Yanks offense a bit off without A-Rod
July, 24, 2011
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
Before A-Rod went on the DL with a torn right knee meniscus on July 8, the Yankees averaged 5.2 runs per game and slugged at a .446 clip. Both were the second-best marks in the majors.
Since A-Rod's absence, the Yanks had scored 4.6 runs per game entering play Sunday and compiled a .375 slugging percentage.
Sure, six-tenths of a run doesn't seem like a precipitous drop.
But if you remove the Yankees' 17-run outburst on Friday night from the equation, Joe Girardi's crew has averaged 3.6 runs per game.
Even counting Friday's game, the Yanks ranked 21st in slugging from July 8 - July 23, according to stats provided by ESPN Stats & Information guru Katie Sharp.
"He's definitely missed, there's no doubt about it," Joe Girardi said. "But you've got to find a way to get it done. We still have accomplished hitters in our lineup. But it's a big bat to take out of the middle."
The Yanks are 5-5 since the All-Star break and scored just 30 runs on their eight-game road trip to start the second half. They went 2-for-11 with men in scoring position and left 11 men on in their 4-3 loss to Oakland on Saturday.
"Our lineup is not as deep as it is when he’s in it," Girardi said. ".... We’ve had some games where we’ve struggled to score runs and we’ve had some big outbursts and some five and some six-run games. But we miss him."
The Yanks have reconfigured their lineup at times during A-Rod's absence.
Both Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira have batted in the cleanup hole. Curtis Granderson batted third in the first two games of the weekend series against Oakland. Brett Gardner has batted in the leadoff spot against right-handers, with Derek Jeter hitting second.
"I think it's working for us," Nick Swisher said of the new lineup. "But I mean a guy like Al, (when) he's not in there, he's sorely missed for sure."
Before he went down with the injury, Rodriguez was batting .295 with 52 RBIs but just 13 HR.
On Sunday, Girardi said Rodriguez has continued to rehab his knee in Miami. He underwent surgery to repair the meniscus tear on July 11 and is expected to miss four to six weeks. Girardi said there is no clear timetable for his return.
"He's continuing his rehab in Miami and he's doing more and more every day," Girardi said.