Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Just How Bad Are The Yankees Struggling?

That was almost 29 years ago, and no... I don't expect to see the Os win this year.

Over the last two weeks the Yankees are 5-7, which includes 4 losses by 1 run, and another loss by just 2 runs. So although the record isn't good recently, I think it's safe to assume that things are not as bad as they seem.

In those two week, the Yanks have a run differential of that time of +9. They've scored 63 runs during that time, and given up 54. I figured their Pythagorean Win expectation to be about 7. Still not the Yankees we saw earlier this season, or want to see from here on out, but no reason to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge either.

So what's going on?

It may seem like the bats are really struggling, along with being without Alex Rodriguez, but that's not entirely true. In the last couple of weeks the team's wOBA is .339, which is 5th in the American League. Their team wRC+ is 111, 4th in the AL. And that run total of 63 is 6th in the league. So while I do believe they could hit better than they have, the bats aren't the real issue.

Turning our attention to the pitching we see what's truly ailing the team.

On the surface, where the team ERA the past 2 weeks is 4.54 (9th in the AL), you say "ah". But looking at the team FIP during that time I see a mark of 3.94, which is 5th in the junior circuit. So we must dig a bit deeper to pinpoint the problem. I mean, they've given up 54 runs, which is actually the 5th least amount of runs allowed during the past 14 days.

While the team's relievers have had an ERA of 2.91 (6th in the AL) and FIP of 2.91 (4th in the AL), our starters ERA has been a whopping 5.03 (10th in the AL) and their FIP was 4.45 (also 10th in the AL). It's true that I expect more out of our bullpen, and actually feel fairly optimistic with Joba in there now, however our starters need to get their butts back in gear.

"I got this."

Even with that said, though, it's hard to point fingers. Yes, Ivan Nova's 10.57 ERA in his last 3 starts is easy to get mad at, but it's only 3 starts. In the start before he went 6.2 innings, giving up only a couple of runs to an Oakland team that's hitting pretty well. The start before that against the Angels was pretty bad (6 runs in 6 innings), but then you'd have to go back 8 more starts to find a game in which he gave up more than 3 runs. And even then, Ivan had only give up more than 1 run twice in those previous 7 starts.

Sabathia has put up a bit 5.40 ERA, but I'm not the least bit worried about him. You see... it's 2-3 starts. That's hardly a sample size to give much thought to. Hell, I've done way too much thinking about that sample already. But it helps prove my point... there's no reason to worry.

Even if I make the sample size larger, to the past 30 days, we see that only Ivan Nova has been throwing that badly, and we already talked about him. Kuroda is killing it with a 2.27 in his past 5 starts, Sabathia is only a little over his "normal" ERA at 3.86, Hughes has been throwing really well with a mark of 3.38 over his past 5 outings, and I can live with Garcia's 4.66 ERA since he's the 5th starter (note that he does have a FIP of 4.04, so he's been a bit on the unlucky side of things).

How do you say "who's your daddy" in Japanese?

So it's going to take a hell of a lot more for me to get worried about the 2012 Yankees. I don't like seeing their AL East lead drop to 4.5 games, but something tells me that the Yanks we've seen lately are not what to expect for the next 53 games. Oh, and the Orioles still don't bother me, seeing as how they have a run differential of -54.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)