10/18/12 5:00 PM ET
Yanks' offense among most anemic in LCS history
By Tracy Ringolsby / MLB.com
The Bronx Bombers have bombed.
The New York Yankees are, after all, supposed to be about hits and runs and home runs.
Not this postseason, they aren't.
In the first three games of the American League Championship Series against the Tigers, the Yankees' offense has been among the most anemic in LCS history.
A franchise that in 1981 set the LCS record with a .336 team average, and a .415 on-base percentage, is well off that pace this year.
The Yankees went into Game 4 at Comerica Park having hit .182, which would be the sixth-lowest average in LCS history, and the second lowest since the LCS was expanded to seven games in 1995.
The 1969 Minnesota Twins, swept in a three-game series by Baltimore, hit a record-setting .155. The 2005 Angels, who lost in five games to the White Sox, hit .175, the lowest for a team since the 1995 LCS expansion.
The 1981 New York Yankees, who swept Oakland in the ALCS, hit .336, the highest for a team in the LCS. Baltimore (1970) and St. Louis (1982) both hit .330. Boston, in 2007, hit .318, highest since the seven-game LCS was adopted.
The Yankees also have the all-time postseason record with a .338 average in 1960, when they actually lost the World Series to Pittsburgh.
St. Louis won two of the first three games from San Francisco in the National League Championship Series this year, but the Cardinals have hit only .198, which would be the 18th lowest average in LCS history, and is 74 points less than the Giants.
The Yankees have six players with at least 20 plate appearances hitting below .200 this postseason. Robinson Cano has hit .083 in eight games, including going 1-for-14 in the three games against Detroit. Curtis Granderson has hit .103 with 15 strikeouts in 29 at-bats, including six strikeouts in 10 hitless at-bats during the ALCS. Alex Rodriguez is hitting .130 with 12 strikeouts in 23 at-bats, Nick Swisher .154, Russell Martin .172. Eric Chavez, who has taken over for Rodriguez at third, has yet to have a hit.
By comparison, St. Louis' pitchers have hit .214 in the playoffs.
At the other extreme, Derek Jeter hit .333 in the postseason before suffering a fractured left ankle.
A-Rod and Chavez have shared the Yankees third-base job, and are 3-for-14 with a double and one RBI.
The Yankees have hit .200 this postseason, third lowest among the 10 teams that were in the playoffs. Oakland hit .194, Baltimore .195, San Francisco .224 and Washington .232. Atlanta (.308) and Texas (.265) were eliminated in one-game Wild Card matchups despite the top two postseason averages.
Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.