LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees Win Despite Strikeouts By Drew & Gregorius In Crucial Spots

Monday, June 15, 2015

Yankees Win Despite Strikeouts By Drew & Gregorius In Crucial Spots

Could Stephen Drew or Didi Gregorius possibly have had ABs more representative of their season long ineffectiveness than their respective ABs in the 5th inning of Sunday’s 5-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles?

Bases loaded, nobody out and Orioles pitching had just walked four straight batters. Drew comes up to the plate and strikes out on three pitches. Gregorius follows him both to the plate and in the result by striking out, albeit in four pitches. They couldn’t even put the ball in play. It was a tie game at the time. Even a double play groundout from Drew or a sac fly from Sir Didi would have gotten the job done, but they couldn’t even make productive contact off a pitcher who had all the pressure on him at the time.

A major league batter has to be able to take advantage of those situations.  It's only fair to note that the Yankees did an overall poor job with RISP on the day (only 2 for 12), but Drew and Gregorius were both dreadful in a key spot.

Thank goodness John Ryan Murphy was able to pick both of those guys up with a 2 out, 2 run double, otherwise the vitriol directed against those two might be even higher than it is and, considering that most Yankees fans have completely given up on Drew, that’s saying quite a lot. One Yankees fan even promised each of his followers 2016 Yankees season tickets if Drew ends the season batting .200 or higher! That’s officially zero level faith in the Yankees 2B.

Didi Gregorius seems to be faring slightly better, as his offensive expectations were set relatively low before the season even started, and his defense has picked up recently. The Yankees SS may have recently fixed a hitch in his swing that has his average up to .229 for the season. Drew, on the other hand, had higher expectations that his .179 BA is coming nowhere near meeting. He has shown quite a bit of power, but in between his HRs he is simply not getting it done.

Funnily enough, both Drew (2 for 5) and Gregorius (1 for 4) had hits in Sunday’s game and are swinging the bat better in the past two weeks, but the ABs that will, unsurprisingly, stick out in everyone’s mind will be those 5th inning ABs. Every Yankee fan wanted them to succeed but it was a rare one who actually thought they would. After 2.5 months of ineffectiveness, it’s going to take more than two weeks of improved performance before Yankees fans will give those two the benefit of the doubt.

Yesterday's failures side, if Drew and Gregorius can keep up their recent progress they will be a big help. Both for the team and in terms of improving their reputation in the eyes of fans.

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