• Are 2011 Yanks One–Dimensional?

    Posted by on May 22nd, 2011 · Comments (8)

    Via Flip Bondy today –

    Nobody can match the Yanks slug for slug, least of all the Mets. The Bombers have become something of a muscle-bound cartoon these days, beating teams mainly by banging the ball into laps to compensate for their other obvious shortcomings.

    Hardly anybody ever singles in runners from second or third. Again yesterday, the Yanks managed no hits with runners in scoring position. They have only 26 stolen bases and stood second-to-last in fielding in the American League, giving up 21 unearned runs in 44 games on 32 errors.

    So this is hardly pretty or pure stuff, but it gets the blood pumping, pulls in ratings and wins enough games to keep the Yanks afloat in the surprisingly mediocre AL East. This is what big money will buy you: oversized baseball. And if you look at the standings today, somehow the Yanks are back in first place.

    This act of contention won’t last long, unless the Bombers diversify their one-dimensional attack and start building runs in more conventional fashion. They have played only 18 games on the road so far, and the fences are not as cozy outside the Bronx.

    2007 Milwaukee Brewers, anyone?

    Comments on Are 2011 Yanks One–Dimensional?

    1. Evan3457
      May 22nd, 2011 | 10:56 am

      The percentage of runs scored by home runs was actually higher earlier in the season, and has been gradually sliding downward, well, until the last two days, because they’ve scored 7 of their 8 runs in this series on home runs. It was 51% before the Mets series started, and is now back up to 52%.

      Very few great teams have a high percentage of runs scoring on home runs, but there’s one Yankee championship that does: the 1961 Yankees scored 47% of their runs via the home run.

      You know the team some call: The Greatest of All?

      (It isn’t; not even close, not even close to the greatest Yankees championship team. But some people, mostly Baby Boomers and Tony Kubek, say it.)

    2. Evan3457
      May 22nd, 2011 | 11:29 am

      Oh…

      The percentage is going to continue to drop for two reasons.

      1) The overall batting average of this team is too low. The following players are under their current BAVG levels: Jeter, Posada, Swisher, A-Rod, Tex, and Cano. Possibly Gardner as well. Nobody’s over their true level, except possibly Granderson.

      2) The BAVG with RISP is way under what it will be later in the year. It’s .242 for the team as a whole right now. I’ll be very surprised if it’s much under .260 by the end of the year. Last year, the team hit .267, and .258 with RISP. This year, so far, it’s .252 and .242.

      15 points of team batting average may not sound like much, but it’s actually worth something like 80-100 runs over the course of a season, all other things being equal, or nearly 1/2 run a game.

    3. Corey Italiano
      May 22nd, 2011 | 11:37 am

      I feel like I’ve been beating this drum for weeks now, but if they change the lineup around I think the Yanks will have a greater ability to score with men in scoring position..
      ———-
      Possibly Gardner as well.
      ———-
      Definitely Gardner…If I were to ask you, which Yankee in their last 28 games had a slash rate of .338/.413/.525 in 95 PA, would you guess that was Gardner?

    4. MJ Recanati
      May 22nd, 2011 | 11:39 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Oh…
      The percentage is going to continue to drop for two reasons.
      1) The overall batting average of this team is too low. The following players are under their current BAVG levels: Jeter, Posada, Swisher, A-Rod, Tex, and Cano. Possibly Gardner as well. Nobody’s over their true level, except possibly Granderson.
      2) The BAVG with RISP is way under what it will be later in the year. It’s .242 for the team as a whole right now. I’ll be very surprised if it’s much under .260 by the end of the year. Last year, the team hit .267, and .258 with RISP. This year, so far, it’s .252 and .242.
      15 points of team batting average may not sound like much, but it’s actually worth something like 80-100 runs over the course of a season, all other things being equal, or nearly 1/2 run a game.

      Yep, exactly.

      Look, no one would argue that the Yankees have been a model of RISP-hitting efficiency and the team’s defense has been flat-out atrocious. But since all of these players have at least solid average RISP credentials and no one on the team is anything less than an average defensive player, my bet is that things will eventually improve. And perhaps when those improvements come, they will coincide with a regression in pitching which, thus far, has sustained us.

      A baseball season is a marathon: some facets of the game outperform expectations, some underperform expectations and then they switch somewhere along the way (often so gradually that you can’t even figure out when the switch took place).

    5. Evan3457
      May 22nd, 2011 | 12:04 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      A baseball season is a marathon: some facets of the game outperform expectations, some underperform expectations and then they switch somewhere along the way (often so gradually that you can’t even figure out when the switch took place).

      Bingo.

      Well, at least then Steve will be able to post threads about the pitching falling apart, just as he predicted….while the Yanks start winning game 8-5 and 11-7 instead of 5-2 and 3-1, and stay at or slightly above .550, and stay in the race for the playoffs.

    6. 77yankees
      May 22nd, 2011 | 12:39 pm

      Well, the clutch hitting goes without saying. But it’s also the little things like situational hitting in moving runners up and starting runners occasionally to stay out of the DP.

    7. KPOcala
      May 22nd, 2011 | 10:09 pm

      The title of Bondy’s article should have read, “Is Bondy’s Brain One-Dimensional”. If ever a sports writer needs a refresher course in how to look like an idiot he should read: “This is what big money will buy you: oversized baseball. And if you look at the standings today, somehow the Yanks are back in first place”. Coming into the game the Yankees led the American League in runs scored. That’s bad? Are people have memories so short that they can’t understand that hitting w/ risp rises and falls like a tide? For me, this kind of an article makes me really respect the self-control that managers, players, GMs, et al. must have to keep from punching out idiot sports writers daily. This idiotic mantra reminds me of the scene in “Patton” where he captures Messina and is told that British commander Bernard Montgomery should have the honor. Pattons reply, “Ask them if I should give it back.” I.E., homers suddenly don’t count. Or, suddenly it’s deemed that teams that hit a lot of home runs don’t win, in the season, and certainly not in the play-offs. What a load of horse_____droppings.

      Steve, why are you quoting an IDIOT like Bondy? I’ll have to take Brioschi now. Ciao!

      Oh, remember what Patton used to say, “You gotta grab them by the nose and kick them in the ass”. Well, hit more homers, draw walks, play solid defense, pitch well, and the titles start falling into place.

    8. KPOcala
      May 22nd, 2011 | 10:19 pm

      I almost forgot. Are idiots like Bondy spreading their tiny IQs to Giardia? Using Granderson to bunt (for starters), taking the bat out of Texiera’s hands, enabling a possible double play by A-Rod? That it all worked out is great, but that was not a smart baseball move, not even in the dimension that Bondy and pals float in……..

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