Last night’s loss to the Red Sox was the 21st loss in a 1-run game this season for the Yankees. Their 13-21 record in 1-run games ranks as the worst in the AL, and the 3rd worst in MLB. Parlay that with 20 blown saves (only team with more is the Mariners), 4 of which have come from the $86M man Aroldis Chapman, and it helps paint a clearer picture of the Yankees’ 5.5 game deficit.
In 2016, the Yankees blew 16 saves the entire season. As of August 14th, they’ve exceeded that number by 4 already, yet find themselves 1.5 games up in the wild card standings. The 2017 season for the Yankees has been turbulent, to say the least, and the series against the Red Sox didn’t exactly give convincing evidence that things could go smoothly from here on out.
Let’s have a look at some stats that help tell the story from the past week of action.
Aroldis Chapman’s big game woes
Before entering Friday night’s game in the 9th inning to close the door after an epic rally to take the lead, Yankee fans had every reason to be confident in him. The last 23 batters he faced he didn’t give up a run, struck out 8, and didn’t give up a single walk.
Looking perhaps as timid as he did when he toed the rubber in Game 7 of the World Series, Chapman walked the first 3 batters, loading the bases with nobody out. If it wasn’t for an Aaron Hicks missile throw to gun down ex-Yankee Eduardo Nunez, the Yankees could have easily been swept this weekend. His blown save Sunday was his 4th of the year, the most amount of blown saves he’s given up in a season since 2013. Chapman is now 1 blown save away from tying his career high of 5 in a season. What’s maybe more impossible to fathom is that the home run he allowed to Devers was the 1st to a LHB since 2011, and the 103MPH pitch he hit it on was the fastest pitch hit for a homer in the statcast era (starting in 2008). This was also the first home run he has given up since that game-tying homer to Rajai Davis in Game 7.
Judge extends his strikeout streak to 30 games
After striking out 3 times on Sunday night, Judge did nothing to change the record setting pace he is on for strikeouts. Two games away from tying Adam Dunn’s streak of 32 games in 2012, Judge is also on his way to setting a new single season MLB strikeout record.
Whether you want to say the umpires have been expanding the zone, or he’s chasing that down and away slider like he did in 2016, Judge has been rendered useless in the 2nd half. Plain and simple.
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His .165 batting average is only in front of Ellsbury (.164), Wade (.158), and Holliday (.136). It should come as no surprise that his 46Ks is the most in the MLB since the break and his 155Ks on the year is just behind Miguel Sano’s 162.
If I could choose one stat that shows him dramatic drop-off it’s his OPS:
1.139OPS in the 1st half.
.663OPS in the 2nd half.
Since the Toronto series at the start of the week, Judge is 2-20 (.100/.333/.150) with 1 2B, 0HR, and 0RBI.
Since beginning the series with Toronto on Tuesday, the Yankees have yet again shown a dismal RISP output.
8/8 @ TOR: 2 for 7 (L 4-2)
8/9 @ TOR: 5 for 13 (W 11-5)
8/10 @ TOR: 0 for 9 (L 4-0)
8/11 vs BOS: 3 for 11 (W 5-4)
8/12 vs BOS: 1 for 5 (L 10-5)
8/13 vs BOS: 0 for 6 (L 3-2)
The Yankees’ went 11 for 51 with RISP this week, good for a .216 average. They leave 3.71 runners in scoring position per game, which ranks them 28th with RISP in baseball. As for leaving men on base, they are now the worst in the MLB, leaving 7.34 guys stranded per game.