Sunday, May 28, 2017

Strikeouts are threatening to kill the Yankee buzz

Yesterday, the victorious Evil Empire cut its strikeout total down to eight. 

Yep, only eight - down from 10 on Friday, in part because - get this - Chris Carter put the ball in play twice and did not contribute a single swisheroo. Instead, our big three - Gary Sanchez, Matt Holliday and Aaron Judge - each fanned twice. (Note: Since the Yankees last week unveiled the "Judge's Chambers" millennial outreach program, Judge is 4 for 19 with no home runs and five strikeouts. Pressure? I dunno, but I do know this: A few more slow games, and it will become a talk show issue.) Of course, we won because a) CC Sabathia pitched brilliantly and b) Holliday homered with a runner on base. So, the moral of the story: We'll just keep free-swinging. 

We haven't scored more than 5 runs in a game since May 17th. In our last six games, we have struck out 61 times - that includes a 17-strikeout night in Tampa. And it's in line with our season totals.

The Yankees average 9.15 strikeouts per game - third highest in MLB, behind the whiff ghettos of Tampa and Milwaukee, and barely ahead of San Diego and Oakland. Want something to worry about? Boston has the game's lowest strikeout ratio - only 6.62 per game. 

We have the second highest average of walks per game - 4.02, behind Minnesota. (Boston averages 3.69.) Worst of all, we lead every team in baseball in average number of runners left on base, and runners left in scoring position. 

Together, it suggests we are the most boring team in baseball. Nine strikeouts and four walks - and that's just on our side of the line score. Add another seven or eight strikeouts for the opposition, plus a walk or two, and should anybody wonder why attendance is down? We are putting forth a product where batters walk up to the plate, then either walk to first or walk back to the dugout. As Aphonso says, we are watching nothing happen. 

(Also, unless something changes dramatically, it will take us down. Homer happy teams don't fare well against good pitching.) 

What's really been sad lately has been the slow-motion close-up of Chase Headley's career self-immolation. But what does it take for a guy to adjust his swing? He started 2017 with a smooth bunt single and an opposite field base hit. He was red hot in April, invoking a new sense of adjustment. Then came the month of May and - poof - same old Headley - strikeouts or double play balls. It's another Stephen Drew. Another Mark Teixeira. Another player gone bad before his time.

Lately, you can feel a growing desperation in this lineup. If the opposition has a big inning - three, four runs - there is a weird sense that the game is over. (Weird, because we had so many great comebacks earlier.) When a batter has two strikes, the third seems inevitable. And runners on base no longer matter, because the hitters are swinging for the fences anyway. 

I cannot believe I am saying this, but the Yankees are starting to look like a boring team again. 

7 comments:

ranger_lp said...

Headley is on the clock.....tick...tock

Anonymous said...

Must agree with what all-caps has been saying: give Joey Blue-Binders and his line-up stupidity - - and bullpen-pitcher rigidity - - a huge piece of the credit. All-caps is absolutely right: dump Carter, by-pass Headley, have Sanchez DH (and Holliday to first) when Romine catches - - just for starters. Joey has NEVER shown a great tendency to handle his bullpen well, either: he believes the best medicine for a reliever who had a terrible game (Warren?? Holder?? Layne?? Whoever...) is to run them out there again in a meaningful situation, and act like the disaster never happens - - wasn't there a wise man who once said something about doing the same thing over, and expecting different results?? Ummmm....I HAVE to believe that Tanaka would have been thinking some really obscene thoughts (in Japanese??), when he watched what Joey did to his best performance since the complete-game shutout - - and his best K-total ever for the Yanks....I know I was, though not in Japanese. I just had the feeling that Joey would muck that one up (in this case, with some assistance from Head-Case); I'm old, wasn't feeling well, and I went to bed after six. When I awoke, and read the game write-up, I was glad I hadn't witnessed it.
I just wish to whatever's up there, or out there, that Joey would get kicked upstairs - - I'm sick and tired of him - - and I'm old and impatient, and do NOT want to see Food-Stamps re-sign him to another handsome contract. Period LB (No J)

Anonymous said...

WE CAN ALL SEE THE STRIKEOUTS HAVE BECOME CONTAGIOUS, BECAUSE FOR MOST OF THE MONTH OF APRIL, WE WEREN'T DOING THIS...... WE WERE TAKING THE BALL THE OTHER WAY, MAKING MORE CONTACT, STEALING, AND EVEN BUNTING TO SET UP RUNS, AND IT WAS WORKING!
WHO NEEDS TO STEP IN RIGHT NOW TO PUT THE BREAKS ON THIS GROWING CANCER OF STRIKEOUTS?

GIRARDI!!

HE NEEDS TO GET THE WHOLE TEAM TOGETHER, AND SPEAK SERIOUSLY TO THEM HOW THEY ARE LOSING FOCUS ON WHAT THEY STARTED OUT DOING. HE DOESN'T HAVE TO YELL OR SCREAM, (YET)...... AND HOW THEY NEED TO RE-DEDICATE THEMSELVES TO WHAT THEY WERE DOING THE ENTIRE MONTH OF APRIL.

GARY SANCHEZ IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE..... LAST SEASON HE WAS HAPPY TO TAKE AN OUTSIDE PITCH THE OTHER WAY, FOR A RINGING DOUBLE TO RIGHT CENTER..... HE WAS ALSO WILLING TO TAKE A WALK...... NOW I SEE HIM TRYING TO PULL EVERYTHING, MAKING LESS CONTACT, AND NOT LOOKING PATIENT AT THE PLATE, RESULTING IN MORE STRIKEOUTS.

I BELIEVE SANCHEZ WILL STRAIGHTEN OUT AND BE FINE.
......BUT GIRARDI HAS THE KEYS TO STRAIGHTENING THIS TEAM OUT, IF HE IS TRULY A SMART BASEBALL MAN, HE WILL ONLY CARE ABOUT WINS, AND LOSSES..... AND NOT WAITING FOR HOME RUNS EVERY NIGHT.

Alphonso said...

A truly smart baseball man?? Girardi???

"IF" is the operative word.

I would say: "NOT"

Who is pretending to be our " batting coach/guru" this year?

Does he/she have a role?

Anonymous said...

HEY!....FOR TODAY'S GAME ANYWAY, IT SEEMS LIKE GIRARDI READ THESE POSTS THIS MORNING, (OF COURSE HE DID!)..... SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU MAKE SOME CONTACT?.... GARDNER BLOOPS ONE DOWN THE LINE LATE IN THE GAME AND IT DROPS IN FOR 2 BIG INSURANCE RUNS..... CASTRO TAKES AN EXTRA BASE ON A GUY WITH A LOUSY ARM, SANCHEZ SQUIRTS A BASE HIT TO THE OPPOSITE FIELD.... THIS IS WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT..... HOLD ON TO THE PHILOSOPHY!

Anonymous said...

Baseball in general is more boring than it used to be.
Way too many strikeouts.
Therefore, fewer exciting fielding/baserunning plays.
Pisses me off when broadcasters get all excited and hype a game because of a lot of boring strikeouts.
I still watch, but I enjoy a lot less and sometimes read with the game on in the background, muted.

joe de pastry said...

that last comment was mine