Gardy Starting An On Base Party

There’s no denying it: Brett Gardner got off to an awful start this season.  He was not hitting the ball well, he was not getting on base, but worst of all, when he was getting on base, he wasn’t being successful trying to steal bases.  The Yankees have maybe four legitimate base stealers in their everyday lineup and he is at the top of the list.  Without him, they lose an element to their game.

(Lynne Sladky/Associated Press)

I wasn’t shocked at the fact that he was struggling though.  If you take a look at his number in the first three months of the year, he hit at least .285 in each of them.  However, after June, he disappeared, failing to hit above .247 in another month.  The former masked the latter though and his final hitting line would be .277/.383/.379.  I wasn’t sure why he was struggling though.  Was it the fact that he wasn’t used to playing everyday and he was starting to get worn out or was it that pitchers just knew how to pitch him.

It's been tough for us too, Brett. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

Well, at the start of the season, I thought it was the second thing.  Gardner seemed to be getting into a lot of 0-2,1-2, and 0-1 counts that he couldn’t work himself out of.  They just had to throw him strikes and make him beat them and he wouldn’t be able to most of the time, and it seemed to work.

In response to this, Gardy swung at a lot more pitches because he thought he had to and in effect started swinging at more balls out of the zones and giving pitchers outs.  He was trying to hard to beat the pitcher that he got away from what made him successful.

Lately, however, things have changed.  He has been been seeing a lot more 2-0, 2-1, 3-0, and 3-1 counts and as a result, his numbers have climbed a lot in the last week.  He is on a six game hitting streak and during this span he is 7-for-11 with at least a walk in each game and nine altogether.  He’s also raised his hitting line from .145/.197/.306 to .219/.337/.411.  This is quite a drastic change, but then again, as I have stressed in many of my posts, it is very early.

(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

It is good to see Brett get going because the Yanks are going to need him.  Hopefully, as he keeps getting on, he can get into a rhythm and start stealing some bases because his current rate is unacceptable.  The other parts of the offense were hot earlier in the season, but are starting to cool down, including Alex Rodriguez.  A-Rod’s average has dropped from .370 at April on April 23 to .268 currently and has dropped each game in this span.  It just goes to show that they need Gardy to keep getting on more than ever.

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