The New York Yankees lead the major leagues -- by far -- with 66 home runs. They lead the American League in runs scored with 219. Yet, watch the Yankees night in and night out and you realize this is a team that struggles when it does not hit the home run.
Friday night's 2-1 loss to the New York Mets was just the latest example. In 19 May games, the Yankees have had two huge games, scoring 12 runs against Texas May 8 and 13 runs against Baltimore this past Thursday. In the other 17 games, the Yankees scored more than five runs just once.
There are too many nights when the Yankees look old and inept on offense, as they did Friday against the previously 1-5 R.A. Dickey. The Yankees managed just four hits off Dickey and a trio of relievers. There are also too many times where the Yankees just cannot come up with a little old single when they need one. Despite their lofty run totals, the Yankees are 14th in the majors with a .251 batting average, and right around league average in driving home runners from scoring position.
There were several examples Friday.
- Derek Jeter led the first inning off by drawing a walk. Curtis Granderson promptly hit into a double play.
- Alex Rodriguez led off the second inning with a double and the Yankees eventually loaded the bases with two outs. Brett Gardner grounded to third to end the threat.
- In the fifth inning, Gardner reached on an error and Jeter singled. Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez could not get them home. Granted, Jose Reyes made a spectacular play on A-Rod's groundball to end the inning, but the Yankees still did not get the job done.
- In the sixth inning, Russell Martin doubled with one out. Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher both struck out to end the threat.
One the night the Yankees went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. This is the way it seems to go for the Yankees. If they can't hit the ball out of the park, they can't score consistently.