It is more than obvious that the Yankees have struggled mightily over the last several games. Beat up by the Blue Jays. Swept by the Tigers. The unlikeliest of heroes in Clint Frazier may have helped break the Yankee losing streak in a walk off homerun and outstanding catch to beat the Rays in 11 Tuesday night, but that does not erase the Yankees poor offensive showing this year. And hitting coach Marcus Thames doesn’t really have an explanation as to why the Yankees have a 3.74 run-per-game average and is tied for second worst in the American League. Thames wants his guys to dial down the pressure and remember why they are out there—to have fun.
“I know that what this team is capable of and it’s just hard to put a finger on certain things,” Thames said. “We’ll be close (to breaking out) and then we’ll take a step back. We just have to be consistent. I just feel like we can’t put pressure on ourselves. Just go out and play. I told the guys the other day, some days it looks like they’re not having fun. They’ve got to go have fun and let the game slow down a little bit, and then we can get back to where we need to be,” wrote NJ.com.
It is hard to seeing the green grass when the chain link fence obstructs your view. But that fence, that roadblock is the Yankees doing. Perhaps it is because the team has relied on the long ball for so long that they forget the fundamentals of producing runs. Actually, it is not perhaps. That really is the issue. Thames has talked a lot about situational hitting this season, but we just haven’t seen it.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post said, “After being first or second in the AL in homers the past four years, the Yanks are tied for eighth this year, heading into Tuesday. Nearly everything else in their offensive holster impairs run scoring by not maximizing bases. They are last in the majors in doubles, triples and steals. They have made the most outs on the bases and hit into the most double plays.”
Simply put, the Yankees can’t seem to put the ball in play with runners in scoring position. It is not the analytics that are dulling the Yankees senses. It is the Yankees losing their ability to play fundamental baseball—running mistakes, lack of small ball, no speed, no patience at the plate. It is overwhelmingly clear the Yankees have problems. And if you are not going to blame Thames, then who? Boone? Cashman?
The Yankees have too many of the same kind of player. It may actually be their lack of diverse skill sets that are taking the fun out of the game for them. So, they can take away the pressure all they want, but unless the Yankees start changing up their offensive formula, they will continue to slide in the standings and deflate themselves and their fans with their inability to produce runs and win games.
BYB Managing Editor
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