hoping the Cashman will find some bullpen help somewhere – otherwise, I'm willing to let it ride.~jamie

  4. I think Jeter was hitting because it was April and whatever has been bothering him this year hadn't manifested itself yet. The offensive home/road split is just fun to point out. If memory serves the Yankees are 1 of only 2 teams with a winning road record in all of MLB.

  5. as you mentioned, i just can't figure out the Rays home/road record split. Isnt there rotation loaded with power strike out pitchers rather than fly ball guys? are they getting pounded by home runs at home?

  6. The opposing teams have finally figured out the ultimate Yankee weakness…random ass rookie pitchers. Explains everything….In all seriousness, interesting article!

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