Saturday, October 20, 2012

NY YANKEES: The Good...The Bad...And The Good-Bye

Back in 1839 when Abner Doubleday invented the game of baseball it was determined that in order for a team to win the game they had to score more runs than their opponent. Well it's kind of hard to score runs when your team doesn't hit. That was the story this post season as the Detroit Tigers cruised to an 8-1 victory Thursday afternoon sweeping the Yankees in four games to win the American League Pennant and advance to the World Series to play either the San Francisco Giants or the St. Louis Cardinals.

     The only good that came out of this post season for the Yankees was their pitching. This post season against the Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers their pitchers had an ERA of 2.76 with a combined WHIP of 1.14. With the exception of the fourth and final game against the Tigers the Yankees pitched well enough to win every game.

     Here are some of the post season numbers from the pitching staff. 

     - Andy Pettitte 2 starts (0-1) with a 3.29 ERA, 10 strike outs in 13.2 innings. 
     - Phil Hughes 2 starts (0-1) 1.86 ERA with 9 strike outs in 9.2 innings. Hughes left game three of the ALCS in the fourth inning with back stiffness. 
     - Hiroki Kuroda 2 starts (0-1) 2.81 ERA with 14 strike outs in 16 innings. 
     - CC Sabathia 3 starts (2-1) 3.38 ERA with 19 strike outs in 21.1 innings. In the final game 
CC didn't last very long. Sabathia threw 93 pitches in 3.2 innings giving up six runs ( 5 earned ) 11 hits with 2 walks with 3 strike outs. CC simply didn't have it. I'm not going to fault him for it. Maybe that complete game five clincher against the Orioles took a lot out of him. 

     Even though the bullpen didn't factor much in this series they also pitched well. The bullpen had an ERA of 2.52. In twenty-five innings they struck out twenty batters. 

     Everybody was wondering if closer Rafael Soriano would be able to close a game in October. Well I guess we will have to wait and see because he never even got the chance. The Yankees never had a lead in any game. The last time they didn't have a lead in a four game post season series game was in 1963 when they got swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The last time the Yankees got swept in the post season was in 1980 when they lost to the Kansas City Royals. If it was physically possible the Yankees pitching could have given up a half of a run and the Yankees would have lost anyway the way they were swinging the bats.

     Speaking of swinging the bats. Let's take a look at the big bats of the Bronx Bombers. For an offense that was first in the Major Leagues in home runs (245) second in MLB in runs scored (804) they sure didn't put their bats on the ball this post season. As a team the Yankees hit just .188 the lowest team batting average in post season history. As a team they had a 2.54 OBP, 3.03 SLG and a 5.57 OPS.

      There was only a few players that had a good post season. Derek Jeter before his injury hit 3.33. Jeter is expected to have ankle surgery today and will return in 4 to 5 months. A little longer than originally expected. Raul Ibanez (.318 BA 3 HR 5 RBI). Ichiro Suzuki (,275 BA 1 HR 5 RBI). Mark Teixeira (.281 0 HR 1 RBI). I put Teixeira in for his batting average but that's not enough production from a power hitter. Eduardo Nunez (.273 1 HR 1 RBI). That's it !! Nobody else hit !

      Now let's get to the bad. Curtis Granderson (.100 BA 1 HR 1 RBI 16 SO). Nick Swisher (.167 0 HR 2 RBI 10 SO). Robinson Cano (.075 0 HR 4 RBI 6 SO). Alex Rodriguez (.120 0 HR 0 RBI 12 SO). These four guys are in the middle of the lineup for a reason....To drive in runs !! In 125 at-bats they had 1 home run, 7 RBIs with 44 strike outs !! 

      The four bats that are supposed put up some offensive numbers in the post season just didn't show up ! I'm not saying they have to hit .300 with five home runs and 10 RBIs but come on give us just a little production !! In my opinion if just one of these guys puts a little bit of bat on ball the Yankees are still playing ! ! These guys should be embarrassed. I never saw so many hitters swing at so many bad pitches. Alex Rodriguez was benched three times during this post season and his replacement Eric Chavez didn't fair much better. Chavez was 0 for 16 with 8 strike outs. Maybe Chavez felt since he was replacing A-Rod he had to put up big numbers. What else can I say ? The numbers speak for themselves. Not to take anything away from the Tigers pitchers they did pitch well but I think it was more of the Yankees not hitting.

       In game one of the ALCS Alex Rodriguez was pinch hit for by Raul Ibanez in the bottom of the ninth. The next day there was a story in the New York Post newspaper that after Ibanez's dramatic game tying homerun and the inning ended A-Rod gave the Yankees bat boy a ball to give to a female spectator sitting a few rows behind the Yankees dugout. A-Rod had written on the ball asking for her phone number. The fan, Australian swimsuit model Kyan Treacy wrote on the ball and sent it back. I'm not telling you this because sex sells ( LOL) I'm telling you because Rodriguez would then be benched for games three and four. Was he being benched because of his lack of hitting or were his antics an embarrassment for the team and the organization ? Where the Yankees questioning his focus ? Where they penalizing him ? I'm not naive I know that stuff goes on with every team in every sport but can't he turn it off for the playoffs ? Your Alex Rodriguez I don't think you'll strike out in hot chick department. Soon after rumors starting floating around about him being traded to the Miami Marlins for pitcher Heath Bell.

      GM Brian Cashman will have his work cut out for himself this off season. Cashman denied the rumors of Rodriguez going to the Marlins but have they had enough of A-Rod's lack of production in post season ? If they do try to move him, Rodriguez is owed $ 114 million dollars over the next five years. Even if they find a team to take him the Yankees will probably have to pay at least $ 85 million of that to get it done. Plus Rodriguez has to okay the deal. He has a no trade clause in his contract. After the series was over A-Rod said he's staying he " loves New York and loves the Yankees".

       Robinson Cano is a free agent. He's one of the games best players. This post season he was terrible. His 0.75 average was a fluke. Heck I think I could .075. He will be back. Once Jeter retires it's Robbie's team. 

       Nick Swisher and Ichiro Suzuki are free agents. I think they'll sign Ichiro and say good-bye to Swisher. Swisher probably wants a multi year deal and I don't think the Yankees will do it. 

      Curtis Granderson has a $ 13 million dollar team option for 2013. Do the Yankees pick that up ? If not there's a $ 2 million dollar buy out. Do they resign him and then trade him ? Brett Gardner will be back for next season. Eduardo Nunez can hit but he's not the greatest infielder. Do they send him to winter ball to learn to play the outfield ? 

      Minor league outfielder Tyler Austin hit .322 with 17 home runs and 80 RBIs this past season with Double-A Trenton. Are the Yankees going to give the 21 year old a shot next spring ? Is he our Mike Trout or Bryce Harper ?  

      Which brings me to my next point. This team is older and it showed. They have big contracts on some older players. There's a long list of free agents on this team. Here are a few more of the free agents on this team. Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda, Eric Chavez, and Raul Ibanez. Their older players. I would expect Rivera to be back. Does Andy want to continue playing ? Do they resign Kuroda ?

      They made to the ALCS so it wasn't a bad year after all. It just ended ugly. Fans of some other teams are probably saying stop your complaining the Yankees make the playoffs every year. Well, we're Yankees fans it's our birth right to win the World Series ! Just kidding. 

      Stay tuned during the off season for my hot stove reports. I'll take a look at which current free agent Yankees will resign, some trade possibilities, and the A-Rod trade rumors. I'll see if the Yankees are reloading the farm system and keep you up to date on anything that happens in Yankee land.

      It was a fun season and to all my readers thanks for checking out the blog. Come on back and spread the word !!

Let the chase to 28 begin !!

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