Saturday, August 26, 2006

Sickening Yankees

I'm absolutely disgusted that the Yankees are playing this poorly. It goes to figure that this club would sweep a 5 game series against the Red Sox and then proceed to hand part of that success back to the Boston club in the games that followed. If there's one team I hate as much as the Red Sox it's the Angels. Well....almost as much. The Angels play the game like they're in 1975, but they always beat the Yankees. It's unbelievably frustrating.

The problem is a combination of an inconsistent offense, and a God-awful bullpen. The starters have been fair and better, but the pen is blowing things up every time out. In the West Coast swing so far the pen has produced the following results:

13.2 IP
18 Hits
13 ER
10 BB
13 K
8.56 ERA
2.049 WHIP

The only game that the bullpen sat out was Randy Johnson's complete game loss. Myers and Dotel did their jobs nicely in Wang's win, but have bombed every other time out. Villone has been dreadful. Wright was unwatchable in relief and as a starter. Farnsworth made a nice cameo, and Mariano hasn't seen the light of day. Overwork is to blame for much of this meltdown, and just plain bad starting pitching is also a factor. Mussina's absence is huge right now.

The bats have quited a bit, which could be expected after the huge Boston outburst, but the arms have not picked them up during the brief lull. I expect the hitting to return to the 6 runs a game form it should produce, but the pitchers need to buckle down and do their jobs. I'm going to single out A-Rod as a guy who needs to step his game up. I bashed him for his off the field wishy-washiness a couple of days ago. It was a bit unfair given that his OPS in both July and August has been .950 and above. The thing is, looking at his recent numbers more closely, he's been awful. What I'm about to look at is a bit unfair, given that you can pluck stats from any player's season total and call it a cold streak, but I think it's worth examining nonetheless.

If you subtract the 3 games in two days that started the Boston series, in which he hit the ball well, A-Rod has done this in 11 games dating back to his 2 hit performance against the Angels on August 13th.

11 Games
7 for 40 with 4 walks and 17 strikeouts
.175/.250/.325 for a .575 OPS
2 HR, 2 runs, 6 RBI
0 stolen bases

Remember, that's excluding his 3 games against Boston. A bit unfair, but indicative of his recent struggles. He has 13 strikeouts, 3 walks, and 3 hits in his last 23 plate appearances after those 3 aforementioned games. You don't need to exclude them to see his atrocious play. That line alone would produce a .150/.261/.261 result in the last 7 games. Yes, he may be sick. Should he be playing at all if that's the case? Should he have been sent back to NY to recover? I thought Joe should have moved him up to the 2-hole for a game to see what happened prior to the last game, and we must have been thinking along the same lines. It didn't work, and it's clear that there's something wrong with A-Rod beyond a slump. Call it illness, but he shouldn't be playing right now. He should be in bed, or on his counselor's couch. I hope he starts to shred the ball for the stretch run. He's a killer right now and he's seriously hurting the team. C'mon A-Rod, buddy, get it together and let's put this thing to bed.

I put up some of Daisuke's Matsuzaka's MLB Projections at Matsuzaka Watch. Go check it out. See you tomorrow. Go Yanks!


RollingWave said...

I'm not too worried, you have to remember this is the rear end of a 21 game 20 day trip... it's normal to be dead tired, espically the bullpen, which have been the main problem lately (besides A-rod.)

Wang and Johnson both looked fine if not good, everyone else besides A-rod are still doing well on offense.... and Boston is playing equally crapy if not more since the 5 game series. (and they had a offday before the series...)

And the Yankees were in almost every game, they weren't exactly blown away, but have some tough luck getting robbed (Melky should have been 4 for 4 yesterday... he was robbed twice.. including a ball that was simply drilled all the way to the wall off K-rod) or calls not going their way

All they need is a good days rest and they should be fine.

spitnfire said...

Arod is way too overpayed. Scott Boras ripped teams off for Arods contract. Arod should be in the neighborhood of Matsui or Damon's contract. not what he is getting.

RollingWave said...

Errrr no, A-rod was the MVP last year? he's a middle/corner IF that's hitting a lot better than Damon / Matsui over their career

Oh, did you notice that Yankees are only paying 16M or his 25M per year deal?

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