Sunday, August 2, 2009

Still On The Roller Coaster

A season that has been nothing but ups and downs is on yet another down swing.

A.J. Burnett had his first terrible start since that awful night in Boston in early June, the offense wasted scoring opportunity after scoring opportunity and the defense continued its recent stretch of shoddy play as the Yankees lost to the White Sox 14-4 in Chicago Saturday.

The Yankees have lost three straight and four of five, their lead in the AL East sliced to a half-game over the Red Sox.

When this team is playing well, it appears to be as dominant as any of its championship teams from the 1990s. But when it's playing poorly, you wonder if it would be able to beat the 1962 Mets -- and that's how poorly this team is playing right now.

The Yankees are suddenly getting poor pitching from both their starters and bullpen, are not hitting in the clutch (12-for-60, .200, with runners in scoring position on this trip), are not pounding out homers, are making poor decisions on the basepaths and are playing stupidly in the field. In short, they are doing nothing right.

This is the Yankees' fourth stretch of just miserable play this season and thing is that this team appears to need something to happen in order to stretch out a funk. Consider this:

  • The Yankees lost five straight in early May and broke out of it only when
    Alex Rodriguez returned from the DL.

  • They lost 9 of 13 in June and broke out of it when Joe Girardi finally got
    ejected from a game in Atlanta.

  • A three-game sweep in Anaheim didn't grow into something larger only
    because of the All-Star break.

And with their AL East lead now razor thin and series against the Blue Jays and Red Sox coming up, the Yankees have to something soon to snap out of this slide.

“We looked pretty awful,” Jorge Posada said.

Pretty awful??? C'mon Jorge! Don't mince words here. The Yankees have looked flat-out awful.

Saturday Burnett just didn't have it. He allowed seven runs on 10 hits. Twice he walked the ninth-place hitter with bases loaded and in the second he surrendered the first of the two six-run innings in the Yankees allowed.

Phil Coke was miserable in the eighth allowing six runs in one-third of an inning as Chicago put the game away.

But no one had a good day. Derek Jeter committed a fielding error in the sixth and Joe Girardi failed to pinch hit for Cody Ransom in top half of the inning when the Yankees had runners on the corners and a chance to get back into the game. Just another failure for the offense, which went 2-for-13 with RISP.

Ideally, the best way to shake up this team would be for Brian Cashman to make a trade to bring in a legit major league pitcher to replace Sergio Mitre, but it doesn't appear that's going to happen anytime soon.

In fact, the Yankees have juggled their rotation and will pitch Mitre Wednesday in Toronto. Shoot me now! Why not just do what most normal teams would do with a day off Monday and skip that spot in the rotation?

Maybe Girardi will try getting tossed again. Better yet, maybe he can pull a Paul O'Neill on a water cooler. Do something, anything, please.

I'd hate to think it will take a brawl to snap this team out of it ... but you never know.

Runners In Scoring Position
2-for-13 (.154)
252-for-971 (.260)
First Half
217-for-819 (.265)
Second Half
36-for-152 (.237)
Since A-Rod's Return May 8
187-for-699 (.268)
Vs. Red Sox
11-for-82 (.134)

Up Next
Sunday at White Sox, 2:05 p.m., YES
CC Sabathia (10-7, 3.83 ERA) vs. Mark Buehrle (11-4, 3.45)

If the Yankees are going to have any chance today, Sabathia is going to have snap out of his recent poor stretch and be dominant. Even so, the offense is going to have a tough time against Buehrle.


Jason said...

Great sports site man. I look forward to reading some more. I have a sports blog myself and I would like to exchange links with you. Let me know. Take care.

Aviv said...

Thanks, Jason. We're always up for a link exchange. Click on the email link under the bios of either Dave or me and send us your info.