If Billy Martin were running the team right now, there might be a team meeting with the food tray being toppled over. If George Steinbrenner were the owner, someone may already be getting fired (hey, he fired Yogi when Yogi was 6-10 early in the 1985 season).
Yes, we are only five games into the season, but not only are the Yankees 1-4, it’s how they are 1-4 that is disturbing. For it’s one thing to play well and lose and know that you are playing well and things will straighten themselves out soon. It’s another to lose and look really bad in doing so.
That is what a team batting average of .193 (OPS+ 81, 19% below league average) and eight errors in five games (not counting two passed balls by backup C John Ryan Murphy) will do for you. Make you look really bad.
Throw in the fact that three Yankees have been picked off so far and that they are 1 for 4 in SB this year. Throw in also that two balls were hit yesterday that should have been caught (Gardner, Jones) and were ruled doubles. Throw in again some plays were there were no errors made but mental errors (Didi Gregorious) and you have a team that is really out of sync and playing badly right now.
Thank goodness there are 157 games left and plenty of time to turn it around. But it may NOT be too early for a team meeting. This can’t continue.
The Yanks not only lost to Boston 8-4 on Saturday, but looked bad in doing so. The two balls that should have been caught by Gardner and Jones, for one thing. A-Rod played 1B for the first time in his career, made one error and looked, let’s say, uncomfortable over there. Definitely not smooth (which was to be expected) but awkward. Gregorious held the ball on a relay while a Boston runner was rounding third and scoring (mental error). Earlier in the week, Gregorious made a couple boneheaded plays as a baserunner. He has to be a more savvy player than he has shown so far.
Seven innings into the game, the Yanks had just one hit. They had just five for the game. Only a late Chris Young 3-run HR made the score semi-respectable.
Teams that don’t hit (.193) look really bad and boring. Hopefully the Yanks snap out of it soon.
Beltran is 2 for 20. Drew 2 for 17, Gregorious 2 for 15, Teix has 2 HR but is 3 for 16. Headley had the clutch HR but is 3 for 22, and so on and so forth (I won’t list them all). You can make the case that A-Rod (5 for 18, 2944 career hits now) has been their best regular hitter.
With a lineup like that, as was mentioned on the FoxSports1 telecast, there isn’t much room for error. They can’t afford to make errors, and they have made eight (along with two passed balls and two wild pitches) so far. The team is slow in the middle of the lineup, where you have Beltran, Teix, McCann and A-Rod. As mentioned on the telecast, they are a station to station team, don’t bunt, don’t hit-and-run, don’t steal bases (outside of Ellsbury and Gardner, but are as a team 1 of 4 so far this year). The commentators (and I am NOT a Joe Buck fan) were right in implying that this is a team that waits for the HR, and that HR is to come from aging players who the team hopes can find the fountain of youth for one final, good season.
Hopefully things change soon. The team needs an injection of youth badly but the Yanks’ hands are tied. What do you do when you have these players—CC, Teixeira, A-Rod, Beltran—all of whom will be 35 or older before season’s end—making around $90MM between the four of them and you can’t trade them (either no one will pick up the $$, you’d have to eat a lot of it and/or there are no trade clauses) and you don’t want to eat the money by releasing them? Then throw in Tanaka’s ($25MM) possible problem with his elbow (diminishing his effectiveness) and that fact that so far, 31 yr. old Brian McCann, earning what $15MM/yr.? has underperformed?
As mentioned, as a diehard Yankees’ fan, I hope things turn around soon. This is not to be negative, just a reflection of how things have gone this week. When you hold a mirror up to something that looks terrible, it looks…..terrible. All Yankees fans have to be disappointed at how this season has started.
The pitching has an ERA of 3.44 and an ERA+ of 115 (eight of the 29 runs given up so far have been unearned). That is really pretty good. The bullpen has looked like a strength. Warren (pitching line to come in a moment) wasn’t that bad yesterday, although he had a bit of trouble putting people away, but it is hard to pitch with no margin of error because a) you are getting no run support and/or b) your defense is letting you down.
Warren 5 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 walks, 1 K. Not a bad outing. Only his 4th MLB start.
Wilson 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 1 K.
Martin 2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 0 K. Here is where the game got away.
Matt Tracy (MLB Debut) 2 IP, 3 runs (all unearned), 2 H, 2 walks and 1 K.
Four of the eight runs the Yanks gave up were unearned. Combine that with a .193 team batting average and, well, you get the picture.
Tonight’s ESPN game will be interesting to watch. Will the bats finally wake up? How will Tanaka do? Hall of Famer and MLB network commentator Pedro Martinez estimates Tanaka at 65% due to his elbow issue. If the Yanks are really struggling in June and have fallen way out of the race (let’s hope that isn’t the case) does Tanaka bite the bullet and get the Tommy John surgery that would cost him the rest of 2015 and all of 2016? Will Tanaka be pitching at 2/3 effectiveness all year? Will the elbow give at some point?
Will the Yanks start hitting and tightening up their defense? Will they turn to the kids sooner than expected? Will the kids be rushed?
Right now, there are a lot of questions. There is only one solution.
They have to start playing better, starting now. Granted it’s just five games, but so far, it hasn’t been acceptable. It’s one thing to play well and have some tough losses.
It’s another to have a week like this one has been.
Get back to .500 and go from there.
So wake up and Let’s Go, Yankees!