Disappointing Yankees Bats Again Fall Flat
The salaries are large, the production is small. The Yankees are batting .200 as a team this postseason and have scored a grand total of 21 runs in eight games. Five of those runs were driven in by one man, Raul Ibanez.
Even Ibanez was done in by the law of averages on Tuesday night, fooled by a 3-2 Phil Coke change-up to strike out and end the game with two on and two outs and New York down 2-1. The Detroit Tigers now own a commanding 3-0 series lead, and the struggles of the New York offense have no end in sight. As the temperatures began to drop in the New York area, it seemed as if the team’s hitters went into some kind of early hibernation.
Baseball is predominantly a mental game, and when a player fails to consistently produce, it gets into their head and consumes their every thought. Alex Rodriguez is so mentally fatigued that he can no longer physically compete at even an average level this postseason. Manager Joe Girardi had no choice but to take him out of the lineup with his 3-23 postseason with 12 strikeouts.
Curtis Granderson now only thinks about hitting home runs, and his mental anguish has seeped into his swing. He’s an abysmal 3-29 with 15 strikeouts. Nick Swisher is going into a free agency year and wants to show prospective teams that he’s worth a premium contract. But even his bubbly personality has turned sour with his 4-26 performance thus far. And everyone thought that Robinson Cano would carry his unbelievably hot September into the playoffs, but his 0-29 streak was the worst in postseason history before he broke it with a ninth inning single in the team’s 2-1 loss to the Tigers on Tuesday.
So how does a team go cold so suddenly in the playoffs all at the same time? Is it entitlement, expecting success but not working hard to attain individual and team goals? Perhaps the team was just not ready for the improved pitching and talent levels that the playoffs provide. They’ve been soundly shut down by both Baltimore and Detroit this postseason, and there are no signs that this team will wake up and turn itself around.
The Yankees were resolved to take solace in the fact that they mustered five hits against Justin Verlander and Coke last night, a pathetic small victory among a series of stinging defeats. ”There were some good at-bats tonight. The ball was not carrying tremendously well tonight, we know that,” Girardi said.
The only Yankee run came on a home run by utility man Eduardo Nunez, who has eight postseason at bats but just one fewer hit than Rodriguez, Granderson and Cano. And unless the Yankees break out of their postseason-long slump, their disappointing bats and their underachieving ball club will go silently into a long New York winter in the most humbling fashion.