The Detroit Tigers made the New York Yankees their one and only bitch en route to their first World Series berth since 2006. They deserve to be celebrated, and one day, maybe they will. But this day doesn’t belong to them, it belongs to the Yankees — the Yankees who gave us such joy by utterly and completely collapsing in the playoffs. There is nothing that produces such raw, unadulterated pleasure than the failure of the Evil Empire, so here’s how bad their offense has really been in this postseason.
Their .188 team batting average was the worst in a single postseason in history (min. 7 games).
Somehow, it’s hard to believe they were even batting that well. At the rate Yankees hitters were coming up and being sent back down, .188 seems like an astronomical figure. If you’re hitting under the Mendoza Line, as a team, in the playoffs, you better thank your lucky stars you got so much as the opportunity to get swept in the ALCS. Those numbers won’t usually get you out of the first round.
Of the nine Yankees who had 20-plus at-bats, five batted below .200
That .188 team average wouldn’t be where it is without this fact, but the degree of the individual futility puts it into perspective. In descending order, the perpetrators are Nick Swisher (.167), Russell Martin (.161), Alex Rodriguez (.120), Curtis Granderson (.100), and Robinson Cano (.075). Their lifetime averages? .256, .260, .300, .262, and .308. What even. It’s hard to figure out how this happened because it’s not like they faced Justin Verlander every day. Victory for A-Rod though? At least he wasn’t the worst.
Robinson Cano’s 0-for-29 streak is the longest such in postseason history.
We touched on this a few nights ago, but it bears repeating because it’s just so pitiful. No player, ever, has fired more blanks in a row in a single postseason than Robinson Cano. Now, don’t go saying in over 100 years of modern postseason play that Cano has been the worst. It’s his record, sure, but consider postseason expansion. We’ve only had the LCS for 43 years, the LDS for 18. It dilutes the pool a bit, but make no mistake, this is the kind of infamy deserving of recognition.
Their team postseason ERA? A gut-wrenching 2.76.
That’s good for fourth, behind only the Tigers, Braves, and Orioles. Consider that the Braves played only a single game, the Orioles played only five games, and both the Orioles and Tigers got to face the sorry Yankees themselves. So weed out those factors and you’ll come to the conclusion that Yankee pitching this October was damn good. You can’t fault your Sabathias and Pettittes and Kurodas and Hugheses (that was a weird one) for the performances they gave. But that’s how bad their offense was — they couldn’t make the most of a 2.76 ERA at their backs. Couldn’t even win a game in the ALCS. Rough.
They scored only 10 runs in the first seven innings of each game combined.
Because the little success the Yanks did have this October came through late-game heroics, I thought it would be interesting to highlight how bad they were in the game’s first seven frames. That’s 10 runs in 63 innings. Guys, that isn’t very good. This stat, and all the preceding, highlight what all of us Yankee-bashers knew all along (or wish we did), which is that this team was not built for the postseason. They made their money all season through the longball, and as we know, postseason pitching puts runs at a premium, where free swinging and little attention to detail won’t get you very far.
Thaaaaaaaat having been said, do give it up for the Detroit Tigers. They played like a team on a mission, and although the Yankees bats were sort of like beer goggles for pitching, they still had great stuff. Not to mention, their offense can just give opposing pitchers fits. Hard to believe this team was competing for a playoff spot with the White Sox only a few weeks ago.
photo via Getty