We’re as guilty as anyone of looking at some of the players who crack the Yankees batting order these days — the bottom third of the order yesterday: Juan Miranda, Randy Winn, and Greg Golson — and determining that the injuries that led to their inclusion in the lineup are to blame for the team’s first real slump of the season. (That sound you hear is Mets fans who lived through 2009 not sympathizing at all.)
And we also know as well as anyone that the starting pitcher has the biggest outcome of anyone on the field, so when CC Sabathia allows six runs over six innings — as he did in their 6–0 loss to Detroit yesterday — and Justin Verlander combines with two relievers to shut the Yankees out for the second time in three games, there’s only so much the offense can do.
But it’s certainly not helping that the following things are true: Derek Jeter is batting 47 points below his career average (or 73 points below his career on-base percentage, if you’d prefer), Alex Rodriguez has hit just three home runs thus far, and Mark Teixeira is back under the Mendoza line after getting all the way up to a still-horrific .207. The Yankees still have the second-best record in baseball, two games behind the East-leading Rays, thanks largely to their starting pitching. But in the long run, the Yankees without Jeter, A-Rod, or Teixeira near the top of their games aren’t really the Yankees at all.