Yankees' slump defies explanation

Associated Press
New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez takes off his batting gloves after striking out in the fourth inning of Game 2 of the American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
.

View photo

New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez takes off his batting gloves after striking out in the fourth inning of Game 2 of the American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

DETROIT (AP) — If there were a quick and easy solution, surely this bunch would have figured it out by now.

Alex Rodriguez has over 600 home runs. Curtis Granderson hit 43 during the regular season. Robinson Cano is one of the best all-around players in the game.

The three of them are trapped in the throes of batting slumps at the worst possible time, and the rest of the New York Yankees haven't been much better.

"There is no explanation sometimes in baseball," first baseman Mark Teixeira said.

Put it this way: How is it possible that St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter, a career .118 hitter, has as many hits in the last two postseasons as A-Rod? More extra-base hits for Carpenter, too.

Like a golfer with the shanks during a major tournament, the Yankees have looked helpless at the plate in the biggest games of the season. They were hitting .205 in these playoffs as they prepared for Game 3 of the AL championship series Tuesday night. New York lost the first two games to the Detroit Tigers.

Shortstop Derek Jeter is injured, and aside from unsung outfielder Raul Ibanez and Teixeira, New York's power hitters have seemed lost. It's the type of October swoon that can derail a season, and no team is ever really safe.

"It's a tough game. No matter what kind of career — what kind of lineup you throw out there — you're going to have those times when it's not clicking," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny, whose team is playing San Francisco in the NLCS. "You've just got to battle through those times, because they're bound to happen."

Rodriguez is 3 for 23 in the playoffs. Over the last two postseasons, he has five hits — the same number as Carpenter. Manager Joe Girardi has pinch hit for A-Rod late in games and left him out of the starting lineup Tuesday for the second time in less than a week.

Granderson is 3 for 26 in these playoffs. Cano's collapse is even more startling. The second baseman finished the regular season on a 24-for-39 tear, but he's 2 for 32 since then and was hitless in his last 26 at-bats entering Tuesday, a record for a single postseason.

Nick Swisher (4 for 26) and Russell Martin (5 for 26) aren't producing either, and Swisher was also out of the starting lineup Tuesday. The Yankees won a key game in the division series against Baltimore when Ibanez hit a pair of late homers, and he hit another in Game 1 versus Detroit during a four-run ninth inning against struggling closer Jose Valverde. That was the only real highlight for the New York offense lately.

"To have that many guys and that many good hitters, sure it's surprising. I'm sure it's frustrating for them to have that happen to them," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "You're always going to see good pitching this time of year, you understand that, but for them to have that many struggles, I think they're a little surprised."

In the regular season, patience is a virtue. Streaks and slumps have time to even out over the course of 162 games. A player can start poorly but finish the year with his usual impressive statistics, the way Albert Pujols did.

"You know the Yankees are going to break out here at some point," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "That is just a matter of fact."

Maybe so, but they can't afford to wait much longer.

"The team's not going to be too high or too low during the regular season, but in the postseason you have five or seven games, everything is magnified," Teixeira said. "A two-game losing streak during the regular season, no one even talks about. But two games in a row in a seven-game series is a big deal, so we have a big hole to dig ourselves out of."

The worst postseason batting average by a team that played at least seven games is .195, shared by the 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers and 1965 Minnesota Twins, according to STATS, LLC.

The 1974 Oakland Athletics won the World Series despite hitting .198 in the postseason. The 1962 Yankees did as well, even though Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were a combined 7 for 48.

Perhaps the most encouraging historical memory for the Yankees comes from another of their championship seasons. In 1996, New York was shut down by Atlanta in the first two games of the World Series. At that point, the Braves had won five straight games by a combined score of 48-2.

Then the Yankees took the next four and won the title.

"It's just baseball. Things turn in a matter of a heartbeat," Granderson said. "It's amazing how things tend to go that way — from the good side to the bad side, from the bad side to the good side."

___

AP Sports Writers Josh Dubow and Janie McCauley contributed from San Francisco.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Trump makes early move on restricting abortions around the world

      By Ellen Wulfhorst NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday reinstated a global gag rule that bans U.S.-funded groups around the world from discussing abortion, a move that was widely expected but nonetheless dismayed women's rights advocates. The rule, which affects American non-governmental organizations working abroad, is one that incoming presidents have used to signal their positions on abortion rights. It was created under U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1984.

      Reuters
    • Man convicted of 3 murders as teen kills himself in prison

      CAMP HILL, Pa. (AP) — A man who broke into a classmate's home in 2007 and stabbed the teenager and his parents to death has killed himself in prison, authorities said Monday.

      Associated Press
    • 12 bodies found in Mexican tourist town: officials

      A dozen bodies -- including seven that were headless and mutilated -- were discovered over the weekend in western Mexico's seaside resort of Manzanillo, apparent victims of the country's epidemic of drug violence, local officials said. It was a shocking turn of events for an area popular with American and other foreign tourists, which until now had largely been spared from the bloody drug wars wracking other parts of Mexico. Seven bodies were found early Saturday in an abandoned taxi on the road from Manzanillo to the town of Cihuatlan.

      AFP
    • Discarded protest signs from the Women’s March in NYC (28 photos)

      Following the march in New York City, protesters left behind thousands of signs around Fifth Avenue near Trump Tower. Many signs left near a construction site were taken home by admirers as souvenirs. One group of placards was made into an art installation on East 57th Street, while many of these great signs were discarded near receptacles along Fifth Avenue waiting for sanitation. (Yahoo News) Photography by Gordon Donovan /Yahoo News _____ Related slideshows: Slideshow: Signs of the Women's March around the world >>> Slideshow: Women's March on Washington, D.C. >>> Slideshow: Women’s March around the world >>> Slideshow: How newspapers covered President's Trump inauguration >>> Slideshow: Anti-Trump inauguration protests break out in U.S. >>> Slideshow: Protests worldwide against the inauguration of Donald Trump >>> Slideshow: Obama's Washington >>> Slideshow: Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day >>> Slideshow: 66 hands on 66 Bibles >>> See more news-related photo galleries , and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Tumblr.  

      Yahoo News Photo Staff
    • The Sig P320 is the U.S. Army's New Sidearm

      The new pistol replaces the 80s vintage M9 handgun.

      Popular Mechanics
    • Royals' Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

      KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Yordano Ventura quit school as a teenager so he could begin working a construction job to help his family make ends meet, laboring day after day in the hot sun of the Dominican Republic.

      Associated Press
    • Protesters take control of Mexican border crossing with US

      TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — Protesters took control of vehicle lanes at one of the busiest crossings on the U.S. border Sunday to oppose Mexican gasoline price hikes, waving through motorists into Mexico after Mexican authorities abandoned their posts.

      Associated Press
    • White House spokesman Sean Spicer defends integrity after false claims about inauguration crowd size

      Newly minted White House press secretary Sean Spicer had a tense exchange Monday in his first official briefing about whether he intends to be truthful in his job. “Will you pledge never to knowingly say something that is not factual?” ABC News’ Jon Karl asked. Spicer insisted he would never deliberately tell a lie in his capacity as White House press secretary.

      Yahoo News
    • 2018 BMW M4: Light Updates

      This year's evolution of the M4.

      Car and Driver
    • Chelsea Clinton shuts down trolls who targeted Barron Trump

      Former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton has spoken out in defence of Barron Trump, the US president's youngest son, after trolls targeted him with cruel memes online during the inauguration.  In a Facebook post Chelsea, who spent much of her teenage years in the spotlight while her dad Bill Clinton was president, said the 10-year-old "deserves the chance every child does-to be a kid".  But she also turned political: "Standing up for every kid also means opposing POTUS policies that hurt kids". Criticism of Barron's facial expressions and posture during the inauguration was widespread on social media, with people mocking him and calling him out for looking bored.  A Saturday Night Live writer even tweeted: "Barron will be this country's first homeschool shooter". The tweet was later deleted.  People on Facebook praised Chelsea for defending Barron while also expressing her political ideas:  BONUS: Donald Trump's inauguration address included a Bane quote ›

      Mashable
    • 1 dead, multiple injured San Antonio shopping mall shooting

      SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A robbery inside a San Antonio shopping mall ended with shots fired on Sunday, leaving one person who tried to intervene dead, three others shot and another two people taken to hospital with non-shooting injuries, police and fire officials said.

      Associated Press
    • Hugo Barra leaves Xiaomi, says China has ‘taken a huge toll on my life’

      Smartphone startup Xiaomi began life as a peculiar beast. From within the safety of China, the company did all it could to copy every last detail of Apple's devices and marketing strategy, knowing there was precious little Apple could do to stop it. When Apple's portfolio was exhausted, Xiaomi moved on to Samsung, copying a large portion of its device lineup as well. But then, the company realized that it could only go so far selling phones in China and a handful of other markets. As growth was on track to slow substantially, Xiaomi knew that it had to work its way into other top-tier markets around the world. And so Xiaomi Global was born. The Xiaomi subsidiary has hit a few rough patches over the course of the past three-plus years, but today may be its roughest to date. On Monday, Xiaomi Global VP Hugo Barra announced that he is leaving the company. In a post on Facebook, Barra confirmed that he is leaving the company and moving back to Silicon Valley. "When Lei Jun and Bin Lin came to me nearly four years ago with the opportunity to help turn a young rockstar startup into a global player, I embarked on what has been the greatest and most challenging adventure of my life," Barra wrote . "I moved to Beijing, 6,500 miles out of my comfort zone in Silicon Valley, to build from scratch a startup team within a bigger startup. This journey has been nothing short of spectacular in every way, and I can proudly say that Xiaomi Global is the first baby I helped bring into the world." Then, his post took a curious turn. "But what I've realized is that the last few years of living in such a singular environment have taken a huge toll on my life and started affecting my health," Barra said. "My friends, what I consider to be my home, and my life are back in Silicon Valley, which is also much closer to my family. Seeing how much I've left behind these past few years, it is clear to me that the time has come to return." It's unclear exactly what Barra means when he says that working at Xiaomi in Beijing has "taken a huge toll" on his life and affected his health, but he goes on to run down some of the things Xiaomi Global has accomplished since he joined the company. Most notably, the company has expanded sales into Russia, Mexico, Malaysia and more than 20 additional markets. Of note, Barra will still play a role at Xiaomi moving forward. Mi president and cofounder Bin Lin confirmed in a post on Facebook that Barra will be an advisor to the company following his departure. "When Hugo joined us 3.5 years ago, we started an amazing adventure to turn Xiaomi into a global player," Lin wrote . "We have come a long way since, and I couldn’t thank him enough for contributing so much to Xiaomi’s journey. As much as we would love to have Hugo stay with us in Beijing for a much longer time, we understand his personal challenges and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. I’m also looking forward to working closely with him in his new role as advisor to Xiaomi."

      BGR News
    • Dwarf galaxies shed light on dark matter

      The first sighting of clustered dwarf galaxies bolsters a leading theory about how big galaxies such as our Milky Way are formed, and how dark matter binds them, researchers said Monday. Seven clusters of three-to-five galaxies are each 10 to 1,000 times smaller than the Milky Way. "We suspect these groups are gravitationally bound and thus will eventually merge to form one larger, intermediate-mass galaxy," said lead author Sabrina Stierwalt, an astrophysicist at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlotteville, Virginia.

      AFP
    • Puppies found in Italy avalanche hotel boost hope for survivors

      Penne (Italy) (AFP) - Rescuers recovered three puppies from under the rubble of Italy's avalanche-hit hotel Monday sparking fresh hopes some of the 22 people still missing after five days could be found alive.

      AFP
    • Sprint to buy a third of Jay Z's music streaming service Tidal

      U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Corp said on Monday it would buy 33 percent of Tidal, a music streaming service owned by rapper Jay Z, marking a move to more content driven services in a highly competitive wireless market. Sprint paid $200 million for the stake, and Jay Z and each of the company's two dozen artist-owners will remain part owners, according to a person familiar with the deal. Sprint shares rose 3.4 percent to $9.23 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

      Reuters
    • A Plea to Trump Fans: This Man is Dangerous

      The president is not just lying to you and me—now he’s lying to himself.

      GQ
    • Chen lands 5 quads to win US figure skating title with ease

      KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Nathan Chen stood on the top step of the podium and stifled a smile as U.S. Figure Skating president Samuel Auxier, preparing to drape a gold medal around his neck, bowed down before him.

      Associated Press
    • 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

      Still America's beast.

      Car and Driver
    • Trump slapped with federal lawsuit in New York

      A group of American lawyers on Monday filed a federal lawsuit in New York against Donald Trump, accusing the US president of violating a constitutional ban on accepting payments from foreign governments. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is pursuing Trump over his vast business holdings, from which the billionaire has refused to divest fully, saying that as president he can have no conflict of interest. CREW says Trump's business properties abroad operate based partly on goodwill from foreign governments and regulators, but that under the US Constitution no federal official can receive a gift or "emolument" from a foreign government.

      AFP
    • In photos: The bestselling cookbooks of 2016 (10 photos)

      Ina Garten's "Cooking for Jeffrey" was the bestselling cookbook of 2016, selling nearly 406,600 copies within two months of its release in late October.Described as her most personal cookery title yet, "Cooking for Jeffrey" is a compilation of recipes that Garten has been cooking or her husband over the last 48 years of their marriage.  Here are the top 10 selling cookbooks of 2016 in the US, according to Nielsen BookScan. 

      AFP Relax News