First, the game. Phil Hughes stank, was knocked out in the third, lowered his record to 4-10 and raised his ERA to 4.78 as the Yanks lost 6-3. The Yanks are now 57-53 on the year.
This year reminds me a little (only a little) of 1972. That year the Yanks finished just 79-76 (7 games lost to strike). This year, only one guy so far has more than a dozen HR (Cano). That season, only Murcer (33) had more than 14 HR. That year, only Murcer had more than 55 RBI. Right now, Cano is the only guy over 47. Cano’s nakedness in the lineup is similar to Murcer’s, to me. That year only Steve Kline (Steve Kline?) had an ERA+ over 100 among the starters. The “ace”, Stottlemyre, was 14-18. Granted Mel had an ERA of 3.22, but in 1972, 3.22 was BELOW AVERAGE. Mel’s ERA+ was 92, 8% BELOW average. In 1972 the Yanks had a lights-out closer in Lyle (9-5, 1.92 and 35 saves). This year the Yanks have not one, but two starters over 100 in ERA+ (Kuroda and Nova) and like in 1972, have an ace below average as CC’s ERA+ is 85. They have a lights out closer in Mo. Like this year, the 1972 Yanks were weak at 3B (Celerino Sanchez, OPS+ 80) and SS (regular Gene Michael, OPS+ 72).
But in 1972, the Yanks had some guys with an OPS+ over 100 (average): Munson 114, Blomberg 153 (but platooned. He couldn’t hit lefties). 130 White, 169 Murcer. 108 Callison (Callison?). 117 Felipe Alou. Even Bernie Allen(!) had a 106. Backup C Johnny Ellis had a 137. The team was 103, 110 if you don’t count pitchers (last year before the DH). That is fabulous compared to now.
Heck that year, Peterson hit .232 and Stottlemyre .200.
This year’s offense is an 84 OPS+ even with the DH. Right now only Cano and Gardner among the regulars have OPS+ numbers above 100. (Unless you count Cervelli, Granderson, Mesa and Boesch, and I don’t—-too little playing time). Far worse.
But similar has far as a bunch of no-names and retreads (outside of Murcer, White and Munson), with only one major star. White and Munson were ok in 1972 but not too special. Bobby was it. This year, Robbie is it.
Hughes went just 2 2/3, 5 r, 6 H, 3 walks and a K. Once the Yanks were down 6-0 after four you knew they were cooked.
Claiborne 1 1/3, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.21.
Warren 2 IP, 0 r, 0 H, 2 walks and 2 K. 3.51.
Logan 1 Ip, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 2.15.
Joba 1 Ip, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 k. 4.94.
Austin Romine got his first MLB HR. He went 2 for 3 to raise his average to .213. He was down around .125 or so very recently.
Granderson went 1 for 1, walked 3x and drove in a run.
Cano is down to .288.
Jeter may or may not be headed back to the DL … again. Now it’s his calf. Ankle fractures, quad, calf… beginning of the end?
Tomorrow should be a circus. MLB will levy suspensions around noon. They may NOT invoke “best interest of baseball” against A-Rod but “just” suspend him on the drug policy. Most players will accept the 50-games. A-Rod would get 214. He then would appeal. It’s like a little boy showing up at the ballpark with his bat and glove saying “let me play.” Selig doesn’t want to upset the players’ union so A-Rod may play on appeal, and then if he loses it, THEN serve 214 games which would take him into 2015.
Meanwhile, he may play tomorrow night while appealing a suspension. I don’t know how Alex thinks this (or anything) would gain him any love. Frankly, if I were the opposing pitcher, I would brush him back.
But Girardi then would have no choice. If Alex is available, he is your best option at 3B and in the middle of the lineup for a team that stinks offensively and at 3b right now. He would play him.
What a mess.