New York Yankees: What a Difference a Single Would Make

Last night in the second game of a three game series against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco field, the New York Yankees scored four runs. Three of them were a result of a Robinson Cano solo home run (10) and a Mark Teixeira two-run home run ((15).

The fourth Yankees run was a result of a walk to Derek Jeter followed by a triple by Curtis Granderson that tied the game at 4-4.

The Yankees lead the majors with 257 runs scored. They average over five runs a game, but as stated yesterday ( Yankees Offense ), the Yankees are challenged offensively when they don’t hit home runs.

After the Yankees scored the game-tying run in the seventh inning, they were stymied for the next five innings.

They had a scoring chance in the tenth inning, but Russell Martin flied out to Ichiro Suzuki to end the threat.

In the 11th inning, Derek Jeter grounded out with two men gone and Chris Dickerson on second.

The Mariners scored in twelfth to win the game.

On the positive side, no ball park is too large for the Yankees sluggers to go deep, but on the negative side, when they are in tight games and fail to hit the long ball, their offense is no better than average.

Granted, hitting a home run guarantees at least one run, but getting some timely singles is important.

The Yankees are batting only .252, but their batting average when they fail to hit home runs is only .206.

Last season, the Yankees hit 201 home runs, averaged 5.30 runs a game, and batted .231 when they didn’t hit a home run.

During the championship season of 2009, the Yankees hit 244 home runs. What is significant is that they hit .241 without their home runs.

This season has been one in which pitching has often dominated hitting. Teams are attempting to steal bases again, the sacrifice is making a comeback, and most teams often struggle to score.

American League pitchers have a 3.84 ERA and have allowed 8.5 hits per nine innings. Last season the numbers were 4.14 for ERA and teams averaged 8.9 hits per nine innings and last year was considered the year of the pitcher.

The Yankees primary challengers are the hated Boston Red Sox, a team that had a nearly disastrous start, but now leads the Yankees by one and one-half games.

Boston has hit 55 home runs. They have batted .239 when one discounts their home runs, which is eerily close to the 2009 World Champion Yankees batting average.

It is believed that the Yankees hitting with runners in scoring position will improve.

Robinson Cano (.281), Mark Teixeira (.259), and Derek Jeter (.257) have started to raise their averages closer to their lifetime marks.

It is rarely mentioned, but it is possible that once Jeter gets his 3,000 hit, his hitting will become more consistent.

The Yankees are a playoff team, but they must start to score more without the help of the home run, especially once October baseball starts.

References:

Friend, Harold. “New York Yankees: Baseball’s Highest Scoring Offense Needs Improvement.” Bleacherreport. 28 May 2011.

Baseball Reference