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Both the pitching and offense haven't been able to get on the same page.
Coming into this year, the Yankees seemed to be one of the deepest teams in baseball. They had more arms than spots to put them, and a seasoned bench backing up future hall of famers. For the past two years, New York cracked the 850 runs scored mark, the only team to do so. Last year, they compiled a 3.74 era, while allowing 657 runs.
Injuries and slumps to key players have plagued the team so far this year. Mariano Rivera and Michael Pineda are both out for the year. Brett Gardner, the main catalyst at the bottom of the lineup is about a month away from coming back. Russell Martin is hitting on the interstate and Mark Teixeira hasn’t hit with runners in scoring position. Only recently has Robinson Cano found his stroke – he was hitting .255 a week and a half ago (now .299).
On the pitching side, CC Sabathia has been his usual self. Entering tonights game against Baltimore, he was 5-0 with a 3.51 era. Ivan Nova’s record of 4-1 does not reflect his inconstancy. He’s currently pitching to an era of over five. Hiroki Kuroda has been Jekyll and Hyde. A good start here, a not so good start there. Much like in Los Angeles, Kuroda is not getting run support. He’s just 3-4 with a good era of 3.56. Phil Hughes has struggled, but hopefully has since turned a corner, and Andy Pettitte is just getting into the swing of things.
What I’m trying to say is that this team has been very inconsistent. They have some players who have been red hot, and some who have been ice cold. The lack of consistent clutch situational hitting and less than stellar pitching has created an eye popping stat.
Entering play tonight, the Yankees are 19-4 when scoring more than four runs in a game. They are an astonishing 1-11 when scoring three runs or fewer.
Now without Mariano Rivera and David Robertson, who just went on the DL, they need to find a way to win close games. The bullpen, which was considered one of the teams biggest strengths this year is now stretched thin. The bridge to temporary closer Rafael Soriano will include the names of David Phelps, Boone Logan and Cody Eppley.
The starters also need to bare down and shut down the opposition if their offense isn’t going to score any runs. How many times already this year have the yankees found themselves trying to come from behind early in games, and ultimately can’t do it?
Hopefully as the weather heats up, the bats will too. Maybe then the pitching staff can get back to giving quality starts. It seems as if when the offense is there, the pitching isn’t. When the pitching shows up, the offense is missing. Last night the Yankees scored eight runs. Tonight, they can barely get anything going against Baltimore.
Once this team really hits its stride and both the offense and pitching come together, it should be a fun summer in the Bronx.