The Yankees have played 108* games – they are exactly two-thirds of the way through the baseball season. Here are some of my thoughts as we head to the final 33.3 (repeating) percent of the year.
*108 is my second favorite number, if you were wondering. Why? Well, there are 108 stitches on a baseball. It is considered a sacred number in some Eastern religions. The number 108 played a prominent role in LOST. My flight from LA to Sydney was Flight 108. Of course, 108 still pales in comparison to 42. I’m a dork.
– Hiroki Kuroda has been awesome, and he is quickly becoming a Cy Young candidate. Kuroda’s 2.38 ERA would be the lowest by a Yankee starter in my lifetime (and, I think, the lowest since Ron Guidry in 1978).
– Mariano Rivera has also been awesome. At 43 years of age, he is as good as ever. He already has 34 saves, and his 1.60 ERA would be the third lowest of his career. Please don’t retire.
– The offense, meanwhile, is the opposite of awesome. Their .670 team OPS would be the lowest since 1990. They are in danger of finishing with an on base percentage lower than .300 for the first time since 1968.
– The Yankees also have one of the worst right-handed hitting numbers of all time. Seriously. Before Alfonso Soriano’s arrival, the Yankees were hitting .221/.283/.311 from the right side of the plate. That OPS is by far the worst in baseball, 30 points lower than the Marlins.
The Yankees had one – one! – home run from a right handed batter from June 4th through July 28th (I was there – Jayson Nix on June 25th). In that span, the average team had almost 30.
That .594 OPS would be the 17th lowest since 1916. Keep in mind that this includes National League teams, the deadball era, and over 50 years where the mound was 5 inches taller.
All of this, and the Yankees are still 4 games out of the Wild Card. Unbelievable.
– There is, however, a light at the end of the tunnel for the offense. Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson are back. They traded for Alfonso Soriano. Even Jayson Nix is an upgrade at third base. They are still a below average offense, but they probably won’t be historically bad for the remainder of the season.
– Here would be my mid-season awards:
MVP: Robinson Cano. Continues to rake.
Cy Young: Hiroki Kuroda. See above.
Rookie of the Year: Preston Claiborne. He has a 2.04 ERA in 35 innings out of the bullpen.
Comeback Player of the Year: Mariano Rivera
– Alex Rodriguez will probably be suspended on Monday. It’s gotten to the point now where suspensions don’t hit us like they used to. We have become very jaded to them, and I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.
I think I will write a separate post on A-Rod. It’s been quite a ride since his arrival in 2004.