Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Cano extra-base binge has Yankees winning
By Will Cohen, ESPN Stats & Info
AP Photo/Tony DejakThe New York Yankees look to get over .500 for the first time this season when they visit the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday Night Baseball (7 ET, ESPN2).
Robinson Cano looks to become the first player in the modern era with three extra-base hits in three straight games.
After not topping four runs in any of their first five games, the Yankees have scored 32 runs in their past three games, including double-digit outputs in each of the first two games of the series.
Cano leads the charge
Robinson Cano is 7-for-10 in the series after going 6-for-63 in his previous 15 games dating to the start of last year’s postseason.
Cano is the first major league player with at least three extra-base hits in consecutive games since 2005 –- also by Cano. The only other Yankee to accomplish the feat was Lou Gehrig in 1936.
If he can get three extra-base hits Wednesday, the Elias Sports Bureau confirms that he would be the first player in baseball’s modern era (since 1900) with three extra-base hits in three straight games.
Coming into the season, one of the big questions for the Yankees was where the power would come from. Nine of their top 10 home run hitters from 2012 are either on the disabled list or no longer with the team.
That hasn’t stopped this year’s squad, which is tied for the major league lead with 15 home runs, including eight in the first two games of the series.
Newcomers Kevin Youkilis, Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner have each hit two home runs and hit at least .333 in the first eight games.
Last season the Yankees led MLB with 48.4 percent of their runs scoring on home runs. This year’s pace is slightly higher -- 49.0 percent -- but is only sixth in the majors so far.
Cleveland’s free-agency plunge
After spending $117 million in free agency this offseason, the Indians are off to a disappointing 3-5 start and are in last place in the AL Central.
Cleveland’s free-agent commitment was the third highest in the majors, trailing only the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels, who combined to spend $335 million in the offseason.
The team’s spending was not only high relative to league standards, but unprecedented for Cleveland. In the previous three offseasons, the Indians combined to spend just more than $12 million on free agents.
Indians pitching struggles
The Indians have yet to name a starter for Wednesday’s game after projected starter Brett Myers pitched in relief Tuesday. But the entire staff has had trouble throwing strikes so far this season.
Cleveland pitchers have thrown strikes on only 60 percent of their pitches and walked 11 percent of the batters they’ve faced. Both numbers are worst in the majors.
The Yankees' home run onslaught is also likely to continue Wednesday. The Indians allow 2.0 home runs per nine innings, the highest rate in the majors.