New York Yankees: 3 major takeaways from loss to the Braves

William Parlee
New York Yankees, Corey Kluber
Apr 3, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees boo birds were out in full force last night as the Yankees continue not to hit in games. Last night the Yankees lost again after winning just one game against the Atlanta Braves. Not hitting to their abilities has dogged them for the first 17 games of the season.

Corey Kluber failed to go 5 again

In his fourth start of the season again, Corey Kluber failed to give the New York Yankees any length in the game; he went only 4.2 innings giving up two earned runs and striking out only 2 Braves hitters. Exacerbating that is that the Yankee’s hitters can’t help him out because, for the most part, the bats are silent.

Kluber is a 2 time Cy Young Award-winner but hasn’t pitched in nearly two years entering this season. In 2019 he was hit by a comebacker ending his season, and in 2020 he pitched only one inning leaving the game with a shoulder ailment. The season was so short he didn’t have the time to recover from it. He worked in the offseason with Yankee coach Eric Cressey down in Florida, and the Yankees signed him before spring training, hoping he could return to his previous form. He still may do that, but so far, it is not encouraging.

Adding insult to injury, last night, the usually stellar Yankee bullpen gave up two earned runs in four innings of work.

What the hell is wrong with the Yankees?

The whole baseball world is wondering why the Yankees have no offense. That may seem extreme saying that, but at the same time, there is no explanation as to why one of the most powerful lineups in baseball averages less than three runs per game.

The New York Yankees sit at the bottom of the American League with a record of 6-11, 1 1/2 games behind the lowly Baltimore Orioles. It’s their worst start in 20 years. They are 25th in runs, 21st in home runs, 21st in OPS, 29th in batting average, and have the worst slugging percentage of any team in baseball. There is no explanation for this because, for the most part, the team is healthy.

The season started with the suggestion that this was a year like no other in recent memory, having the best chance for a World Championship than they have had in years. Now 17 games in they look like anything but champions. They look like a team lost at the plate and not having the energy to get out of their own way.

For an entire team to go south simultaneously is very unusual, to say the least, but except for a few sparks here and there, that is the case. Aaron Judge leads the team with 4 home runs but has only one double and 8 RBI’s. The other big-time slugger is Giancarlo Stanton, who has the most RBI’s but is hitting only .158. Gio Urshela and DJ LeMahieu are the only two batters and seem to be energized. Other than them, the Yankees have 8 players in the lineup or on the bench that are hitting .200 or less.

Somebody in the coaching staff has got to shake this team up and do it quickly before the hole they are in becomes so deep that it will become impossible to dig out of in time to have a winning season.

More on the lack of hitting

Manager Aaron Boone seems determined to go with the analytics and keep Aaron Hicks in the 3 spot in the lineup.  Analytics are fine, but when it’s not working, the manager has to use his brain and change it regardless of what the analytics says.

Not only are the Yankees in general not hitting, but there is no situational hitting either. The Yankees are leaving too many players on base and hitting into too many inning-ending double plays. Also, if the Yankees aren’t leading into the ninth inning, they are dead in the water because, in the first 16 games, they haven’t scored a single run in the ninth inning. Last night was the first scoring in the ninth.

It’s not that the Yankees haven’t had opportunities in the games they have lost because they have, but failed to hit in situations that could have given them the lead in games. Last night the Yankees could do nothing against Ian Anderson, the Braves starter. But once he was out of the game, the Yankees had opportunities against the second-worst bullpen in baseball. They could only bring in one run. In the game, they left 9 Yankee runners on base.