The Atlanta Braves return home this week could be described as little...
Yankees’ Lead Cut To One, Mass Hysteria In New York!
Ok, not really. But the Yankees’ once insurmountable lead in the AL East is now down to one game(!!!!!!!). There is chaos in Yankeeland.
They have no reliable starting pitching and the back of the bullpen could really use a Mariano Rivera right about now. The offense is anemic and the best hitters are hurt. The Yankees are looking at all the makings of an epic collapse.
The worst part? The team suddenly hot on their tails is the Baltimore Orioles, possibly the worst good team ever. I’ve written extensively on the O’s and how they have no business winning baseball games with their -31 run differential, but the real story here is the Yankees themselves. There’s no one to blame but people in pinstripes.
The Yankees had a 10 game lead as late as July 18th but it has slowly eroded. After going 20-7 in June and looking damn near invincible, the Bombers went 13-13 in July and 15-13 in August. They’re an even 24-24 in the second half.
Many things have contributed to the stagnation of this once-powerhouse. First, they only have one pitcher, CC Sabathia, and he’s been on the DL two separate times this season. Behind him, Hiroki Kuroda has flashed excellence, but Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes have been dreadful. Hughes leads the universe in homers allowed and is simply painful to watch. As a fan, and as I’ve written here before, I’m over him. Nova still has potential for sure, but he needs to be better. The fifth pitcher right now is Freddie Garcia and I think that speaks for itself.
On offense, the team has been a disaster. Today, Alex Rodriguez came off the DL and if we went by name recognition, that should provide a boost. But he hasn’t been himself this year–or “himself” just isn’t that good anymore–and while he might catch fire the way the Yankees need him to, he’s certainly not the guaranteed, echem, shot in the arm he used to be.
Steve Pearce is the club’s
big new addition, and somehow periodic cleanup hitter, but have you ever heard of Steve Pearce before? He’s a career .236 hitter and his platoon splits don’t portend the lefty killer he’s supposed to be.
Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson are hurt. And really they weren’t hitting all that well to begin with.
Russell Martin is STILL hitting under .200. At this point he is unacceptable. I understand that he’s had some remarkably bad luck and he’s looked good for stretches and he’s Girardi’s guy and he’s good defensively and the pitchers like him and he’s a leader in the clubhouse, but HE’S HITTING UNDER .200 IN SEPTEMBER. I’m sorry, Francisco Cervelli could have done that and more, for a fraction of the price.
At no point was this team as good as people thought and said it was. It was never consistent offensively and it has never had a solid starting rotation, especially not since Andy Pettitte went down. It is, however, better than 24-24 since the break and it needs to start playing better because we’re all starting to freak out.
Stat Of The Day: Steve Pearce has 143 career hits and 139 career strikeouts