Sigh. What began as a promising week ended with the Yankees losing two straight series, including one to Toronto that saw New York play some pretty woeful baseball. While the Yankees began the week with some offensive fireworks (winning 8-1 in Kansas City and 8-4 in Detroit), their bats decided that would be plenty and took the rest of the week off. A 3-2 loss in Detroit on a walk-off single by Alex Avila and a 2-0 loss to the Blue Jays (that saw the Yankees muster one hit - ONE HIT! - all game long) proved particularly depressing, and are the very games a team fighting for a playoff spot desperately needs to win. They're not out of it yet, but this week did not see the Yankees do themselves any favors.
Terrible Tex: He may have been the Player of the Week just fourteen days ago, but that week marks just about the only stretch over the past two months where Mark Teixeira wasn't awful at the plate. While Tex produced decently for the first three months of the season, he's been an absolute black hole in the lineup since then, hitting just .203/.302/.345 with an 82 wRC+ since July 1 - this week he continued to struggle, notching just two hits in 24 at bats. While none of the other middle of the order "sluggers" are raking right now, at least Carlos Beltran (114 wRC+ in August) and Brian McCann (102 wRC+) have both been better of late. Hey Tex, September would be a great month to remember how to hit...just saying.
Celebrating an offensive bright spot: Because this season has seen such a dearth of offense from Yankees, we've got to take note when they actually remember how to hit the ball. Thus, we must celebrate Wednesday's game against the Tigers, as the Yankees had their best offensive inning of the season! The Yankees scored eight runs in the frame on nine straight hits, and they did it all off of David Price to boot. I just had to make note of this amazing inning because it's a welcome surprise when the bats actually do come alive. Wow, baseball can still be fun!
Ichiro's bat comes around: While he doesn't play everyday (which has probably contributed to his recent resurgence), Ichiro has found some success this month at the plate. The Yankees fourth outfielder was five-of-sixteen this week, and he's hit .352/.357/.389 with a 107 wRC+ in August over 54 at bats. He's not going to carry the Yankees to the playoffs, but, after an up and down season that has seen the legend take on a new and reduced role, it's worth noting he's been quite solid lately, in addition to providing sterling defense.
Position player of the week: Jacoby Ellsbury
Before he tweaked his ankle during Friday's game in Toronto, the Yankee centerfielder found himself in the midst of a phenomenal week of baseball. Ellsbury hit .522 this week with a double, a triple, and four home runs. He's certainly getting hot at the right time, and while he started off slowly in August, he ended the month on a tear, finishing with a 141 wRC+. Let's hope the ankle injury isn't too serious, and Ellsbury can get back to beating the covers off of baseballs.
Pitcher of the week: Michael Pineda
Pineda has returned to the rotation with a vengeance, posting a 2.31 ERA and a 3.08 FIP in his four starts since getting off of the DL at the beginning of August. This week, Pineda beat the Royals on Monday, giving up one run while striking out five and working into the seventh inning. Saturday, he wasn't able to get the win, but he still only gave up two runs over six innings of work (a two-run blast in the first to Jose Bautista being his lone mistake). Even though it's disappointing to see Pineda's fine work go to waste because of an inept offense, his performance this year has to get everyone excited. If he can stay healthy, Pineda looks to be a terrific major league starter, and in the coming years, a rotation headed by him and Masahiro Tanaka looks to be quite fearsome.