Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Five Reasons The Yankees Are Not Playing In October

1) Injuries: Mainly the season-enders to Chien-Ming Wang and Jorge Posada, those were the real killers. Not only did they lose a guy who is 54-20 with a 3.79 ERA in his career, but they lost a guy who usually pitches into the 7th inning of games. So he would have helped the team two ways; by pitching like he normally does, and by saving the pen from being overworked. Also remember who replaced him in the rotation; Sidney Ponson.

Derek Jeter is the captain, but Jorge Posada is the vocal leader of the team and has been for years. He also is one of the best hitting catchers in the game. Losing Posada hurt this lineup a lot, and was a big reason why they scored under 800 runs this year. He was replaced by Jose Molina, who did a very good job, but did not hit anywhere close to how Jorge would have, and Ivan Rodriguez, who was virtually invisible as a Yankee.

You have to believe that if both these two stayed healthy this year the Yankees would have been at least six games better.

2) Didn’t beat up on weak teams: The Yankees had a 38-27 record against teams with a losing record, which is OK, but not what you would expect from a team that was supposed to make the playoffs. For example the Red Sox went 46-18 against teams with a losing record.

And to break it down a little more, their record vs. these teams was particularly unacceptable:

Indians: 3-4
Pirates: 1-2
Royals: 5-5
Rangers: 3-4
Reds: 1-2
Tigers: 2-4

that’s a grand total of 15-21.

3) Relied too heavily on the kids: Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy combined for a 0-8 record with a 7.45 ERA. When you rely on two rookies to make up 40% of your starting staff this is what you are risking. Young pitchers struggle, it’s very normal, which is why the real problem wasn’t even these two but the fact that the Yankees did not have an adequate backup plan if the two had growing pains. And as we saw they both did.

4) 789 runs: Where was that potent Yankees offense? How this team was held to two runs on less in 50 games this year I will never understand. Before the season I really thought this team had a chance to score 1000 runs, well they sure proved me wrong.

The loss of Posada hurt, but still they should have done better than 789 runs. I mean come on, the freaking Minnesota Twins scored 829 runs, and they have two guys who can actually hit that ball in that lineup.

So what caused this? It was a combination of things. As I said the Posada injury hurt, so did Matsui’s injury. The sub-par seasons from Cano and Melky and lack of clutch hitting from Giambi and A-Rod also were major factors in this team’s poor offensive performance. But even with all of that, they still should have scored at least 850 runs.

5a) Complacency: Just because they started off slowly last year and made the playoffs didn’t mean they could do the same this year. I truly believe that last year’s slow start and late season turn around gave this team a false sense of security this season. They probably felt they could turn things on when they needed to and they would make the playoffs, well it didn’t work out that way.

And why didn't it work out that way this year?

5b) Tough division: The Yankees finished with a record of 89-73, the fourth best record in the American League, and finished 3rd in their division. That’s just unfair. Remember, the 2000 Yankees won 87 games and won the World Series.


Anonymous said...

I can't disagree with anything you said here Greg. Good post. The one good thing is all these problems can be remedied.

There's no reason why 2009 should not be better for the Yanks. Well, as long as they don't completely drop the ball this offseason.

Anonymous said...

I can't disagree either, although I'm surprised you didn't mention Joba's injury, because that was really the nail in the coffin.

Mike B. said...

Nice post. Yep, if we don't drop the ball this offseason we should be fine. IF....


James Miller said...

The main reason why the yankees aren't playing in October, is what jeter said exactly, "we weren't good enough." even at full strength the Yankee pitchers at the back end of the rotation were pathetic and after the injuries and demotions it simply got worse. The yankees were in 3rd place on June 16th, the day after the Wang injury and thats right where they finished and I dont see any reason why they would have picked up any ground on the Rays or red Sox who have staffs that are far and away better than the Yankees hands down. Not to mention the injuries both the Rays and the Red Sox had to endure this season as well. The difference is, them being better, younger, and faster enabled them to still win during those times.
So in response to the 5 reasons, I would put injuries maybe 4th, because it happens to every team every year. The real reasons are more like the Yankees being barn-blind, meaning they thought what they had was better than it really was. They though Melky would be better in his 3rd full year as a starter and he was awful. Yes Hughes still has time to improve and probably will, but he should be on the Twins and we should have Johan Santana, the best arm in the game. As good as some yankee fans wish and dream Phil Hughes will be, I can guarentee you all that he will never be as good as Santana. There may never be a crop of young studs like there was in 1996 ever again, some people in that front office seem to think otherwise. And if they do we will continue to finish 3rd again.

1.bad management decisions
2. Not trading for Johan
3. Darrell rasner
4. Injuries to Jorge and Wang
5. Inconsistant offense

and an honorable mention to the negative losing aura that Arod brings to a team.