Yankees offense struggling over last 20 games

For the most part, things are going well for the Yankees so far this season. They are just 3.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays, who also have the best record in baseball, and are 3rd in the AL in runs scored per game.

At a second glance though things aren’t going so well for the Yankees, especially over the past 20 games where they have played just .500 baseball. Last season, when the Yankees won 97 games, they averaged 5.4 runs per game. That number is down to 4.9 this season and 4.0 over the last 20.

The stats are similar to last year’s numbers with a few exceptions. The Yankees 2011 line was .263/.343/.444/.788, over the last 20 games this year the line was .263/.324/.443/.767. Pretty much the only difference has .020 points in OBP. Another noticible difference is that the Yankees have been stealing bases at a lesser pace from 0.9 steals per game in 2011 to 0.5 per game over the last 20 games.

Hitting with runners and scoring position has been a bit of an issue. A year ago they put up this line w/RISP: .273/.361/.455/.816, but this year those numbers have dropped to .243/.341/.438/.778. Essentially, they are not hitting the ball as often and when they are, they aren’t hitting it with as much power.

There are a few reasons to expect a bit of a turn around though. For one thing, it is still very early. This isn’t football, a month and a half of baseball is a very small part of the season. The RISP numbers were down in the first half of last season and they eventually came back up to be more in line with the overall numbers. That is likely to happen again this year.

The downfall of Mark Teixeira also comes into play. In a short sample size, his absolutely putrid numbers have a bigger affect on the overall picture. The $180-million-man may be in in decline, but he certainly isn’t this bad this soon. He’ll eventually get over his cough and start putting up big numbers. When he does that’ll raise the power numbers and perhaps he’ll begin to walk a bit more and raise the OBP numbers too.

The stolen base thing is an easy fix as well. The Yankees have been without Gardner for about a month now which has done a huge number on their running game. Further, they have now sent their second fastest player Eduardo Nunez to the minors leaving them with just Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez to swipe bags – a big drop-off from a year ago. Once Gardner comes back though, it should add an extra dynamic to the Yankees lineup that has been missing.

The Yankees are currently sitting 3rd in the AL in runs scored per game and 5th overall in MLB. That doesn’t sound bad, but for a team that is usually in the top two, it is a drop-off. Once Teixeira rebounds, and to a lesser extent Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano too, and Gardner comes back, which shouldn’t be too much longer, things will change in the Bronx.

The Yankees lineup is the oldest in baseball, at an average age of 32.7 years-old, more than 2.5 years older than the AL’s 2nd oldest Red Sox. That might have at least played a small role in their recent struggles, but there are signs that they should bounce back eventually.

That is unless such an old lineup starts to deal with injuries.

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7 Responses to Yankees offense struggling over last 20 games

  1. Gonzalo says:

    Our offense strugling,
    How? If Mr. Cashman traded away Montero because we have the best offense. The same lineup batting for DP 146 times last year, just behind Baltimore with 154 in all MLB.
    I still think that our rotation will get better and if we reach playoffs CC and Pettitte could help there, but Teixeira, Swisher, ARod and Martin OMG, I can see them scoring 15 runs in one game and not a single hit the rest of the serie

    • Mike Sommer says:

      Disagree. When do you see this offense MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN? No bunting, squeezing, hit and run, stealing bases. I mean, since when has Granderson become a .250 power hitter? This is supposed to be a guy with power AND SPEED. Here we are, 38 games into the season, and Granderson has tried to steal a grand total of THREE times. 1 for 3. He stole 25 bases last year. He was 26 for 27 in 2007 for the Tigers. Now I know that Gardner is on the DL and Nunez sent down for poor D. The lineup tonight did not have A-Rod (4 for 4 in SB). That left a lineup 8 for 12 in SB. TOTAL. Chavez, Swish, Cano, Ibanez, Teix. Jones
      … don't run. Martin has tried once (successfully) all year. You are not making things happen. I want to see aggressiveness. I see boredom and waiting for a three-run HR. As far as those things go, Montero wouldn't have helped. This team cannot and does not play little ball when you need to play little ball.

      • David K. says:

        Yeah, that is what Gonzalo was saying: no little ball, and 15 runs in one game and then no runs for the next four games. One thing about Montero, I think he would have helped a lot. Because he certainly looks to be a pure hitter and not just a home run hitter. He goes the other way a lot, unlike a lot of guys on this team. Have you noticed how many .300 hitters we have on this team right now? Just Cano. With Montero it would have been a lefty righty combination. Well, so much for that.

      • Gonzalo says:

        We are in the same page, the 4 comments have the same subject at the end

  2. David K. says:

    There are so many things wrong with the Yankee offense, it's not even funny. We hit into so many double plays, partly because our resident genius Girardi never plays hit and run, even when he has Jeter at the plate, a bona fide contact hitter. We shift on other teams, they hit through the holes. Other teams shift against us, and we hit into the shift. Even when the situation calls for hitting a groundball the other way to get on base, some of our hitters just won't do it. That's just selfish play and this has been going on with this team for years. Now Cashman has sent down Nunez, so there's even less dynamic offensive versatility to go round. Girardi overplays and misuses Nunez and the kid pays the price. If you think I sound like I'm putting a lot of blame on Girardi, you're right. He is getting worse and worse as a manager.

  3. Fred says:

    Our ability to score runners on base is quite frankly pathetic. I know last year a lot of focus was on the Yankees "relying on the longball." Last year I didn't think it was a problem. After all, the runs were scoring, doesn't matter how they come in. This year, when we're relying on Raul Ibanez to save the night with a dinger, I do think it is an issue. The Yankees do not string together hits, especially without Gardner.

    Thankfully it is early, and there is time to turn it around. This is not a team that should be losing a home series to the Reds.

    • Mike Sommer says:

      Fundamental of baseball: Running the bases. With Grandy not stealing bases anymore, Gardner on the DL and Nunez down, who can steal a base? Down by a run in the late innings, if a guy gets on, who is stealing second to get into scoring position? Jeter and A-Rod don't run like they used to. Granderson, for whatever reason, isn't running anymore. Other guys can't run. You can't get the SB when you need one. No one bunts. No aggressiveness on the basepaths. Without Gardner and Nunez (yeah, we know about the errors) there is no one who excites on the basepaths or makes anything happen out there and the team looks slow.