Let me preface this by saying the Yankees are clearly a better team with Alex Rodriguez. The intention here is not spark that sort of ridiculous argument. That said…
Rodriguez last played on July 7.
Through July 7: The Yankees went 51-35 (.593 winning percentage) and averaged 5.22 runs per game.
Since July 7: The Yankees have gone 18-9 (.667 winning percentage) and average 5.70 runs per game.
Again, the point here is not to suggest that the Yankees are better without their third baseman, only to point out that their hitters have done a remarkable job making up for his absence.
“It’s been a lot of fun, that’s for sure,” Eric Chavez said. “It’s been a lot of fun to watch. I’ve played on some pretty good offensive teams early with the A’s, and I’ve never seen anything like it. If you look at the three guys in the middle – Robbie, Granderson and Teixeira – they do so much damage, the rest of us just have to pitch in. What those three guys are doing, it’s pretty miraculous.”
The return of Chavez has helped. It’s also helped that Mark Teixeira has found a little consistency. And that Nick Swisher has been outstanding for two months now. And that Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter have been getting on base. And that Curtis Granderson’s production hasn’t fallen off. And that Eduardo Nunez is becoming productive again.
Of the Yankees 27 games without Rodriguez, only eight were played against teams below league average in team ERA (Toronto and Baltimore). Twelve were played against teams that top five in team ERA (Tampa Bay, Oakland and Seattle).
“It’s been really good, because guys have stepped up,” Joe Girardi said. “As I’ve said, one of the things I’m most proud about this team is how guys have slid in when we’ve had key people go down. Whether it was Derek, Alex, Soriano, Joba or Feliciano, guys have stepped in and done the job. It’s been extremely impressive.”
Associated Press photo