June was a strange month for the Yankees. On the surface, the team did great. It went 16-10, which is good for a .615 winning percentage, right where they want to be. Riding on that record the Yankees overtook the Rays for the best record in baseball, and fought their way into 1st place.
Just beneath the surface, however, lurks a more nuanced picture. June was a divergent month for the team. In April and May the Yankees fielded one of the AL’s best offenses, with a good but not great pitching staff. In June the bats vanished, which was clear to anyone following the team. It was not clear, to me at least, just how badly the bats vanished until I saw the numbers. After having the AL’s best offense in the first 2 months of the season the Yankee bats became a bottom half offense in the AL. The team declined significantly in every major offensive category, and allowed the Red Sox to overtake them as the AL wOBA leader.
The good news is that while the offense declined (badly), the pitching improved, albeit slightly. The team walked too many batters in June (thanks A.J.), but compensated with more strike outs, while doing a solid job of keeping runners off base and runs off the board. It’s far from all good with the staff though, and we’ll come to that later in the post.
Although the big picture for the team remains stellar, the Yankees have to address structural problems moving forward. In the first 2 months players like Brett Gardner, Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher over achieved and propelled the team. In June many of the over achievers came back to Earth, while the mainstay stars continued to struggle. This is not a recipe for prolonged success, and that’s before we get to the bullpen.
Click on all the tables to enlarge them.
seems to be trying to get 8 innings from his starters to give the ball directly to Mo to win games. This seems like a recipe for tiring out the team’s best pitchers who will be needed down the stretch. Hopefully the Yankees are also looking for bullpen depth as well as bench relief as the trade deadline approaches.
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