Big hit never materializes for Yankees

Offense leaves 12 men on base, goes 0-for-12 with RISP vs. Mariners

April 16th, 2016

NEW YORK -- Nothing was working for the Yankees during their 7-1 loss to the Mariners on Friday night.

"It just wasn't our night," first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "It really wasn't our night."

"It's just baseball," manager Joe Girardi said. "When you go through it, it's no fun. But every team goes through it and tomorrow's a new day."

"It was just tough," designated hitter Dustin Ackley said. "We couldn't get that one hit we needed."

No excuses, just acceptance. And on a night where the Yankees stranded 12 men on base and went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position, that belief seemed to be the only explanation the Yanks needed.

The Yankees' plate appearances weren't altogether empty. The team reached base 13 times on the night, posting six hits and seven walks. Brett Gardner gave New York an early lead with a home run in the first. Just when it came time to turn walks and hits into runs, no one could provide the necessary spark to ignite a rally.

Take the fourth inning for example. With the score tied at 1, Ackley led off with a six-pitch walk. Starlin Castro followed him and roped a single down the third-base line, moving Ackley to third. A wild pitch in the next at-bat moved Castro to second. The Yankees were 90 feet from a one-run lead and 180-feet from a two-run lead. But then Didi Gregorius, Chase Headley and Jacoby Ellsbury struck out. End of rally.

If the Yankees had scored there, perhaps the game would've been different. But as Girardi said of the series of events, "you've got to live with it."

Over the past three games, all losses, the Yankees have batted 2-for-24 with runners in scoring position (.083 batting average). In the six games prior to that to start the season, however, the Yankees were 18-for-53 with runners in scoring position (.340) while going 4-2.

Therein lies the difference between a slump fans should be concerned about and a slump that really isn't that big of a deal, at least in Teixeira's mind. As the slugger said, the Yankees haven't changed their approach since last week. There have been no structural or strategic changes to the way the team has swung the bat. The ball just isn't bouncing the same way it was in the first two series.

"We had good at-bats, we just didn't get the big hit," Teixeira said. "When you see people swinging at pitches in the dirt, when you see guys being impatient, that's a sign of bad approach. I thought our approach was good today; we took our pitches when we needed to, we took our walks. But again, sometimes you're just not going to get that big hit."