LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees Offense Just Enough to Earn Series Win Against Angels

Monday, April 28, 2014

Yankees Offense Just Enough to Earn Series Win Against Angels

Three hits is often not enough to win a ball game, especially against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who lead the American League in home runs and RBIs, but the New York Yankees managed to pull it off on Sunday night.

For most of the game it seemed as if the Yankees would not be able to win the series and run their record to 15-10, but by the end of the night there they were shaking hands on the field.

It helped that, even in the worst start of his brief Yankees career, Masahiro Tanaka only gave up 2 ERs across 6.1 innings while still striking out 11. There are dozens of pitchers who would sign up for that kind of start every time out, but the rookie pitcher was uncharacteristically wild, walking four and hitting one. Still, even when he got into trouble in the fourth inning, loading the bases with one out, he was able to work out of it by giving up only one run.

Tanaka’s regular season streak of not losing a game since 2012 remains intact as the Yankees eked out a win, but the real reason it was even in jeopardy lies mainly with the Yankees offense. Facing Angels right-hander Garret Richards didn’t help, but the Yankees lineup has been struggling even without seeing 97 mph fastballs with late movement.

Save for Jacoby Ellsbury, who has been a healthy and productive addition to the lineup, and Carlos Beltran, who has been solid with the bat if a little questionable in the field, many of the newcomers are struggling. Brian Roberts and Kelley Johnson are barely batting over .200 and Brian McCann is struggling to crack .230 against the shift he faces almost every AB.

When the Yankees scored the go ahead run in the bottom of the 8th inning, they did so without the benefit of a hit. Instead, Ellsbury worked a walk, curiously didn’t steal during Derek Jeter’s AB, then scored after a walk to Carlos Beltran, and a wild pitch and passed ball by Angels pitching.

In fact, the Yankees didn’t have a hit after Teixeira’s HR in the 7th inning.

As the weather warms up, the Yankees bats will need to do so as well. They will need to find ways to get on base, get hits and drive in runs without help from the opposing pitcher. Otherwise games like Sunday’s will have a very different ending.

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