5 Creative Fixes for the New York Yankees' Horrible Offensive Attack
While it's certainly not over, the Tigers are trying to "stick a fork in it" quickly. A fully-rested Justin Verlander is set to start Game 3 in Detroit.
Thus far, the Yankees have hit a collective .205 in seven postseason games. Against the lights-out pitching presented by the Tigers' rotation in the postseason, that has sweep written all over it.
So, how can the Yankees break out of their funk?
Here are five ideas.
1. Bat Ichiro Suzuki Leadoff with Raul Ibanez Second
Okay folks—it's time to shake things up!
Ichiro was already batting leadoff in Game 2, certainly a change to be expected. However, why not follow up with a guy who's actually hitting along with Suzuki?
Raul Ibanez is hitting a combined .438 between the ALDS and ALCS thus far—he is clearly the hottest hitter on the Yankees. The only way the Yankees are going to have success against Justin Verlander in Game 3 is to get to him early.
Makes sense to go after him with the best hitters in the lineup at the top.
Just a thought...
2. Sit Alex Rodriguez Down for Remainder of ALCS
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez made comments after Game 2 that he was "encouraged" by a line-out and a single in his final two at-bats.
Yeah, but is anyone else encouraged by it?
Rodriguez has produced exactly one extra-base hit since Sept. 15—a double against the Boston Red Sox on the final day of the regular season.
Tell me again, how is a single encouraging?
A-Rod has been an automatic out against right-handers lately, which is all the Tigers have in terms of starting pitching. Being encouraged with a single against left-hander Phil Coke for me is not an encouraging sign.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi showed guts in sitting Rodriguez in Game 5 of the ALDS. He needs to show even more chutzpah and sit A-Rod down for the rest of this series.
3. Start Playing Station-to-Station Baseball
The New York Yankees have never had to rely on playing small-ball—with their potent lineup, they've never had to.
However, with the impotence the lineup is now showing, maybe that's exactly what they need to break out.
Bunting, hitting ground balls behind runners, taking the extra base whenever possible—the Yankees have never really had to resort to this kind of offense.
But desperate times call for desperate measures. This is one of those times.
4. Get Brett Gardner's Speed in the Lineup
New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner was the American League stolen base leader in 2011 with 49 thefts. He also created havoc in the bottom of the tenth inning of Game 1 as a pinch-runner, swiping two bases off reliever Octavio Dotel.
Speed can do a lot of things for an offense, especially one that's sputtering badly.
Get Gardner in the lineup and let him do his thing. At this point, he has a better chance of stealing his way around the bases than he does someone moving him via a hit.
5. Hypnotize Robinson Cano into Thinking His Dad Is Throwing Batting Practice
When all else fails, maybe a little voodoo will do the trick.
After ending the regular season with a nine-game hitting streak during which he hit .615, second baseman Robinson Cano all of a sudden can't hit the broad side of a barn.
Cano extended his hitless streak in the playoffs to 26 at-bats, setting a new modern postseason record.
The Yankees need to hire a hypnotist and put Cano in a trance. Why not give him the suggestion that his father is throwing batting practice similar to the 2011 All-Star Home Run Derby? Cano and his dad put on a show at Chase Field that night.
I think it was mentioned in an earlier slide—desperate times call for desperate measures.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.