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100 Games Later, What Are The New York Yankees?

That’s a good question.

For those first 61 games, the Baby Bombers were way ahead of schedule, leading the division by four games with a record of 38-23. Their first 30 games saw them at 21-9.

And then they lost 18 of their final 25 games before the All Star Break, falling to 45-41 and 3.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the division.

The Yankees went from a powerhouse to a laughingstock overnight. They went 0-8-2 in 10 consecutive series before finally taking three out of four against the Seattle Mariners. They went 7-19 from June 12 to July 14. They did not win consecutive games during that stretch.

It all seemed too good to be true.

But then, a night after it seemed like the Yankees had hit rock bottom, with Aroldis Chapman blowing the save, along with a 4-3 lead to lose the game 5-4, they had a thrilling 16-inning victory over Boston. After what looked like was the end, the Yankees rose from the dead and haven’t looked back.

Since that horrifying loss against the Red Sox, the Yankees have won 9 of their last 13 games, including their last four in a row and five of their last six, along with a walk off victory last night against the Tampa Bay Rays.

They are now just a half-game behind the Red Sox in the division, but lead by a game in the loss column – the Yankees (54-46) have played three less games than the Sox, (56-47).

In a nutshell, the Yankees’ season been a rollercoaster with tons of ups, tons of downs, and tons of unexpected twists and turns, like the 12 first basemen used, the horrifying injury to Dustin Fowler, and seeing Gregorius, Sanchez, Chapman Aaron Hicks, Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Holliday, Starlin Castro, and Adam Warren all on the disabled list.

Fans have seen a dramatic fall of Masahiro Tanaka, who went from having the third-best ERA in the American League last season (3.07) to having the fifth-worst among qualified AL pitchers (5.37).

Then again, Severino turned his 8.50 ERA in 11 starts into the third-best ERA in the AL (3.03) behind only Chris Sale and Corey Kluber.

Hicks went from the cursed one to fans agonizing in mental pain when he had to be placed on the disabled list.

Rookie Chad Green has been one of the most dominant arms out of the bullpen, with an ERA of 1.56 and a K/9 of 12.05

Judge went from striking out half the time and hitting .179 to literally being the most exciting player in baseball and the MVP…as a rookie.

But again, that damn 7-19.

Fans can separate the season into four parts: first 30 (21-9), second 31 (17-14), third 26 (7-19), and what we’ve seen since (9-4). Below is a graph of the Yankees bullpen stats, starting rotation stats, and offensive stats from each part.

Below are graphs of stats of the Yankees’ bullpen, rotation, and offense, along with its league rankings, in those four portions of the season (I also plugged in stats of the first two parts of the season combined, as well as the season – enjoy my great grids, and thank you, FanGraphs).

 

YANKEES BULLPEN
Games (Record)

ERA (Rank)

BAA (Rank)

First 30 (21-9)

2.60 (4th in MLB)

.199 (5th in MLB)

Second 31 (17-14)

3.25 (8th in MLB)

.191 (1st in MLB)

Third 26 (7-19)

5.09 (26th in MLB)

.248 (18th in MLB)

Since (9-4)

1.88 (2nd in MLB)

.179 (2nd in MLB)

First 61 (38-23)

2.92 (3rd in MLB)

.195 (1st in MLB)

Season (54-46)

3.38 (4th in MLB)

.208 (T-1st in MLB)

 

YANKEES ROTATION
Games (Record)

ERA (Rank)

BAA (Rank)

First 30 (21-9)

4.02 (12th in MLB)

.239 (8th in MLB)

Second 31 (17-14)

3.90 (8th in MLB)

.247 (9th in MLB)

Third 26 (7-19)

5.05 (19th in MLB)

.271 (20th in MLB)

Since (9-4)

3.36 (9th in MLB)

.227 (4th in MLB)

First 61 (38-23)

3.96 (7th in MLB)

.243 (8th in MLB)

Season (54-46)

4.16 (9th in MLB)

.248 (9th in MLB)

 

YANKEES

 OFFENSE
Games (Record)

AVG (Rank)

HR (Rank)

R (Rank)

First 30 (21-9)

.274 (4th in MLB)

50 (3rd in MLB)

177 (2nd in MLB)

Second 31 (17-14)

.276 (3rd in MLB)

52 (4th in MLB) 176 (3rd in MLB)
Third 26 (7-19)

.236 (26th in MLB)

31 (19th in MLB)

128 (16th in MLB)

Since (9-4)

.267 (14th in MLB)

14 (T-18th in MLB)

55 (17th in MLB)

First 61 (38-23)

.275 (2nd in MLB)

102 (1st in MLB)

353 (1st in MLB)

Season (54-46)

.264 (5th in MLB)

147 (8th in MLB)

536 (4th in MLB)

 

So, what Yankees are we watching?

If you take away the 7-19 stretch, the Yankees are 47-27. Add that to a 162-game pace, and thats 102-60. They are not a 102-win team.

But they’re not a 43-win team, either – that’s what their 7-19 record would be in a full season’s pace.

At 54-46, they are on pace to win 87 games.

This team is full of ups and downs, both by the team as a whole and individual players themselves.

Despite still leading the MLB with 32 home runs, the once-AL Triple Crown holder is batting .174 with two home runs and seven RBI in 12 games since the break, and just .246 since June 13.

Sanchez is batting .224 since the break after hitting .276 in an abbreviated first half.

Castro is on the DL, and Holliday is hitting just .108 in his last 16 games.

However, Gregorius, Clint Frazier, and Chase Headley (not a typo) are scorching hot at the plate. Gregorius is hitting .500 during his current nine-game hitting streak, while Frazier is hitting .284 with three homers and 13 RBI in just 18 games.

Oh, and Headley, while his power numbers are not there, is hitting .322 since June 13. I swear!

The Yankees have had to rely on a lot of different players throughout this season, thus failing to give the team an identity through 100 games.

But, if all goes right for the Yankees, they are very dangerous. And that is not an opinion. Look at the graphs I spent so much time on!

Imagine MVP Judge, last year’s Sanchez and Tanaka, and Gregorius and Headley as of late, along with what Gardner has done all season, hitting his career high 18th home run last year. Add all of that, plus what Severino and CC Sabathia have done all year, a healthy Castro, pre-illness Holliday, a healthy Hicks – there are so many positives. Put all of the greatness we have seen this year, and some of last year, together.

Or, put all the negatives together. What if the heart of the lineup is actually hitting .171, .224, and .108? What if Severino reverts back to last season, if Sabathia follows through with his performance from 2013 and 2014, if Headley goes back to hitting .165 like he did in the month of May? If Castro stays hurt and Tyler Wade can’t hit half his weight?

When they’re good, they’re good. When they’re bad, they’re bad.

You be the judge.

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