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Yanks Return Home, Hopefully With Some Bats

The Yankees lineup has been struggling to put it all together. As the team returns home, hopefully the don’t forget the bats.

The New York Yankees are returning home today to start a three game series with the Minnesota Twins. The Yankees just finished a four game series with the Detroit Tigers in which they lost three of the four.

It was a rather embarrasing four game series for the Yankees. You can blame it squarely on the lineup. The Yankees offense disappeared in this series, with the exception of one single inning in their lone win.

The blame can be spread out throughout, as just about the entire lineup is now in a slump. Catchers Jorge Posada and Francisco Cervelli are the only two players with a series batting average over .250. Cervelli had just four at bats in the series but did manage two hits for a .500 average. One of his hits was a double. Posada returned from injury and went 4-for-9 in the series, a .444 average. Two of his four hits were doubles and he walked three times. Thats production if you ask me.

The rest of the lineup? Well, no, they did not produce very much at all. Overall, the team batted just .195 against the Tigers. The Yankees had only five extra base hits, three coming from Posada and Cervelli.

Derek Jeter had a terrible series, managing just one hit in 17 at bats for a .059 average the past four games. He also left seven men on base. Juan Miranda and Ramiro Pena both went hitless in the series, but Miranda had just three at bats while Pena had six.

The rest of the team did not fare much better. Mark Teixeira had a home run but batted .176 in the four games while leaving ten men on base. Alex Rodriguez had four hits in 17 at bats (.235), one being a double. Second baseman Robinson Cano has cooled off in a big way, batting just .154 this past series.

The Yankees outfielders did not produce either. Brett Gardner (.250), Nick Swisher (.200), Randy Winn (.222), Marcus Thames (.125), and Greg Golson (.250) all struggled at the plate. Winn left 11 men on base by himself.

The team was still getting their share of walks, 20 in the four games, but they also struck out 23 times.

Where did they leave the bats? This team that had started off so well as a group, is now in a big slump. You can usually get by when one or two players are in a slump, but it will be hard to win games when the entire team is slumping.

This is not a good time for the Yankees to be slumping either. They start a three game series with the Twins tonight, then they will play two games against the Boston Red Sox and two against the Tampa Bay Rays before interleague play begins next weekend.

To start the Minnesota series, the Yankees will face Francisco Liriano who has regained his dominant form so far this season. Liriano is 4-1 this year with a 2.36 ERA. He has been Minnesota’s top starter so far in 2010. After Liriano, the Yankees will face Scott Baker (4-2, 4.57) and Nick Blackburn (3-1, 4.76).

The Yankees have had a lot of success against the Twins the past few years but Minnesota comes in as a very confident club this year. They are a balanced team and look like they can play with anyone in the league.

First baseman Justin Morneau is batting .357 this year with eight home runs and 23 RBI’s, all team highs. He has a career batting average of .357 at Yankee Stadium. Morneau teams up with catcher Joe Mauer to form a very dangerous one-two punch in the Twins lineup. Mauer is batting .347 so far this year. Both players are in the American League top five in batting average.

Aside from the two All-Stars, the Twins are also getting very good contributions from other spots in the lineup. Outfielders Delmon Young and Michael Cuddyer are producing. Young is batting .287 while Cuddyer is batting .275 but has five home runs and is tied with Morneau for the team lead in RBI’s with 23.

Second baseman Orlando Hudson is batting .282 so far in his first season as a Minnesota Twin.

Both teams have some very similar statistics this season. Even defensively as Minnesota is the best defensive team in the American League. They have made just eight errors this season for a .994 fielding percentage. The Yankees are right behind them, ranked second with a .990 fielding percentage. The Yankees have only made 12 errors this year.

Some more stats to compare as the series gets underway tonight:

  Minn. NYY
AVG. 1st – .277 4th – .271
HR 7th – 32 4th – 41
SLG. 4th – .429 3rd – .440
SB 10th – 17 T4th – 29
ERA 2nd – 3.51 3rd – 3.55

Please, if I can ask for anything. I want to ask the Yankees to please bring the bats back. We need hits. We need to score runs. We are the Yankees for god sake, it’s what we do! Please…any size, any color, I don’t care. Just please bring the bats back to New York with you!

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