New York Yankees lead-off man and center fielder Brett Gardner has been hot at the plate of late, and it’s just in the nick of time for an ailing offense. With the exception of their series against the Cleveland Indians, New York has struggled to score runs consistently. They have plated only 250 team runs this season, which is even fewer than the AL East’s last place team, the Toronto Blue Jays. In addition, second baseman Robinson Cano’s mediocre .276 batting average is the best on the team. As a team, they are ranked just 23rd in batting average. Many key hitters have gone cold, such as Cano, outfielder Vernon Wells and first baseman Mark Teixeria. Good thing Gardner is just coming alive.
Gardner came up with 3 hits today to extend his hitting streak to six games. During that streak he’s increased his batting average from .256 to .273, and he’s also added five runs scored and four extra base hits. And perhaps even more important than his batting average is his on-base percentage, which is now at .340. His presence on the bases makes the offense as a whole better. Opposing pitchers need to be careful because of his ability to steal bases and his near automatic ability to score from second on contact. Oh, and the Yankees are five and one during Gardner’s hitting streak.
When Brett Gardner hits well, the offense clicks. Right now, the Yankees really need their offense to be clicking.