Through last night’s game, the Yankees lead the AL in On Base Avg. @ .367. They are also 4th in Slugging Pct. (@ .441) trailing only Boston, Baltimore and Detroit. Related, the Yanks are 3rd in the AL for Runs Scored at 118 – behind Boston @ 119 and Baltimore @ 125. Player-wise, Jeter’s batting over his head and Posada is below his usual numbers. Those two sort of cancel each other out. Mostly everyone else is about where you would expect them to be – assuming you expected down numbers from Giambi this year. The Yankees offense is doing pretty much what they should be doing.
On the pitching side, it’s not pretty. The Yankees are next to last in On Base Plus Slugging Percentage (OPS) allowed (@ .823) and only Tampa Bay is worse (@ .831). Interestingly, Boston is 12th in OPS allowed – just ahead of the Yankees standing. However, Boston is allowing more than one-half of an earned run per game less than the Yankees (so far this season).
Most Yankee fans would probably say “It’s our pen. They stink.” But, in reality, the Yankees RP’s OPS allowed is .757 – which is 7th in the AL right now. Boston’s RP’s OPS allowed is .841 (which is the worst mark in the AL). Right now, the Red Sox pen is worse than New York’s RP.
Boston’s SP’s OPS allowed is .777 (which is 11th in the AL). The Yankees SP’s OPS allowed is .855 (which is 13th in the AL – with only TB’s SP being worse in the league).
So, in a nutshell, the reason why the Yankees have a 9-12 record at this junction in the season is the fault of their starting pitchers. But, that’s not 100% fair to the Big Unit and Carl Pavano who have been OK so far this year, for the most part. It’s been Kevin Brown, Mike Mussina, and Jaret Wright who have been sinking the ship – each of them averaging around 2 baserunners per Inning Pitched, to date.
Wright is still a question mark for the rest of the season in terms of being able to pitch. That leaves just Brown and Mussina. If these two can turn it around, the Yankees will be fine. If they can’t, then the Yankees will be getting a whole lot of nothing for the $35 million they’re paying for these two this year – and the season is going to be a looooong one.