After beginning the second half of the 2014 season on a roll, the New York Yankees are sliding right back into mediocrity. After winning seven out of eight games following the All-Star Game, the Yanks have dropped four of their last five and basically find themselves back where they started at the break.
With the Baltimore Orioles playing well and the Toronto Blue Jays on fire, the Yankees can’t afford to continue a losing streak that will drive them out of the division race within a week or two. The offense is what they need to start winning some series.
Despite all of the starting pitching injuries for the Yankees, their current rotation has been decent of late. Basically their starters have been playing well enough to keep New York in the game and give them a chance to win. The problem is that the Yankees’ offense has been overall inconsistent and terrible with runners in scoring position.
Derek Jeter has been swinging the bat pretty well lately and Brett Gardner is about as hot as he’s ever been in his career, but it takes more than a few individuals to have good games offensively. Gardner has four home runs in the last three games, but all of them have been solo shots. The bottom of the order has not contributed much lately, and you need production up and down the lineup in order to get on a winning streak.
The replacement starting pitching has surprisingly held up well, but the offense hasn’t helped them out at all. The Yankees have scored four or less runs in 15 of their last 17 games. They managed to go 9-8 in those games, which shows how solid the pitching has been for the most part. The Yanks scored two or less runs in seven of those 17 games which is something that has to change fast.
The Yanks hope that new additions Stephen Drew and Martin Prado can provide some kind of spark to a Bombers offense that hasn’t been able to score consistently. Drew has been an offensive nightmare this season, but maybe a new team will trigger a turnaround. As for Prado, he had 82 RBIs last season but hasn’t had the same type of year. Yankee Stadium is a very hitter-friendly park, so maybe that can help Prado increase his offensive production.
Besides the newcomers, there are also three relatively new faces that have to pick up their offensive games as well. New York spent a lot of cash to bring Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann to the Bronx, and they need to start doing more at the plate. Ellsbury has pulled his weight offensively, but McCann has been inconsistent and Beltran hasn’t stayed healthy. Jeter and Gardner have been getting on base, and these three have to start driving them in when they get the chance.
The Yankees will take offense from anyone who’s willing to step up and provide it. It’s important that New York starts hitting better as a team, especially with runners in scoring position. There have been too many instances where there are runners on base and a single would do the job. Unfortunately, the clutch hits haven’t been there this season. Today the Yankees begin a weekend set at Fenway Park against the rival Boston Red Sox, which may inspire the Bombers to break out of their offensive slump.