Friday, May 13, 2005

Lack of K's Will Hurt Yankees

Face it - to win, you need pitchers who can strike hitters out. When your pitchers constantly put the ball into play, you put added pressure on the defense, which inevitably leads to more errors, and you allow the other teams to manufacture runs. Guy's on second, you hit the ball to the right side, so he moves over to third, and a sac fly brings him in. Strikeouts stop rallies.

In years past, the championship teams, with the exception of the 2002 Angels, have had strikeout guys to lead them:

In 2004, the World Champion Boston Red Sox were second in the AL in strikeouts.
In 2003, the Marlins were fifth in the NL in K's, sixth in the majors overall.
In 2001, Arizona was second in the NL in strikeouts.

The Angels are the exception because they didn't face really good pitching in the postseason, thanks of course to the Yankees in the ALDS. The Twins were so-so in the ALCS, and the Giants were lousy in the WS.

The 2000 Yankees, by the way? Fourth in the AL in K's.

This year, the Yankees are ninth in the AL. Below them are KC, Texas, Tampa Bay, Detroit, and Seattle. The top four teams are Baltimore, Anaheim, Oakland (whose anemic offense prevents them from winning games), and Chicago. Boston is fifth.

Now Randy is okay, he's second in the league in K's. After him, the next Yankee is Carl Pavano, who is tied for 28th. Mussina is tied 41st. Brown is tied for 63rd.

Now this might not be an issue facing the Seattles and Oaklands of the world, but the good teams will make them pay, as we've already seen.

Oh, did I mention that Pavano is tied for most home runs given up by an AL pitcher?

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