From May 9th through June 5th, yesterday, has been exactly 4 weeks. During this time, the Yankees have gone 13-14 (in 27 games).
New York’s overall team ERA during this period hasn’t been all that bad: 4.25 in 239.3 IP. However, their bullpen has allowed 35% of inherited runners to score during this span too. (The overall big league average, to date, is 32%. So, the Yankees pen has been worse than average in this area during this time. As you can see later, we can probably thank Joba and Chan Ho for that.)
During this span, the Yankees collective bats have posted a BA/OBA/SLG line of .282/.353/.426 (in 1,069 PA). And, that’s been good for an average of 5.0 runs per game. But, that’s misleading because there were three games within these 27 where the Yankees scored 11 runs – where they won two and lost one.
But, the big number here, of course, is that record of 13-14. Given their team roster/payroll, there’s no excuse for the Yankees playing one game under .500 over a period of four weeks. Plus, the Yankees play has been worse than that 13-14 mark suggests.
During these four weeks, the Yankees went 6-1 when facing the Orioles and Indians – who are two of the worst teams in the league with records of 15-41 and 21-33, respectively. The Yankees also went 2-1 against the Twins – who, for some reason, just cannot beat New York if their life depended on it. (Since 2002, Minnesota is 18-54 against the Yankees under Ron Gardenhire and 725-572 against everyone else.)
This means, since May 9th, the Yankees are 8-2 when playing the O’s, Tribe and Twinkies and 5-12 when playing everyone else. Yes, five and twelve. That’s not exactly the level of play that you would expect from the defending World Champs, is it?
So, whose to blame? Well, let’s look at some Yankees pitchers, first, during this span:
CC Sabathia: 5.81 ERA in 33 IP
A.J. Burnett: 5.65 ERA in 36.6 IP
Joba Chamberlain: 7.94 ERA in 11.3 IP
Chan Ho Park: 7.45 ERA in 9.6 IP
If not for Javier Vazquez (2.77 ERA), Andy Pettitte (2.91 ERA) and Phil Hughes (3.41 ERA), the Yankees pitching would look a lot worse than that aforementioned 4.25 ERA during this span.
Next, some Yankees batters and their BA/OBA/SLG marks during this four week span:
Marcus Thames: .205/.360/.308 in 39 AB
Francisco Cervelli: .208/.302/.278 in 72 AB
Mark Teixeira: .222/.311/.343 in 108 AB
And, really, that’s about it on the truly bad side. Everyone else has been doing as expected during this span – or better. In fact, Robbie Cano, Curtis Granderson, Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher have been great over the last four weeks (when they’ve played) – and Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have both been reaching base 36% of the time since May 9th.
So, does this all mean, if CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira play lousy then the Yankees will not do well? Sure seems like it, over the last four weeks, no? And, of course, we know what happens when they perform well – as we saw the Yankees Championship season last year.
Let’s hope these three get their act into gear soon…and that, what we’ve seen from them the last four weeks doesn’t last for another four weeks or longer.