Even with a bad start, Sabathia allowed four runs to score but the Yankee hitters can easily beat that number; and this reminded me of a something MLB veteran Andy Van Slyke once said:
Now, the Yankees have not quite hit Grand Canyon level but the ups and downs are now a recurring theme.
While injuries have become a viable problem, it is not an excuse for the level of doubt but the staggering offense is.
The Yankees bats are arguably are the best in the Bigs, on paper. Up and down the order is supposed to be feared but for some reason the vibe is not coming across like it has in seasons past.
So, what is the problem with the offense?
Multiple times this season the Yankees bats looked to be breaking out, only to be blanked the very next night; and usually by a pitcher they have not seen much of, or at all.
The Yankees beat Mariners King Felix but not Kevin Millwood; and they lose to the Rays Jeff Neimann but not aces David Price or James Shields. They get blanked by Orioles Jake Arrieta (2-4; 5.21 ERA) for eight innings but beat reining MVP and CY Young winner Tigers Justin Verlander. Catch my drift?
Actually finding a reason as what is happening here probably has a lot has to do with experience, or lack-of, if anything.
The only thing clear here is that the Yankees struggle against weaker and newer pitchers, exception being Millwood.
And…FYI this is no secret to opposing managers, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rays skipper Joe Maddon pull a fast one in September by calling up a prospect to face the Yankees. Especially, if the division or wild card is up for grabs come September because the odds of beating the Yankees might be better. So, something has to change.
Also, I am well aware that the Yankees strand guys’ on base a lot but that is pretty common when a better team loses. The better teams will usually generate hits so this is not a practical excuse, as I see it is more as a result.
There is one thing I found about the offense….
After searching for hours, I looked at the Yankees run scored per inning totals on the season; and found that the Yankees score the most runs in the first and seventh innings.
Here is a table I made using stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com:
Does this mean you can tell how well the bats will do vs. a starter after the first inning?
Not necessarily but the odds are better if the Yankees score in the first.
So, why do they score so much in the seventh inning?
Well, a lot of the time the seventh inning is when a relief pitcher comes in, so the bats take advantage.
Overall, this might mean nothing but it does show that when the Yankees line-up feasts on a pitcher, starter or reliever, from the get-go the odds of them scoring runs is better. And that puts the team in a better place to win.
If you have any thoughts or theories on the Yankees Jekyll and Hyde offense please share in the comments because I would love to hear other perspectives.