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August 13, 2006

The Sky is Falling!
by SG

The Yankees have been through a rough stretch over the last week, dropping four of six games, the latest a 5-3 loss to the ####### Angels. The Yankees now lead Boston by just one game in the AL East, two in the loss column. Chien-Ming Wang had his second straight bad start, although his defense was not very helpful. Wang's now pitched 166.1 innings on the season, which surpasses his career high of 150.1 last season (split between Columbus and New York). I'm worried about Wang's workload over the rest of the season, but I don't know that his latest performance is due that or just the problems inherent when a pitcher doesn't make batters miss any pitches. I suppose we'll find out over the next few weeks. That 12-12 prediction for the rest of August suddenly seems optimistic. I'm not that concerned yet, and most of you should probably not be either.

Rightly or wrongly, Alex Rodriguez is getting the blame for this stretch, and to be fair he's been pretty bad. Out of curiosity, I took a look at Rodriguez's offensive performances in Yankee wins and losses.

Rodriguez has played 112 games, and the Yankees have won 65 of them, and lost 47.

In the 65 victories, Rodriguez has put up the following line:
AB: 256
Runs: 62
Hits: 80
2B: 12
HR: 16
RBI: 61
BB: 41
K: 65
GDP: 9

In the 47 losses, Rodriguez has put up the following line:
AB: 170
Runs: 20
Hits: 42
2B: 7
HR: 9
RBI: 22
BB: 24
K: 40
GDP: 8

So, when the Yankees lose, Rodriguez hasn't hit. Out of further curiousity, I did the same for Derek Jeter. Jeter's played 109 games, and the Yankees have won 65 of them.

In the 65 wins, Jeter's done the following:

AB: 271
Runs: 56
Hits: 91
2B: 19
HR: 7
RBI: 53
BB: 32
K: 46
GDP: 9

And in the 44 losses:

AB: 166
Runs: 22
Hits: 58
2B: 7
HR: 2
RBI: 15
BB: 21
K: 23
GDP: 9

So Jeter's been pretty consistent, win or lose.

The perception when the Yankees lose is that it's Rodriguez's fault. The numbers above help to show why. I still think he gets far more grief than he deserves. Baseball is a team game after all. I think it's fair to acknowledge that his season has been somewhat of a disappointment to this point (amazing that a player can put an OPS of .900 and be considered a disappointment, isn't it?).

There's still a third of the season left, and there's still time for Rodriguez to help his team win the division. If he does that and then plays well in the postseason, a lot will be forgiven.

I don't like the Yankees' chances tomorrow with Randy Johnson vs. John Lackey, but maybe they'll surprise me. I can't stand watching the Yankees play the Angels.