Monday, April 26, 2021

"The worst is yet come my friends…”

Hey, nothing like an April weekend in Cleveland to brighten one’s prospects, right? Three-out-of-four, and even if the last one was yet another of the severely mangy dogs your New York Yankees seem to specialize in this year, there were tiny green sprouts of hope, no?


The team winning percentage vaulted from .333 to .429! The Gleyber showed signs of life—which is to say that he raised his average from .186 to .213 and drove in a second run! (Still no homers, but what the hell do you want from a guy?)


Mike Ford came back up and homered, already matching Jay “Shoot me now” Bruce’s total for the month! Clint Frazier (.146, still no homers, 1 RBI) made a very nice catch!


Oh, all right. Perkiness only goes so far, even with a four-game set in Baltimore about to start. 


Fact is, these Yankees remain on a historic pace—for impotence. Currently, the team is hitting all of .206.


That puts it 8 points below the record-setting, 1968 Yanks’ batting average of .214. I don’t mean just record-setting for the Yankees: That was and is the lowest average by a major-league team since the start of the 20th century. 


But in 1968, we’re talking a year when there was no DH, pitchers threw from the top of foothills, shortstops were the size of jockeys, the only juice was at Southern Cal, and the only weight rooms were at your doctor’s office (Get it?). 


That ’68 team, in fact, finished in the first division with a winning record, thank to a pitching staff with a 2.79 ERA, a defense that ranked third in the league, and an offense that attempted to find in motion what it lacked in power (They stole 90 bases—and got caught 50 times.).


Our 2021 Yankees? 


What stands out most is how consistently bad the hitting has been. They have yet to score more than 8 runs in a game, and have run up double digits in hits only 4 times, and only once in their last 15 games. 


Steal a base? Why the Yankees of today have absorbed all the vital, algorithmic data about the futility of such larceny and run only when they know they can make it—they are stealing 1.000 percent! 


Of course, that means they have swiped only 4 bags on the entire season. For that matter, the 1968 team foolishly wasted 56 outs on sacrifice bunts (29 by their pitchers), and 30 on sacrifice flies. The 2021 team has, sagely, just 2 sacrifice bunts and not a single sac fly.


Hey, why waste an out moving runners along when you can always fan the breeze?


But don’t worry. This year’s Yankees have already walloped 26 homers—good for third in the league! And when it comes to the stats that really count, we know that the 2021 team is far ahead, with a line that reads .206/.302/.353/.655, to just .214/.292/.318/.609 for the 1968 Bombers.


Or is it so far ahead? Take away those hitting pitchers, and the 1968 team’s line is .224/.303/.333/.636. If they’d been able to slot in a DH, they’d likely be ahead of the 2021 Yanks in slugging percentage, too.


So far, our current Pinstripers have survived because of a pitching staff that is now second in the AL, thanks mostly to Gerrit Cole and a lights-out bullpen. The latter is almost certainly not going to continue.


Time to go to the “tag-team starters” some here have been suggesting, two starters throwing 4 innings each in the same game—but even that likely won’t be enough. Yes, the hitting will improve as the weather warms, but it won’t be that good, and at this rate the pen will be fizzling like so many roadside fireworks by the Fourth of July.


Take it from Tony: The worst is yet to come and babe, it won’t be fine… 


EDB said...

Absolutely, more bad Baseball to come. The Yankees are a five hundred team over the last 162 or so games. The Yankees offense is horrendous; the fielding sucks and the starting pitching with the exception of Cole, is bad. The stupidity when it comes to baserunning is poor. It is like the domino effect. Cheapskate Hal only cares about the cap, so Genius Cashman, clueless when it comes to starting pitching brings in two starters that that have not started in years and Manager Kumbaya meekly goes along with it. I understand that the Yankees do not stress defense in the minors. Thus a team that generally does not field well. The Genius listens to bad advice and has the players swing for homers. Sanchez and Hicks have been bad for several seasons. The Yankees continue to make excuses for them. Specifically Manager Kumbaya. Perhaps if the Yes rating drop, Hal's thinking cap will go on. He is a joke. Tell us one more time how the Yankees are a Championship Caliber Team. If anyone who reads this wants to disagree, please feel free.

Anonymous said...

It's definitely starting to look like this is one the worst teams of all time, let alone for this season. The Brain has put off maintenance issues for years, and it's going to result in a stock market crash this winter. No one will want our garbage, and trading the lousy players will bring back practically nothing. It's a damned shame because we could've, should've traded away a lot of these guys during the last two or three years. And we'd have received some good value back then when their stock was much higher.

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