Life should be good right now.
The New York Yankees took the first three games of their series against the Cleveland Indians and have won four out of their last six. As much as we would’ve loved to see it, four-game sweeps are extremely hard. We’ll take the three of four.
What’s even better? The Bronx Bombers showed themselves for the first time in 2021. They clubbed nine home runs over the last four contests and hit three in one game for the first time all year.
So what’s the problem?
Well, the same problems that plagued the Bombers in their 6-11 start are still prevalent. They were just masked by the long ball and some good pitching.
Over those four games against the Indians, the Yankees scored 16 runs (four per game), worked 22 walks, totaled 28 hits (seven per game), and hit 4-for-20 with runners in scoring position. The hits and RISP totals also look better thanks to an 11-hit series opener that featured a 4-for-12 performance with RISP.
The Yankees still feature the same offensive problems despite their series win in Cleveland.
Did we expect a seismic shift when it comes to this team’s offensive philosophy? No, but it’s important to know that’s still not the case. The Yankees just happened to hit home runs over the last four days to distract us from the problem that cost them 11 losses across their first 17 games.
And if we really want to be picky, hitting nine home runs should probably translate to more than 16 runs! But maybe we’re taking it too far. Runs are runs. We will take it.
Then again, the whole problem here is that we expect more from one of the most talented lineups in the sport. Should we be satisfied by three straight wins that still largely lacked consistency and resourcefulness?
And a lot of the troubling stat lines we mentioned last week are still looming large:
- Clint Frazier – .146/.293/.188
- Brett Gardner – .194/.310/.250
- Giancarlo Stanton – .186/.250/.414
- Gleyber Torres – .213/.306/.240
- Gary Sanchez – .196/.328/.333
- Aaron Hicks – .172/.274/.328
- Aaron Judge – .246/.366/.449
And DJ LeMahieu is struggling mightily, in comparison to where he should be.
Though Stanton, Torres and Hicks woke up in a sense this series, the Yankees pitching staff holding the Indians to seven runs across the first three games was arguably a bigger reason for these three victories. The bats did respond in the first two games after going down by three runs early, which was another positive development, but it was all in short, quick spurts.
Nobody’s complaining about the wins. We’ll take ’em all. We’re just going to be on our toes (and won’t be surprised) when the home runs disappear again and the offensive well suddenly turns dry.