Examining Some Early Season Splits, Starting with the Road

Al Bello/Getty Images North America

Al Bello/Getty Images North America

Yes, the Yankees are 6-6 on the road. Yes, there’s an even split of pine tar incidents at home and on the road. A deeper look, though, shows the Yankees – even #TANAK – have not been themselves on the road through just over an eighth of their games away from the Bronx.

Now, I’ll preface this examination with the obvious fact that it’s not uncommon to play differently on the road. Especially if you’re the Yankees, who play in such a hitter-friendly park. It’s worth looking at what’s been different.

Predictably, the Yankees have opened up with 13 of their 18 HRs in just 9 games at Yankee Stadium. They’re also hitting .284 at home, compared to .260 on the road. Carlos Beltran has been the biggest beneficiary of some home cooking, with a 1.412 OPS in the Bronx compared to just nine hits in 44 plate appearances in away games.

And, here’s the last home/away split that’s worth noting – the Yankees actually have a higher Fly Ball % (36.6%) when playing away games than when at home (35%). It’s not as if the Home runs and .806 OPS are a product of using shorter fences. The Yankees, in their first homestand, simply hit like they were a different team.

Pitching-wise, I won’t bother you too much longer with numbers, although the great #TANAK has given up two fewer runs at home in 2/3 more innings. That’s also pretty nice to see, considering the Stadium can be unfriendly at times to pitchers (just ask Phil Hughes). Maybe it’s also a bit unfriendly to pitchers who hang curveballs a few times each inning to opponents who are capable of hitting a baseball hard.

Still, it’ll be something to look at when the Yankees return back to the stadium Friday. Let’s see if their play at home continues to be fruitful.

As for some other trends – the Yankees are hitting just .206 so far this year with 2 outs and runners in scoring position, and .214 in innings 7-9. They’re sort of desperate for hits in big spots at the time.

Speaking of which, can you guess who’s come to the plate with the most runners on base this year? Yangervis Solarte. Second-most? Carlos Beltran. Third-most? Kelly Johnson. Other than Beltran, I’m not sure the Yankees are getting very lucky when it comes to sending a guy up with runners on. As great as Solarte has started, he’s cooled down. Johnson leaves a lot to be desired offensively. Maybe I’m a fool, though – Solarte is still hitting .303 this year. That’s what you’ll tell me. I love Solarte. I’m just saying he’s 1 for his last 17 and he’s most likely not going to hit over .300 all year. He’s also driven in 2 runs over his last 12. It’d help the Yankees if Jacoby Ellsbury got a few of those at-bats, is all.

Hey, maybe you need noted RISP-specialist Scott Sizemore back on the club.

Kenny covers the Yankees (and Knicks) for WFUV Sports & is a freelance radio reporter with the AP, MetroSource, WFAN & CBS Sports. Ridgefield, CT native. Long-time Jason Giambi and Alex Rodriguez defender. Quotes via WFUV Radio unless otherwise noted.