Through the first eight innings of their seven 2012 postseason games to date, the Yankees have scored nine runs total. That comes out to 1.45 runs per game, a stupefying total for a team that averaged 4.96 runs/game in the regular season. Raul Ibanez’s playoff-long Babe Ruth impression and an onslaught of ninth-inning runs (10 in seven games, which you’ll note is more than in the first eight innings of each game combined) have masked a historically horrendous postseason for the Yankee offense.
And the Yankees are actually getting worse at the plate as the postseason goes on. I’ve been to a lot of playoff games over the last 17 years, including Game 2 of the ALCS Sunday against the Detroit Tigers. And I’ve only seen two other games where the Yankees hit that poorly in the playoffs, both shutout losses: Game 2 of the 1996 World Series (Greg Maddux: 8IP, 6H, 0R, 82 pitches) and Game 6 of the 2003 World Series (Josh Beckett: CG, 5H, 2BB, 0R). Anibal Sanchez is no scrub, but he’s no 2003 Josh Beckett and he sure as hell is no Greg Maddux.
The loss of Derek Jeter and a razor-thin bench (sorry Eric Chavez and Eduardo Nunez, but one of you is too decrepit and the other doesn’t have what it takes — you know which is which) is part of the problem. But Jeter wasn’t knocked out until the 12th inning of Game 1 of the ALCS, and the Yankees were nosediving at the plate long before The Captain’s ankle snapped.