Big bucks, small production
By Jon Lane
At what point do you worry about two of the Yankees’ big-ticket acquisitions? It’s still too early in my view, and people around the team will insist that Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia will turn it around, and soon. But since a baseball season is dissected in reaction to daily events, Teixeira and Sabathia have been anything but impact players, and fans are getting restless.
Teixeira went 0-for-3 in today’s 8-4 loss to the Angels, is 2-for-27 (.074) over his last eight games and is batting .182. In the sixth inning with Derek Jeter on third and one out in a 1-1 game, Teixeira flied out to shallow center, not deep enough to put the Yankees ahead.
“I’m very upset,” Teixeira said. “I’m not getting hits. I’m very upset that I’m not coming through for my team. I’m embarrassed that I’m hitting one something. Whatever one is, it’s embarrassing.
“In the last couple of days, I’ve really worked hard. Kevin Long and I have been looking at videotape of my swings and my swing feels good. I just got to swing at maybe a few better pitches.”
Metro New York reporter and stats guru Larry Fleisher compiled a list of his batting averages through May 2 in his career.
2008 – .265
2007 – .223
2006 – .292
2005 – .259
2004 – .222
2003 – .188
To be fair, Teixeira hasn’t had Alex Rodriguez hitting behind him and once the sleeping giant awakens the Yankees will begin reaping the benefits of the $180 million they’re paying him over eight years. Combine the fact that A-Rod will fortify a lineup playing in a hitter’s park and Teixeira will turn those boos into cheers.
(A-Rod, by the way, went 0-for-6 in an extended spring game and is 2-for-18 in three games.)
Ditto Sabathia, who was brilliant for six innings before falling apart in the seventh. He’s 1-3 and winless since April 11 and the Yankees are 2-4 in games he’s started. Blame the big guy all you want, and he’s with fault, but his team has supported him with one run over his last two starts, and today was 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position while stranding seven.
“Sure, I had given up the lead, Sabathia said. “It was just frustrating. It was a tie game up until that point When we’re not scoring runs, it’s up to the pitcher to go out and keep it close when we get in that eighth and ninth inning. That’s frustrating. Every time you go out there, you want the team to win. I’m just going to keep working hard and try to turn it around.”
Fleisher the stat guru notes that Sabathia has thrown 656 pitches in 39 innings through six starts (119 today). At this point last season he threw 604 covering 32.