It’s like deja vu all over again. Like last week, the Yankees came firing out of the gate sweeping their first opponent and taking game one from their second. The last two games of both weeks they were blown out of the sky, losing those four games by a total of 22 runs.
So, at least they are consistent. Or, actually, are they? The Yankees of 2014 rarely look the same on a week by week basis. The Bronx is boiling, folks, and I need to blow some steam.
“IN ANY TEAM SPORT, THE BEST TEAMS HAVE CONSISTENCY AND CHEMISTRY.”
That quote was said by Roger Staubach of his Cowboys and holds true for any team. While this 2014 New York Yankees team is still too new to question their chemistry, their consistency has been severely lacking. In fact, the most consistent player has been Vidal Nuno, as every Yankees’ fan is fully aware that we will lose when he pitches.
The offense reminds me of an old lawn mower. You keep pulling that starter cord, it revs for a little bit, but then blows out and you need to start the process all over again. Let’s look at the ultimate model of consistency for the Yankees: Derek Jeter. One week it looks like he’s put it together. Jeter looked 25 again, reeling off multi-hit games back-to-back, and in a total groove. It was short lived, however, as he quickly returned to earth going a dismal 1-12 against a lack luster Orioles pitching staff. I know, I know, everyone slumps. But doesn’t it seem like Jeter never slumped? On top of that, he is in the two hole. He needs to get the engine going.
Brian McCann was brought to New York to be a home run hitting, regular threat in the lineup. He has yet to be any of that this season. McCann teases us Yankees fans. He will put together four-game spurts here and there where we think this is finally it, this is when we get to see the Brian McCann that the Yankees brought in for five years and $85 million. But then he returns to five game mini-slumps where he does nothing.
Masahiro Tanaka and Dellin Betances have stayed steady throughout the whole season. Even Tanaka’s second loss of the season Sunday wasn’t a stinker. Chase Whitley has been phenomenally consistent, but it’s a small size thus far. Everyone else is questionable. Hiroki Kuroda was a well oiled machine the past two seasons for the Yankees, but he has been a bit erratic this year. His current ERA is nearly one point higher than his career mark. Is he older? Sure. Did some Yankees fans question why he was brought back? Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean he can under perform. David Phelps — man, is this guy an enigma or what? His last two games against first place teams, mind you, have been all star performances. He looked as if should unquestionably be in the rotation. His two games prior to that 13 runs crossed the plate during his 11.2 innings of work. Even Adam Warren, who seems to be settling in as a nice set up to the set-up man pitcher, has imploded twice this month. Allowing a run or two here and there is one thing, but to have two outings in which he let up a combined 7 runs over 1.1 innings is a bit alarming. Am I saying to be worried about Warren? By no means. But as the season wears on and he amasses more innings, we may be reminded that this is his first full season more often than we’d like.
The Yankees are definitely starting to come together. It was a huge victory to sweep the first place Blue Jays to start off the week. On the other hand, they haven’t won back to back series since the end of April. Yankees’ fans are used to domination. The Yankees are supposed to be able to reel off ten in a row, while winning four series in a row against the Blue Jays, the Orioles, the Rays, and the Red Sox. Until they can do that, the Yankees will remain in the middle of a weak AL East pack.