Yankees' Weak Hitting Balanced by Superior Pitching, Just Like 2012 Oakland A's
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Unless the New York Yankees' pitching really falls apart in 2013, the Bombers should be in prime shape to nab a spot in the postseason. Nearly one-third of the 2013 season is now in the books, here at the end of May, and the Yankees' excellent pitching has balanced out their below-average hitting.
The Yankees' bus ride across the Robert F. Kennedy bridge from the Bronx into Queens on Monday and Tuesday must have hardly felt like much of a road trip. When they arrived at Citi Field, as usual, many of their fans were in the house to cheer them on.
However, two straight miserable nights at the plate against Jonathon Niese and Matt Harvey made the Yankees dream of being back at the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium. That is where they'll be tonight to face the very same Amazin's in the second-leg of the four-game Subway Series, 2013 edition.
If you want a perfect example of the type of team the Yankees evoke memories of in 2013, look at the 2012 Oakland A's. Actually, the A's started out far worse record-wise than this year's Yankees team and they came all the way back to win the division.
94 wins for the gold and green from East Bay when all was said and done. Not too bad.
Oakland was able to accomplish winning the AL West division with their stellar pitching. The A's finished second in the AL in ERA last year. They made most games very low scoring affairs that allowed their offense to come up with a few timely hits, which often times proved to be the difference.
Oakland was no hitting juggernaut as they finished 11th out of 14 teams in OPS in the AL.
To date, the Yankees averages are very, very similar to the final averages of the 2012 A's in both pitching and hitting. Here's the best part: The Yankees are due to get back some good hitters, with Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis expected back soon and eventually, they'll get back Derek Jeter and, Curtis Granderson once again.
Some believe it's entirely possible Teixeira will re-injure himself and that Youkilis will have to miss more time. Heck, Jeter may only play 50 games this season, but eventually the streak of bad luck has to and will end with all of these injuries.
Oh yeah, guess whose name hasn't even been worth bringing up until now: A-Rod. He may not play a game for the Yankees this year. If he does, he'll probably bat at the league average which is far better than Chris Nelson, Eduardo Nunez and Jayson Nix.
Will the Yankees make the postseason?
Baseball is a game that constantly forces you to look at the big picture; the games on balance over the long haul. 162 games make two games seem like a small town as you gaze from your window seat on a cross country flight. Over and done with in the blink of an eye.
It's easy to look at the past two games in isolation, and feel sick that the vaunted Yankees only scored a measly two runs. However, this is a very resilient team, one still in possession of one of the best records in baseball through the season's first two months.
The Yankees are back home tonight and will fare better with Travis Hafner back in the lineup. They also won't be facing a lefty tonight or possibly the best pitcher in baseball right now, Matt Harvey, who by every indication, is the real deal.
Sure, this isn't your older brother's New York Yankees from say 2006 or 2009. This is truly the closest thing to the Moneyball edition of the Bombers you'll ever see in the south Bronx. Bargain-basement bats and top notch pitching from veterans and young guns.
And the postseason is very much in play yet again.
So they can't hit the way they used to. So what? With the way the Yankees are pitching, it may not matter.
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