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Monday, October 16, 2017

Big Collapse in the Big Apple in the Making?

by Jeff Weisinger (writer), New York, NY, October 15, 2012

Credit: Ron Antonelli/ NYDN
Nick Swisher swings and misses at a pitch during game two of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

Despite solid pitching performances throughout the postseason, the New York Yankees lineup has been anything but supportive in October. And it's incredibly ridiculous.

For the team with a payroll just north of $200 million, it's a little hard to believe that the Yankees have more big names on their roster compared to hits. Let alone runs scored.

But thus is the case with the Bronx Bombers, who managed to scrap together a measley four-hit effort in Sunday's 3-0 ALCS Game two loss to the Detroit Tigers, which can only leave the question to one Yankee, let alone baseball fan... what the hell is going on with the Yanks?

It's completely irritating that a lineup that goes (in order) Ichiro, Cano, Teixiera, Ibanez, Martin, Rodriguez, Granderson, Swisher and Nix can only muster all of four hits, a day after a nearly-magical come-from-behind win where the Yanks scored four runs in the ninth to tie the game at four before losing the game, and Derek Jeter in the 12th inning.

They had 11 hits Saturday night by the way.

It's also ridiculous that a team that scored seven runs against Baltimore in the opening game of the ALDS at Camden Yard, five of which in the ninth inning, took about 76 innings after game one to match that seven-run game one total. The seventh run came in the sixth inning of game five of the ALDS against the Orioles.

To add insult to, well, more insult, Yanks second baseman Robinson Cano is riding a postseason record 26 at-bat hitless streak after Sunday's 0-fer.

Sooner or later, preferably sooner, the Yankee lineup is going to have to string together hits and hit with runners on. The Yanks left the bases loaded three-times in the ALCS opener against Detroit, a franchise-first. That's at the very least three runs stranded on third, and at most, nine, maybe 10 runs altogether left on base.

The Yankees are averaging just .205 at the plate as a team with just 53 hits in 258 at-bats in the postseason (after Sunday's loss against Detroit), with a postseason-high 67 strikeouts. The only active playoff team hitting worse than the Yanks are the NL West champion San Francisco Giants who were hitting just .194 entering tonight's NLCS opener against St. Louis (.253) New York ended the regular season ranked eighth in the bigs with a .265 team batting average.

Forget A-Rod not hitting either. Even though he's just about hitting as bad as Cano is, Granderson isn't hitting like the 43 home run hitter he was during the regular season, catcher Russell Martin isn't hitting at all, right fielder Nick Swisher isn't hitting, Teixiera isn't hitting like he should be, Eric Chavez is batting like he did toward the end of his Athletics' days, meaning he isn't, and Jayson Nix can't hit the ball anywhere the outfielders, or infielders aren't. Nobody is hitting; except Raul Ibanez in the ninth.

The one bright spot with the Bombers, ironic enough, has been their pitching staff. The starting rotation has pitched into the seventh inning or later, saving the bullpen for the most part. However, with the struggles of the Yankee lineup, the pitching staff hasn't really received the credit they've deserved this year, considering the fact that the Yankee pitching staff is usually the reason the team struggles in October. Along with A-Rod not hitting a thing.

As frustrating as it can be for the team and it's fans, we've all got to keep one thing in perspective. If this postseason has taught us anything at all, it's that just about any and everything is possible.

The Yankees are down 2-0 in this seven-game ALCS going to Detroit for at least two and at most three games at Comerica Park, with Justin Verlander waiting to greet them for game three. With the Yanks sending Phil Hughes to the mound Tuesday for game three and Sabathia for game four most likely, this lineup needs to get it's act together quick and Yankee fans better hope this sudden slump ends just as quick as it came, or Sunday's loss will be the last time we see the Yankees in the Bronx until April.

Here's to hoping for some of that late-inning Yankee magic. More than just Raul preferrably. And earlier in the game too.



About the Writer

Jeff Weisinger is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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