Second Week Thoughts: Not Many Positives
By Derek McAdam
April 16, 2021
I have a rather optimistic view of life and prefer to stick to the positives instead of the negatives. This week, the Yankees did not give me much to work with when it comes to positive takeaways.
Let’s look at some things that did not change from last week. The Yankees have now hit into 16 double plays on the season, which is near the top of the league. Groundouts have become much more frequent from this team through the first 12 games of the season, something I am not used to seeing.
The bats seem to be home run or bust material, which has hurt the Yankees in post-season play over the past several seasons. The Yankees have been known to get off to slow starts in recent memory, but this might have been the worst the offense has started.
Small-ball is what the team needs to return to. Nothing frustrates me more than seeing a massive hole down the third-base line and no bunt being laid down. If the batter gets out, that’s fine. The shift will not be as drastic next time.
Except for Gerrit Cole, the starting pitching has not been there. Although he is still in the process of getting back into form, Corey Kluber has not gone past four innings. Domingo German has pitched a combined seven innings over two starts.
Although Jordan Montgomery’s start against Tampa on Sunday was not his best, he gave the Yankees five innings to work with. Cole and Montgomery are the only two Yankee starters to accomplish this in their first starts.
The bullpen has done a tremendous job in the second week, even though some players are losing their perfect season in regards to ERA. They have been called upon often, and have succeeded in keeping most of the games close.
There is no question that the players and coaches are furious with how the season has begun. Emotions are beginning to be shown by the players, but this could be the big moment that the season turns around.
During the 2019 season, the Yankees began winning consistently after James Paxton tossed a gem against the Boston Red Sox on a mid-April Tuesday night. Brett Gardner hit a grand slam, which electrified Yankee Stadium. That got the Yankee team going, even with the excessive injuries.
This is exactly what the Yankees would love to see this weekend, as they host Tampa Bay for a three-game series. Atlanta will come to town for a two-game series before the Yankees embark on a road trip.
The weather is beginning to warm up and hopefully, that means the entire Yankee team does as well. The bats are due and the starting pitching needs to eat more innings to avoid a bullpen blowout by July.
Let’s see what happens this week and hopefully, there is better news to look at next week.