Over their last ten games, the New York Yankees have managed to score more than five runs only three times. Even worse, two of those three games were over a week ago, when the Bronx Bombers scored eight runs in back-to-back games against the Minnesota Twins. Since then, they managed six runs in a win over the Indians but other than that have tallied run totals of four, two, three, three, one, one, and two. The formerly AL East-leading Yankees haven’t scored more than three runs in any of their last four games. The Yanks now sit 1.5 games back of the Toronto Blue Jays in the East, not a good position to be in considering the Jays’ level of play lately. Fortunately for fans in the Bronx, the Yankees are firmly in first place in the Wild Card, four games ahead of the competition.
The Yankees Offensive Woes
Over their last seven games, only two Yankees are hitting over .300: Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran. Only three players have hit home runs: Didi Gregorious, Brian McCann, and Brett Gardner, and not one of the three has sent more than one out of the yard. Just as many players have at least a strikeout per game over that same span: Gardner with nine, Greg Bird with seven, and Alex Rodriguez with seven. Hopefully, in their upcoming series’ against the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox, both teams which have struggled all season and don’t boast pitching staffs that scare anyone, the Yankees offense will find a way to get back on track. Another bit of good news for the Yankees is that, after traveling to Turner Field and Fenway, they return home for three straight series against the Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles, and a crucial four game series against the Blue Jays.
In their most recent series against the Astros, the lineup batted .165 (15-91) and went 0-14 with runners in scoring position. The big, and pleasant, surprise of the season, Alex Rodriguez, has been horrendous of late amidst a 9-74 run. The middle of a team’s order is the most important part of the lineup, and with Rodriguez struggling it falls on Mark Teixeira to pick up the slack. But when it rains it pours, and Teixeira has hit just .185 over his last 15 games and slugged just .352. Injuries are partially to blame, a Teixeira and Ellsbury have missed some game time with injuries. According to Manager Joe Girardi, Brett Gardner has also been dealing with nagging injuries, although the players aren’t using that as an excuse. In an article by MLB.com reporter Bryan Hoch, Gardner was quoted as saying, “It’s that time of the year where we’ve played a lot of games and nobody’s going to slow down and wait on you.” Girardi may be pointing to injuries as the main culprit in the recent Yankees offensive drought, but the veterans on the Yankees know that every team is dealing with injuries at this point in the season and that they just need to swing the bats better.
If injuries or simply a prolonged slump aren’t the problem, the Yankees may need to look no further than their subway rivals, the Mets. In their last seven games, New York’s other team has hit .338 with 30 doubles and 19 home runs. Perhaps a hex has been put on the Yankees by the Mets? Whatever the reason for the offensive power outage, the Yankees need to figure out how to put more runs on the board and win games or they can kiss the AL East crown goodbye.
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