Yankees
MIAMI, FL – JULY 30: Anthony Rizzo #48 and Joey Gallo #13 of the New York Yankees warm-up before the game against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot park on July 30, 2021, in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Yankees Get 3-hit By A Starter With A 6+ ERA And Lose 7-1 To Orioles

The Yankees have not scored more than four runs in a game since July 21, even including their three-game sweep of the Marlins last week. Despite the additions of Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo, the team’s struggles batting with runners in scoring position (RISP) have been evident. The lack of run production this season has severely hindered the pinstripes’ usually powerful offense. This deficiency can be attributed to a few factors.

DJ Lemahieu

If you want one reason for the Yankees’ hitting struggles, look no further than DJ Lemahieu. The 32-year-old infielder is batting more than .100 lower than last season. His power numbers have also gone down, as Lemahieu had three more home runs in 2020 than in 2021 and in almost 50 fewer games. So, why is it that one individual’s play has impacted an entire team? Simply put, it is because Lemahieu sets the tone for the rest of the lineup. When he gets on base almost two times a game, the big bats settle in. When he is chopping the ball into the dirt and grounding into double plays every day, the other guys follow his lead.

People forget that Lemahieu has probably had the biggest drop among all Yankees players from last year to this year. He went from being third in the MVP voting in a crazy shortened season to having the worst hard-hit ball % and worst batting average on balls in play (BAbip) in his career. If these advanced baseball statistics are too much for you, let me make this argument simpler. In 2021, Lemahieu has the worst batting average in his career outside his rookie season.

It seems as if he is only taking steps back at this point.

Via @YankeesWFAN on Twitter

If the Yankees expect to figure out their offensive woes with only 57 games remaining, it will require a Lemahieu resurgence. New York desperately needs its leadoff guy to set the tone.

Blame Marcus Thames

As I described in one of my many previous Yankee articles, the one big constant with the Yankees’ issues at the plate over the years has been hitting coach Marcus Thames. This is not to say that he is the direct reason behind the team’s offensive struggles, but he has been with the team since 2016. During his tenure, not only have the Yankees obviously failed to win a World Series but they now face the larger problem of being unable to hit the ball with runners in scoring position. I believe next season is the proper time for a change.

More Power Will Not Help

Now that the team has acquired lefty hitters, there are not many additional excuses as to why the team is underperforming. Yes, Gallo and Rizzo have only played four games with the team, but the other guys have struggled consistently all year. Brian Cashman needs to focus on acquiring cheap contact hitters this offseason, or else this team will run the risk of repeating their pathetic performance this year in 2022.

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