While I never thought someone could possibly be as bad as Alex Rodriguez in the postseason (post 2009), Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher went ahead and proved me wrong. While it’s unfair to place the blame on one individual or even a few, the fact that the New York Yankees had been unable to make really any noise outside of Game One was concerning. These three in no way, shape or form have helped this team in the postseason. Is it asking too much for them to do well? Not at all. We knew the Yankees had their inconsistencies, but for the heart of the order to just shut down raises more red flags.
We here at Yanks Go Yard have been discussing the A-Rod issue for quite some time with all sorts of viewpoints. Am I frustrated with A-Rod? Absolutely. Do I groan every time I see him come up to bat? Yes, but I also feel the exactly same way with Grandy and Swish. Even Robinson Cano struggled in the ALDS, hitting .091 with four RBIs and only two hits, both of which were doubles. If Cano is going to struggle, it tells you that these three really need to step up their production for the ALCS.
Granderson’s abysmal production in the ALDS yielded him a .158 (3 for his last 19) batting average with one walk and six strikeouts. He did however hit get two hits, one being a home run, in last night’s victory. However, that does not excuse his poor play leading up to that point. We knew that from August on, Granderson’s best months in 2012 were long gone and it is kind of surprising how hard he fell. He’s been swinging at pitches way out of the zone that I think he should be taking up golf with Bubba Watson. His patience at the plate has also been pretty awful, as he’s seeing around an average of four pitches an at-bat. That’s one huge dent in the line-up.
The other dent belongs to Swisher. While Swisher may try to keep his cordial presence flowing in the clubhouse, the reality of how he’s doing has to hit him at some point. In the ALDS, Swisher batted just a flat out bad .111 (2 for 18) with one RBI, two walks and five strikeouts. Is it a lack of focus that has Swisher’s mind out of the game? I’d hate to think so because we all know how good of a player he can be.
With the way these two are playing now and really had been since September, they’re not getting contract extensions anytime soon, if at all. The inability to perform in the first stage of the playoffs really doesn’t make you an attractive free agent and the money you think you deserve is going quickly down the drain.
What makes no sense is that this is mostly a group of guys that have been here in the playoffs before. For the most part, this is the same team that won the World Series in 2009. How did it all fall apart? Is this the direct result of an aging team? Perhaps so and this is something that they’ll have to deal with going forward.
Even if the Yankees make it further into the playoffs, will they learn from their mistakes? Will they be able to see what they’re doing wrong and figure out how to at least play some small ball? The playoffs are a time where yes, they do see other fantastic teams so many runs won’t be scored. However as it stands, only two everyday guys hit over .300 in the ALDS, Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira. The next highest average was Ichiro Suzuki‘s .217. So for the Yankees, this struggling heart of the order is going in the wrong direction and for once, A-Rod is not the only culprit in this debacle.