The Yankees’ One-Dimensional Offense

The game last night between the now-second place New York Yankees and the Houston Astros was a glaring look at the flaws of this 2015 team. I am not really talking about the pitching because every team’s pitching staff will get blown out like that occasionally (although the Yankees’ love affair with Chris Capuano is stunning). The real weakness of the 2015 Yankees is the one-dimentional offense. If they do not homer, they do not score.

The Yankees have now played 34 games in which the team did not hit a home run. The team is 10-24 in those games. In those games, the Yankees have averaged 2.184 runs scored a game. In one of those games, they managed to score ten runs. If you throw that game out, the average goes down to 1.94 runs per game. Just imagine the standings if the Yankees could have managed to be five or six wins better in those games.

To be fair, the Blue Jays, who never seem to lose these days, are even worse with a record of 6-25 when that team does not hit a homer.…

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Game 125 Recap: Astros 15 Yankees 1

Gomez HR vs NYY

Is hitting home runs playing the game the right way? Courtesy of Getty Images

Well that one wasn’t good for the old run differential.  The Yankees got absolutely mollwhopped by the Astros last night, dropping their fourth of 6 games to once again drop out of first place in the AL East.

This one was over early.  Ivan Nova issued a 2-out walk to Carlos Correa in the top of the 1st, and Colby Rasmus lined a ball to center field that Jacoby Ellsbury misplaced in the next at-bat.  The ball got by him for what was scored a triple and the first Houston run, and the floodgates opened wide from there.  The next 5 batters after Rasmus all reached base – walk, double, double, single, walk – and Houston had a 5-spot on the scoreboard when Nova finally managed to get the third out of the inning.  The Ellsbury play didn’t help at all.  That’s a catch that has to be made and if you can’t make it, you have to keep the ball in front of you.  …

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Game 125: Nova vs. Keuchel

Here’s your game thread for this evening. Tonight’s lineups are:

Houston Astros New York Yankees
Jose Altuve, 2B Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Jed Lowrie, 3B Chris Young, LF
Carlos Correa, SS Alex Rodriguez, DH
Colby Rasmus, RF Mark Teixeira, 1B
Evan Gattis, DH Carlos Beltran, RF
Carlos Gomez, CF Chase Headley, 3B
Luis Valbuena, 1B John Ryan Murphy, C
Marwin Gonzalez, LF Didi Gregorius, SS
Jason Castro, C Brendan Ryan, 2B
Dallas Keuchel, SP Ivan Nova, SP

Enjoy the game!

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An Evolved Eovaldi

William has been knocking Nathan Eovaldi‘s evolution out of the park the last few weeks, but I’m going to steal his gimmick for a quick post illustrating just how much Eovaldi has changed with a small sample comparison.  You could argue that the last 2 starts have been Eovaldi’s best of the season. They’ve certainly been the starts in which his stuff has looked the best and they’re a far cry from what he showed in his first 2 starts.  How far?  See for yourself.

Eovaldi Pitch Plot First 2 Starts

 

That’s Eovaldi’s pitch location plot for his first 2 starts of the season, 4/10 against the Red Sox and 4/15 against the Orioles.  The pitch selection breaks down to roughly 45% 4-seamers, 31% sliders, 15% curveballs, and a handful of changeups.  In those 2 starts, Eovaldi’s line was 10.1 IP, 16 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 10 K.

 

Eovaldi Pitch Plot Last 2 Starts

 

That’s the pitch plot from his last 2 starts.  It breaks down to about 46% 4-seamers, 32% splitters, 15% sliders, and a few curveballs.  …

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Giving Drew His Due

Since his acquisition last summer, Stephen Drew has served as the punching bag of the Yankees lineup for fans and media alike – and for good reason. He batted .150/.219/.271 (33 wRC+) in 155 PA with the team last season, and this season started much the same, with Drew hitting .157/.225/.301 (41 wRC+) through his first 170 PA (a conveniently selective endpoint of June 1). Drew’s line has improved markedly as the season has progressed, but his slow start has left him with a still awful line of .199/.269/.383 (77 wRC+) … and solid defense and a knack for big home runs only help so much. Were the season to end today, keeping Drew in the lineup all season would quite likely be perceived as a complete and utter failure.

Lost in the ephemera of this, however, is the simple fact that Drew – like Didi Gregorius – has actually been a reasonably good hitter over the last three months or so.…

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Flashback: 8/25/11

Remember when the Yankees’ offense could hit three grand slams in a day? I do!

The fun part about this crazy game was that the Yankees were down 7-2 before the first grand slam was hit in the bottom of the fifth inning and they went on to win the game 22-9.

The grand slams were hit by Robinson Cano. Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson who are all on different teams now. Cano and Granderson finished with five RBI that day while Martin had six because he hit two home runs – the slam in the sixth inning and a solo shot in the fourth.

Other fun facts from that game:

  • Boone Logan picked up the win.
  • Phil Hughes started for the Yanks and gave up six ER in 2 2/3 innings.
  • The Yankees were 10-21 with runners in scoring position.
  • Mark Teixeira was the only starter without a hit.
  • Andruw Jones pinch hit for Teixeira and hit a solo shot in the 8th to score the 22nd run.
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Game 124 Recap: Yankees 1 Astros 0

Eovaldi vs HOU

Nasty Nate’s finally here. Courtesy of Getty Images

I’ve watched Nathan Eovaldi‘s last 2 starts and I have to say, I think something’s happening here.  I think he’s starting to put it together and when he puts it all together I think he’s going to be really good.  I mean it.  If you’ve watched his last 2 starts and you don’t realize this and believe it, you’re not watching closely enough.  Eovaldi has suddenly become the ace and the stopper of this pitching staff and last night he was the reason the Yankees managed to scratch out a 1-0 win.

A free-swinging team that isn’t afraid to strike out should have been a perfect matchup for Eovaldi if he was on, and they proved to be that perfect immediately.  Eovaldi struck out the side in the top of the 1st, fanned 2 more in the 2nd, and rattled off 8 straight outs to get through the 4th scoreless.  He did have to work around 2 singles in the 2nd and 2 walks in the 5th, but his stuff was top notch again and he made a lot of big pitches to get outs when he needed them.  …

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Game 124: Eovaldi vs. Feldman

Here’s your game thread for this evening. Tonight’s lineups are:

Houston Astros New York Yankees
Jose Altuve, 2B Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Marwin Gonzalez, LF Brett Gardner, LF
Carlos Correa, SS Alex Rodriguez, DH
Colby Rasmus, RF Brian McCann, C
Carlos Gomez, CF Carlos Beltran, RF
Evan Gattis, DH Greg Bird, 1B
Luis Valbuena, 3B Chase Headley, 3B
Chris Carter, 1B Didi Gregorius, SS
Hank Conger, C Stephen Drew, 2B
Scott Feldman, SP Nate Eovaldi, SP

Enjoy the game!

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Quick Hit: How Hurt Is Brian McCann?

One of the most talked about topics in the broadcast booth this weekend, besides the memories of Jorge and Andy’s careers, was the change in Brian McCann‘s batting stance.  YES cameras showed McCann standing with almost all of his weight on his front leg, a change from his usual balanced stance with more weight on his back leg.  John Flaherty said he asked McCann about it and McCann told him it was just something he was experimenting with, trying different things to tweak his swing.

While I’m not saying I don’t buy that answer, I can’t help but think back to that game earlier in the month when McCann hurt his left knee late in a blowout win over the Red Sox.  There were a lot people questioning whether it was smart to leave him in that game, and the issue was at least serious enough for McCann to get the next 2 games off with what was called “inflammation”.  …

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