Jason Miller/Getty Images
The offense has been the best in baseball, but will the style of play have to change come October?
This is one of the more dominant offenses I've had the pleasure of seeing in person. Say all you want about the ballpark, the Yankees are the biggest offensive juggernaut in the game because of their ability to hit home runs.
The real problem is, that's about the only dominant thing they can do.
They brought in Ichiro Suzuki to try and make up for their inability to manufacture runs, and its helped a little bit. With runners in scoring position, the team is 15th in baseball with an average of .253. Take a look at the teams that made the post-season last year. The top two with runners in scoring position were the Cardinals (.268) and Rangers (.254).
The question I have is: Will the Yankees play in the playoffs like they have all season? Will they hit home runs left and right? If they do, it won't matter what they do with runners in scoring position late in ball games. However, many people don't think that's going to work in the postseason.
First, the pitching will get a lot harder because playoff rotations are usually only four players deep. Plus, the pitchers you will be facing are among the top throwers in the game.
Second, they may not get home field advantage. Right now, Texas has a better record. But I'm not worried about that. I'm worried about their ability to play small ball in close and late situations when the home run ball may not come as easy as it has.
Still, Derek Jeter is on this team and is playing the lights out. He's had a marvelous season, maybe the most consistent of anyone in this lineup. His 173 hits leads the majors, and his on base percentage is .364. In the playoffs, Jeter's gotta be the guy to start rallies. The team must center their attack around him and follow up with Swisher, Ichiro, and the sluggers.
Something that scares me about this offense is Curtis Granderson. All he does is hit home runs. Literally. He's struck out 155 times, and is batting barely over .200 in August.
They have what it takes if they can play small ball to a degree. I'm not asking for a lot, just a single here and there, or a bunt to move a runner over when needed.
Do I think they can do that? With Ichiro and Jeter in the mix, I do.