Yankees: Inconsistency is the Name of their Game
Immediately following the All-Star break, the Yankees appeared to be headed in the right direction. They swept the red-hot Reds and prepared for their next ten games, seven of which were against the league-worst Rangers. Throw in a home series against Toronto, who had lost their last seventeen games at Yankee Stadium, and they had the recipe for a first-place bid.
The Yankees took three out of four from Texas and won the first Toronto game. But things went downhill from there. On Saturday, defensive miscues opened the door for a Blue Jays rally and they took the game 6-4. The Yankees also lost Sunday’s rubber match 5-4 despite making three separate comebacks in a game where the bullpen just couldn’t hold the score at status quo.
Formerly airtight assets like Dellin Betances started to show cracks this week: On Sunday he made a costly throwing error on a pickoff attempt and served up a grand slam to J. P. Arencibia on Tuesday upon entering the game with the bases loaded. Though the Yankees eventually won Tuesday’s game, it was by no means a victory to brag about. The bullpen nearly squandered a 10-4 lead and David Robertson narrowly escaped an embarrassing blown save as the Yankees eked out a 12-11 win.
Clearly the offensive outburst had petered out by Wednesday. Brett Gardner (8-for-14 in the Texas series) led off the game with a home run, his fourth in the series and 14th of the season, a career high. But Hiroki Kuroda struggled in the first inning and gave up three runs. Kuroda settled down and didn’t surrender any more runs in seven innings, but Yankee offense rewarded their only remaining opening day starter with a meager two runs.
For all the talk about Yankee starting pitching troubles, their rotation hasn’t been their main issue. Since the All-Star break, starters have posted a respectable 3.47 ERA. Newcomers Brandon McCarthy and Chris Capuano have done a good job so far. Many were speculating that the Yankees may seek out a big-name starter before the trade deadline, but that doesn’t appear to be their major need at the moment.
The Yankees don’t necessarily need to pick up a bat to supplement their lineup either. However, hitters who were brought to New York for that purpose need to start stepping up. It’s the same rhetoric we’ve been spouting since April, but will the bats wake up in time for the Yankees to make a serious run for the playoffs?
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