Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Finding new ways to lose...

Somehow, amidst all their other problems, the Yankees have found ways to squander quality starts. It seems when their hitting was working in April, their pitching fell apart, then in May, when they got the occasional quality start (I hesitate to say their pitching has turned around because most of their quality starts have come from one pitcher), the hitting falls apart.

Last night Aaron Hill of the Blue Jays stole home to tie the game at 2-2 before the Jays went on to win 3-2. Now, I understand that Pettitte is lefty, but you have to at least check the runner at third.

As the Yankees free-fall to 14.5 back along with the Devil Rays, the Jays and the Orioles have strung together a few wins to creep closer to the .500 mark. Currently those two teams are three games and two games under .500 in the win column each...the Yanks? Eight.

As recently as Sunday the Yanks were at least tied with the Sox offensively...something that could give some hope that if the pitching turned it around, that maybe there could be a legitimate run at the wild card. Since Sunday the Yankees team batting average has dropped from .276 to .270. The Sox have gone up a point to .277.

The Yankees were supposed to have the new Murderer's Row's on what many prognosticators based their predictions of Yankee success. They haven't been bad scoring runs (258, good for fifth in the majors), but they still languish behind Detroit (289), Cleveland (276), and Boston (276) in the American League. Their 54 home runs trail Boston (55) and Toronto (62) in the AL East.

There are a number of other offensive categories in which the Yankees are trailing other teams, but the important stats still are related to pitching. Only one team in the entire AL East lags behind the Yankees in ERA (4.61)...the Devil Rays (5.55). The others ERA's, coincidentally enough, reflect in the standings - 1. Red Sox (3.62), 2. Orioles (4.13), 3. Blue Jays (4.34).

Possibly most telling of all, and most overlooked - the Yankees are dead last in the majors with only three saves. Even Tampa Bay is in double digits with saves. The only other team with fewer than ten saves is the Texas Rangers who are currently fighting it out with the Royals for the worst record in baseball (teams the Yankees are only two games ahead of in the win column).

As strange as it is to say it after a decade, I would say that the Jays and O's are worth more worry as a Sox fan than the Yankees are for remainder of this season.


Dave said...

Sum it up with three letters: O-L-D.

The Yankees starting nine average 32 years of age. Ours average 30. I didn't even bother figuring out the pitching staff gap since we obviously are a lot younger than they are in that department. And we have more young guys in the wings: Buchholz, Bowden, Ellsbury, Murphy, Moss...the list goes on and on.

Kevin Smith said...

And their pitching staff is just going to get older with Clemens...the irony is that one of their oldest starters (Pettitte) has been their best pitcher.

sugarshane024 said...

Wouldn't it be great, simply for the pleasure of Red Sox fans everywhere, if the Yankees finished in last place in the East - 30-40 games behind the Red Sox at season's end? That would be beautiful. That seems to be the pace the Sox and Yanks are on. Best case scenario: Sox also go on to win the World Series. New York City would blow up.

Kevin Smith said...

Don't know if I would go so far as blowing up NYC...I've had some fun times there. The Yankees continued crash and burn on the other hand...