Good to see some bats come alive. For even with the Yanks at 17-10, it has been the pitching carrying them. For going into tonight’s game, if you took out Ellsbury, Gardner and Young, the rest of the team was hitting .211. Over the long haul, that won’t do.
The key so far is that when the guys hitting with low batting averages got their hits, they have made them count. For even though they have had few hits, the hits they HAVE had have been doubles or homers. Batting average is overrated. The key is OPS…. on base percentage + slugging average.
Here is an example. After tonight’s game, Mark Teixeira has just 18 hits right now but 15 are for extra bases. A-Rod has 20 hits, 11 for extra bases. Stephen Drew 13 hits, 7 for extra bases. Carlos Beltran hasn’t homered in some 14o at bats, but of his 16 hits, 9 are for extra bases. That’s making your hits count. Over half of your hits are for extra bases.
Don’t get me wrong. I want the batting average to go up. But at least the hits they are getting are DAMAGING hits.
The Yanks got two in the first tonight on a double by A-Rod. After tonight’s game, he is still at only .227. But 1/6th of the way into the season, he does have 6 HR and 16 RBI…. a pace for 36 HR and 96 RBI. Would you take 36/96 even if the batting average is .227? Or would you rather, instead of .227-36-96, have .265-18-65? Runs win ballgames.
Ellsbury drove in a run in the third to make it 3-0.
How about Mark Teixeira, who hit a 2-run HR in the fifth inning tonight? After tonight’s game, he is hitting just .205, but has 10 HR and 22 RBI. That is a pace for 60 HR, 132 RBI. Forget about the .205 for now. Would you take 60 and 132?
The AL MVP (non-pitcher) with the lowest batting average is Roger Maris. .269 in 1961 when he had 61 HR and 141 RBI. If Teix continues on this pace, .205-60-132, would he get MVP despite the low batting average? If so, he’d shatter Maris’ mark.
The setup guys have been great. Ellsbury has only 4 RBI in 27 games because the guys in front of him (Drew .167 and Gregorious .215) have not been getting on base. But Ellsbury got 3 hits tonight to raise him to .358. Talk about setting the table! He has 11 SB. The #2 hitter, Gardner, is currently at .309. So they are setting the table.
No offense to Derek Jeter, but Ellsbury and Gardner should have been 1-2 last year and Jeter, who ended his final season at .256, should have been dropped to 8th in the lineup. The Yanks were not going to disrespect the legend, however.
Up 6-0 going into the bottom of the ninth, the Yanks didn’t make it easy. Michael Pineda cruised through 8, but instead of letting Pineda pitch the 9th, Girardi went to the bullpen and they almost blew it. Toronto scored 3 in the bottom of the 9th to cut it to 6-3. The last out was made with the tying run at the plate.
Pineda (W, 4-0, 2.97) 8 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 1 walk and 6 K.
Carpenter 2/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 5.23.
Miller (11th save) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 0.00.
Minors report tomorrow morning. (Actually later this morning).