Yesterday wasn't a banner day for the Yankee offense, but in general it's been much better this month after a slow start. Power and patience have been the name of the game, but I'd be remiss if I didn't call out the stellar job being done at the top of the batting order by the team's 2 designated table setters. In a perfect world, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner would have provided the top of the lineup with a potent combination of average, speed, and occasional power last year. In 2015's Jeter-less world, they've finally gotten the chance to do that and they've responded with exactly the type of performance we (and Joe) hoped for. Ellsbury sits at .321/.406/.381 after yesterday's 3-hit effort, with a BB rate of 10.4% and a K rate below 15. Gardner is right there with him at .311/.400/.410 with a 9.6% BB rate and a minuscule 11.0% K rate. Between the 2 of them they've scored 31 runs and stolen 14 bases, each ranking 1-2 on the team in those categories. Ellsbury has 9 multi-hit games and only a handful in which he hasn't been on base at least once. Gardner has 7 multi-hit games and scored at least 1 run in 8 of the first 9.
Some of these numbers may prove unsustainable as the sample sizes continue to grow. Gardner has never been a super low strikeout guy in previous years, and Ellsbury has never had a BB rate over 8.0% in his career. On the other side of that coin, there's room for improvement in each guy's power output based on previous performance. Whatever happens, Ellsbury and Gardner have been doing their jobs at the top of the order in spades thus far. They're getting on base, they're creating run-scoring opportunities with their legs, and they're giving the middle of the lineup plenty of RBI opportunities.