There’s a power outage in New York. Maybe Boston siphoned it all away. Maybe it’s just a quick blip on the season. But the Bronx Bombers aren’t hitting many bombs. I mean to say the sluggers aren’t slugging.
The Yankees took 3 out of 4 in a big series from Tampa Bay, and managed to split a 4 game set with the Indians. But so far in the month of August, the Bronx Bombers have scored more than 3 runs just one time. They have relied a fair amount on the home run this season. That’s great when you’re hitting them, but when the sluggers fall into slumps, the offense fizzles out. Right now the only hitters performing well are Didi Gregorius and Chase Headley. So let’s look at some of the stat lines for the other sluggers over the last 2 weeks.
|Last 7 days||4||4||18||13||2||3||0||0||1||3||0||0||5||8||.231||.444||.462||.906|
|Last 14 days||11||11||48||39||5||7||0||0||3||5||0||0||9||19||.179||.333||.410||.744|
Lately the finger pointing has gone immediately to Judge, and for good reason. Judge has struggled mightily since the All-Star break. Was he due for regression? Certainly. His pace was on historic levels. But his current slump is worrisome. The League has adjusted to him and it’s up to him to adjust back. In the last two weeks, he has just 10 hits in 64 plate appearances. It’s tough to find much success as a lineup when your number 3 hitter isn’t hitting. Thus far, Girardi has refused to move him down in the lineup. That may simply be because most of his fellow hitters are struggling as well.
|Last 7 days||1||1||4||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000||.000||.000||.000|
|Last 14 days||8||7||29||28||2||4||1||0||0||1||0||0||1||9||.143||.172||.179||.351|
However bad Judge’s struggles have been, Holliday’s have been much worse. He’s now on the DL, but prior to that, the supposed cleanup hitter hadn’t hit a home run since July 15th. Holliday was a big reason for the team’s early success, but ever since his return from a viral infection, he’s been a hole in the lineup. Maybe another DL stint will help him get back on track and further away from his infection, but a bad back could also add another problem to his slugging abilities upon return.
|Last 7 days||4||4||15||12||2||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||2||7||.083||.267||.333||.600|
|Last 14 days||11||10||41||35||8||9||3||0||3||5||0||0||3||11||.257||.341||.600||.941|
Sanchez was picking up the slack while Judge was struggling, but has recently fallen into a slump of his own. He has just 1 hit in the last week after a solid 9 hits and 3 home runs the week prior. Sanchez figures to be even more important in a lineup without Holliday. As he gets benched for his defense, he’ll have to prove his bat is worth keeping in the lineup daily. Is Austin Romine a better bat in the lineup? No. But if they’re both hitting poorly than Romine’s glove is worth more on the field and Sanchez could find himself riding the bench if Girardi gets stubborn.
|Last 7 days||4||4||17||14||2||4||0||0||1||1||0||0||3||5||.286||.412||.500||.912|
|Last 14 days||11||11||45||37||4||7||0||0||1||4||0||0||7||13||.189||.333||.270||.604|
The newest Yankee slugger has started to come on the last week after a terrible start with his new team. Frazier is quietly 4-14 with a home run in the last seven days. He’s less important to the lineup than the big guys in the middle, but anyone who can help put this team on their shoulders is needed.
|Last 7 days||5||5||23||21||2||4||0||0||0||1||0||0||2||3||.190||.261||.190||.451|
|Last 14 days||11||11||52||45||7||11||0||1||2||4||2||0||6||7||.244||.346||.422||.768|
Gardner wouldn’t normally be considered a slugger, but he’s already hit a career high in home runs this season. A few weeks ago, he seemed to be a part of every comeback win the Yankees got. More recently, his numbers have also slumped, hitting just .190 from the leadoff spot with 4 singles. As a leadoff hitter, Gardner’s job should primarily be to get on base for the bigger bats. Anything after that is a bonus. Right now, however, he isn’t doing much of either.
|Last 7 days||4||4||18||17||2||3||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||8||.176||.222||.294||.516|
|Last 14 days||10||10||45||42||4||7||2||1||1||4||1||0||3||14||.167||.222||.333||.556|
I included Clint Frazier because of how much he’s struggled recently, and because he’s an important piece near the top of the lineup. Frazier put together a really solid start to his Major League career, quietly remaining behind Judge’s first half explosion. Now, however, he’s hitting just .167 over the last two weeks with one home run. For a player who’s been hitting second a decent amount, his on-base percentage of .222 is also quite poor.
So the big bats aren’t getting big hits and the table setters aren’t getting on base enough. Home runs come and go, but when all sluggers struggle at the same time it’s extremely hard to win games. The Yankees invested heavily in their bullpen, but recently the team rarely has a lead to protect. A bullpen is wasted if the offense can’t score runs. Hopefully someone turns the power plant back on in New York. Already four games behind the Red Sox, the Yankees can’t afford to slip any further or jeopardize a wild card spot.