I keep this mostly for myself; nevertheless, I was happy when Blogger Dashboard crashed for two days and prevented me from laying out the gory details.
I saw on TV when the Houston Texans, in their first season, defeated the Pittburgh Steelrs despite managing a mere 46 yards of offense. It was calculated that if Texan quarterback David Carr had simply snuck the ball on every play, the yardage would have been greater.
And so it was Wednesday night, a 4-3, 11-inning Royals defeat of the Yankees. The Yankees outhit the Royals--what? 14-4? I don't even want to look. Every single Royal hit resulted in precisely one run. Economy of effort like that will help.
Bingo: the next day, the Royals come out 6-0 and cruise. Friday, the Yankees, as they so often do, give up one crucial late-inning run and allow it to become their undoing. Just like that, 21-13 becomes 20-16.
The main fear here is that, offensively, the Yankees are becoming too much like two different clumps of Orioles, the Singleton-Murray-DeCinces-Lowenstein-Crowley-Bumbry-Ayala bunch of the late 70s and early 80s, and the Ripken-Palmeiro-Anderson-Murray-Zeile crowd of the mid- to late-90s, the low-average, high-power, station-to-station teams that were good for a lot of homers and 94-97 wins per season, but collectively won a single World Series, in the hybrid year of 1983, when the was team built around Ripken, Murray, Singleton and a bunch of spare parts (John Lowenstein, part of a three-headed leftfield monster, hit a memorable grand slam off Goose Gossage, a blast that effectively eliminated a pretty good Yankee team from contention that year). Brett Gardner has seemingly forgotten how to steal a base, no one seems able to lay down a bunt, and Gardner, Jeter, Swisher, A-Rod, Posada and even Cano stuck with batting averages ranging from surprising to embarrassing.
It's easy to win hitting 4 home runs--though the Yankees have hit four homers and lost already. But there is something to be said for simply dumping the ball over second with a man on third.