Friday, July 13, 2012

The New York Yankees First Half Report

The New York Yankees ended the first half with the best record in baseball. If you just look at that you have to say it was a very successful first half of the season. The Yankees didn’t have it easy though, they were 21-21 at one point. The Yankees lost their closer, they lost one of their better pitchers in Andy Pettitte and Brett Gardner has only played a handful of games all season. The Yankees have had an ongoing problem with runners in scoring position. 
The main reason that the Yankees ended the first half with the best record is their pitching. Their bullpen continues to be a strength but after the first month or so the starting staff started to become a big plus also. Hiroki Kuroda has been great for the Yankees. He probably just needed some time to adjust to the American League and New York. CC Sabathia is the ace but he actually for a while was their worst starter, Phil Hughes turned it around and has been pitching really well and Ivan Nova continues to do what he does best which is win games. Pettitte really seemed to help their starting staff and he was pitching great before he broke his ankle in a freak play. He got hit in the ankle on a line drive and probably won’t be back until at least September.

The Yankees offense scores a lot of runs but they do it mainly on homeruns. The Yankees aren’t very good with runners in scoring position and that could come back to haunt them eventually. They hit a lot of homeruns though and they are sometimes very big hits. The Yankees like to say that when they are in the batters box there is a runner in scoring position. They say that because they have so many guys who can hit it out at any time. They are right to an extent but you would like to see more clutch hitting and less reliance on the homerun. The Yankees just aren’t built that way though, it could hurt in the playoffs but pitching remains the most important thing still.

The Yankees as crazy as it seems can get better in the second half. They need to keep up their pitching and stay healthy. They should get some guys back such as Brett Gardner, Andy Pettitte eventually and even Joba Chamberlain. The Yankees hitters can also get better, most of them are hitting under their career averages and some of them don’t have as many RBI as you would think. They have a seven game lead in the division so they are in good shape. It won’t be easy but they should be able to win the division and head into the playoffs in good shape. The wild cards this year will play a one game playoff and not be able to set up their rotation for the playoffs. The Yankees should have the luxury of a little rest and being able to set up their staff.

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