Yankees: Lack of run production in last 30 games proving deadly

Manager Joe Girardi (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Manager Joe Girardi (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The Yankees, over their last 30 games, have been outscored by opponents 122-117. And despite occasional flurries reminding of the team they were, the team they are is going down a bit too easily for comfort now.

The Yankees have scored fewer runs this season than only two teams, the Houston Astros, and Washington Nationals. Their 563 runs average out to more than five runs a game. But therein lies the problem. That standard includes the distortion of when the team ran off a 21-9 mark earlier in the season.

In their last three games, all losses, the team has scored an average of one run. Only three teams have had more strikeouts than the Bombers, and only five teams have fewer hits over the same span. Only two teams have a worse slugging percentage than the Yankees .313, and only three teams have a lower batting average (.212).

How black can the kettle be? Some might say it’s a small sample, which it is. But it’s still indicative of what the team has been doing offensively for a month now, over which time they’ve been outscored 122-117.

Sensing the frustration that is building within the team and the Yankees fan base, Girardi spoke candidly to the YES Network in his post game press conference (video below). He pointed out that the Yankees had eleven hits last night, but for lack of timely hitting they scored only two runs.

He’s “trying everything,” but except for Didi Gregorius, Chase Headley, and Brett Gardner, the rest of the lineup lies dormant. And they are not having the kind of at-bats to where you could say it’s only a matter of waiting it out.

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The Yankees still put a scare in the opposing pitcher. How could they not when you have Clint Frazier, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez following each other in the batting order? But of late, their roar has been louder than their bite, and it’s resulted in the team losing five of their last six games and dropping a full three games behind the Red Sox.

Ironically, it’s been the much-maligned starting pitching that’s kept the Yankees in games. Last night, for instance, Jaime Garcia didn’t pitch well, but he didn’t pitch poorly either, surrendering five earned runs. And before that, Sonny Gray and Masahiro Tanaka did pitch well.

Of Garcia’s start, Girardi, in his post game conference, attributed it to “being rusty,” having pitched for three different teams over his last three starts in “places all over the country.”

Even more, mind boggling than the lack of hitting has been the Little League defense in which, for the second night in a row, a ball came sailing in from the outfield, missing the cut-off man completely, and ending up in the third base dugout leading to runs scored.

This is fundamental baseball. It’s the stuff that comes as second nature to major league players. It’s also the same thing that continues to afflict Gary Sanchez and his inability to get down quick enough to block balls in the dirt.

Again, it was Girardi who candidly pointed out that it’s something Sanchez can do, he’s just not doing it. Which leads to the question of when Girardi will finally lose patience with his young, but still developing, backstop while the team is in a pennant race.

In the end, there’s nothing left for Girardi to do but fill out a lineup card, turning the game over to his players. The Yankees have proven they are better than they are playing now. And eventually, the team will turn this thing around.

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The question in baseball, though, is always, “What have you done for me lately?” In the Yankees case, the only truthful answer is, not much.

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