Kevin Kernan, Post, May 15:
There have been too many excuses and not enough wins for the Yankees.The Yankees homered in four of their next seven games, but went 1-6. ... Derek Jeter is batting .212 (7-for-33) over his last eight games.
It’s time to make a move and there is only one way that will happen, the Yankees must out-slug their opponents. ... The Yankees are 20-8 when hitting at least one home run and 0-7 in games they have failed to hit a home run. It's home run or bust right now.
Mike Lupica, Daily News, May 19:
[The Yankees] reach the first weekend of interleague play a bit closer to last place than first place ... with questions about their starting rotation, questions about their depth and questions about their age. It's a lot of questions for the best damned pinstriped team money can buy. ...Daily News, May 19:
[Y]ou wonder how different things would look for now if two corner infielders in whom they have invested a total of nearly half a billion dollars in long-term contracts start looking like the dangerous run producers they are paid to be and used to be. ...
Alex Rodriguez has now hit a total of 21 home runs in his last 137 games, which means from the start of an injury-shortened 2011 all the way to Saturday's loss against the Reds. Teixeira? He still got to his power and RBI numbers last season, but in his Yankee years, his batting average has gone from .292 to .256 to .248 in 2011 to the .228 he is hitting right now. ...
They are still supposed to be the heart of a great batting order, not the faces of bad contracts with the New York Yankees. Good news, though. We've got them locked up practically forever.
Hot-hitting Joey Votto mashed a three-run home run off [Ivan] Nova in the fifth inning [on Saturday], the big blow in what became a 6-5 loss before 45,302 at the Stadium. The Bombers' long-dormant offense finally stirred in the ninth inning, scoring two runs and getting the tying and winning runs into scoring position, but Curtis Granderson grounded out to first to end the game.Ken Davidoff, Post, May 19:
The Yankees have lost four of five, scoring just 13 runs over that span. They were 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position — both hits coming in the ninth — but have only five hits in their last 55 at-bats in those situations. ...
Girardi believes that the Yankees' inability to deliver clutch hits is wearing on his team.
"I'm sure guys think about it," Girardi said. "They're asked about it every day. ... I'm sure it's in their minds."
[Saturday] brought more missed opportunities with runners in scoring position and another home-team loss at Yankee Stadium, so we welcome you to the Great Bronx Drought of 2012. ...Daily News, May 20:
While this game signified progress, the trouble in clutch situations still makes Yankees baseball feel like a Deadball Era production ...
Warning track power. Forty games into the season and that is what [Alex] Rodriguez has now. His homerless streak stretched to 40 at-bats. ...Post, May 21:
Rodriguez has hit five home runs and has driven in 15 runs with a quarter of the season gone. That would put him on pace to be ahead of where he was last year, when he was plagued by a variety of injuries and finished with 16 homers and 62 RBI in 99 games. That is not what the Yankees are paying $30 million for.
Alex Rodriguez gave it his best A-Rod pose. He was sure his eighth-inning drive to left off reliever Logan Ondrusek was over the fence for a two-run home run.Daily News, May 21:
He gave his bat that little home run flip as he looked into the Yankees dugout in triumph. ...
As Rodriguez approached first base, he looked out to left to expect to see the ball flying over the wall. Instead, the ball landed in the glove of Chris Heisey.
Stunned, A-Rod let out a curse as he approached first base. This was once again warning-track power on a day the wind was blowing in at Yankee Stadium. ...
Rodriguez was not around after the game to answer questions. ...
If there is no power from A-Rod, the Yankees have no chance. That's the message from the warning track.
While Joe Girardi's troops are clearly not playing up to their paychecks, it is probably too soon to suggest we could be witnessing a redux of 1965 here, when the core of the '50s-'60s dynasty ... suddenly all got old at once and the team went into deep decline. But if nothing else, the two out of three losses to the Reds — and especially Sunday's in which CC Sabathia could not hold a 2-0 lead in the seventh inning, has to be very unsettling for the Yankee high command. ...Daily News, May 22:
[T]his was precisely the kind of game for which the Yankees are paying Sabathia $23 million a year — a must-win game, if only to restore some of the lost psyche over these past couple of weeks in which the hitters, many of them earning the same lofty salaries, were a collective 5-for-their-last-55 with runners in scoring position and .231 overall, 22nd in the majors. ...
For now, there's just this: Coming to town for three games beginning Monday are the Kansas City Royals, possessors of one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball. The Yankees should consider them yet another wake-up call.
It was raining in the Bronx Monday night, but the Yankees' drought extended yet another day.Tim Smith, Daily News, May 22:
The Royals handed the Yankees a 6-0 loss in front of a wet, cold and increasingly impatient crowd at Yankee Stadium, as the Bombers' ineptitude with runners in scoring position continued.
The Yankees were 0-for-13 in those situations, the most glaring failure coming in a bases-loaded, no-out rally in the third that produced no runs.
In their past nine games, the Yankees are 6-for-72 with RISP, a paltry .083 average, going 2-7 during that stretch. ...
Russell Martin and Derek Jeter singled to open the third, then Curtis Granderson walked to load the bases with nobody out for a prime scoring opportunity.
The Yankees failed to break out of their situational slump, as Paulino caught Cano looking at a slider for strike three, fanned A-Rod on a 96 mph fastball and got Ibanez to fly out to deep left, stranding all three runners as the sparse Stadium crowd let the Bombers hear it for another wasted opportunity.
So Joe Girardi thought sliding Mark Teixeira from the No. 5 slot down to No. 7 in the batting order before the game against Kansas City on Monday night might somehow jump-start the slumping slugger and perhaps jolt the other slumbering Bombers. ...Ken Davidoff, Post, May 22:
What else you got? ...
There are no easy answers for the Yankees. They're stuck. There is no one in the minors to call up to heat up those frozen bats.
Your number of the day at Yankee Stadium was zero.
Zero runs for the home team. Zero hits with runners in scoring position.
Zero games above .500. Zero games out of last place.
Have these Yankees zeroed out?
That's three straight losses and six out of their last seven ... In all, they went 0-for-13 (with two walks) with runners in scoring position, continuing their run of incompetence to six hits in 72 at-bats. ...
"We saw the ball well," Curtis Granderson said. "We just weren't able to put good swings on it."
Said Jeter: "We hit a lot of balls hard."
Don't get too worked up over quotes like these. What are they supposed to say? "We're choking like the 2004 Yankees!"?