Los Angeles, CA
|No run support for Kuroda|
The Yankees (42-39) are in trouble. They were swept in Baltimore and tumbled to fourth place, only 1.5 games out of cellar. The Yanks went 11-16 in June, but are only 12-21 over their last 33 games.
The pitching (both starters and the bullpen) has been exceptional, but their offense is atrocious. Opposing pitchers have been working around Robinson Cano, who walked a career high 18 times in the moth of June. Yeah, the Yanks have been mortally plagued by injuries all season, but when the hell is Brian Cashman going to get off his ass and find a power hitter to help protect Cano? The Yanks' GM should have been aggressively shopping for a big stick after the Memorial Day skid.
On May 25th, the Yankees were 12 games over .500 and battling for the top spot in the AL East. They hit the wall at the end of May and that extreme ugliness continued in June during a scoring drought in which they scored 2 or fewer runs in 11 out of 27 games. Yes, they lost all 11 of those games.
The pitching has been solid across the board. Over the last few weeks, the Yanks lost four close games in which they only gave up 3 or fewer runs (losing by the scores of 3-0, 3-2, 3-1, and 2-0). During their atrocious sweep in Baltimore, the Yanks lost two close games by the scores of 4-2 and 4-3.
Take a look at Kuroda's stats. He has a 2.95 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. But he's only 7-6. The Yanks dropped 6 out his last 8 starts. He got no run support. In those six losses, the Yanks scored 9 runs (2, 2, 1, 0, 1, 3) and on three instances they scored zero or a solo run. Frustrating. Kuroda put his team in position to win every single one of those games. In his last two Kuroda starts that the Yanks won, they averaged 5 runs a game.
The Yanks have a -16 run differential, which seems like an anomaly for a team above .500. Only the Texas Rangers pitching staff has given up fewer runs in the AL. When the Yanks hit and score at least 4 runs, they are in a good position to win. If they can get 5 or more, it's a virtually lock. However, most of the time, the Yanks bats are dormant and they struggle to put up 1 or 2 runs.
The pitching is there... the hitting is not. Desperately waiting for injured players to heal, but in the meantime, Cashman needs to pull of a mega-trade to find someone who can help drive in runs.
Maybe July will be better? They start the month in Minnesota, and desperately need a slump buster to end a five-game losing streak. The Yanks feasted off the AL Central this season and they're 10-1 over the last 11 games.
On Deck: The Yanks do not have any days off until the All-Star Break. They Yanks fly out to Minnesota to play a 4-game series against the struggling Twins (including July 4th, which the Yanks had historically played in the Bronx). The Yanks are 19-21 on the road this year, which is why they can't wait to return to the Bronx over the weekend and finish out the first half with a 10-game homestand against Baltimore, KC, and Minnesota.