I will be the first to caution anyone from getting too bent out of shape, because after all it’s just three games.
The Mets, Mariners and Orioles are a collective 9-1 and in first place, which should be more than enough to convince people it’s far too soon to read into things.
…One troubling trend for Yankees fans continues to rear its ugly head and sadly, it relates to a very beloved Yankee.
Nick Swisher, the goofy, affable right-fielder for the Bronx Bombers has posted an abysmal .169/.295/.323 AVG/OBP/SLG slash line in the post-season. And that isn’t in a small sample size either.
9 playoff series, 38 games, 147 plate appearance spanning three cities (Oakland, Chicago and New York) have shown us that the guy simply cannot get it done in October.
In fact, the ONLY two playoff series where he posted a batting average over .250 were the two ones versus the Minnesota Twins, in 2006 and again in 2010.
Other than it has looked like this:
2006 vs Detroit .100/.400/.100, 2008 vs TBR .250/.500/.250, 2009 vs Min .083/.083/.167, 2009 vs LAA .150/.292/.150, 2009 vs Phi .133/.316/.400 (thank your buddies for carrying you to that ring, Nick), 2010 vs Tex .091/.200/.273 and 2011 vs Det .211/.250/.368.
Now I know what you are saying. “But Squints, it’s only April, why are we talking about the post-season?” Because it gets just as bad (if not worse) as you dig even deeper.
If you follow me on Twitter ( @UrKllinMeSmalls) you would know that late last year with each of Swisher’s failures I kept hammering the point home that dude is just flat out gimp with 2 outs and RISP, which is the very definition of being clutch. There is nobody behind you who can get it done if you fail to reach base.
He came up an astounding 89 times in such situations, primarily because the Yankees score a ton of runs and turn their lineup over more than anybody.
How did he do? He put the ball in play 8 times. Eight. E-I-G-H-T!
That adds up to a paltry .118 batting average and a measly 15 RBIs were generated in those circumstances. Taking it further, 18 of his 23 HRs came with the Yankees either down by at least two or up by four or more. Only five came in games that were tied or had a one run differential.
Fast forward to 2012 with the first series of the year facing a good pitching staff in Tampa. So runs are going to come at a premium probably, right?
The Yankees lose a crazy first game in which everyone whom pitched should surrender their game day checks. Tight game, right down to the wire. Swisher comes up FOUR times with 2 runners on. The results? Weak grounder to first, weak grounder to first, trickler to third for infield single/RBI and a punch out.
Second game of the series, Eduardo NunE6z puts Hiroki Kuroda in a hole early with an error (both on scoreboard and in terms of a juiced up pitch count), Rays tack on some runs and Yankees go into 9th down by six. With two out and two on Swisher finally gets a good swing on the ball and goes yard.
Too little, too late but it does wonders to pad those stats.
The final game of the series saw the Yankees lose a 3-0 game in which Jeremy Hellickson pitched a gem, but the Bombers did have their chances. Robinson Cano, Arod and Tex put good swings on the ball and had extra-base hits in front of Swisher so for the SIXTH & SEVENTH time this series he comes up with two runners on and at least one in scoring position.
Now that the game isn’t a blowout how does he do? Pop-up and a weak ass strikeout.
Ladies & gents, let me introduce you to Nick Swisher: Human Rally Killer.