Here’s a list of all the current major league regulars with the fewest runs batted in per plate appearance this year:
Magglio Ordonez (2 RBI in 83 PA)
Kosuke Fukudome (2 RBI in 82 PA)
Jamey Carroll (3 RBI in 117 PA)
Jason Bartlett (4 RBI in 110 PA)
Michael Cuddyer (4 RBI in 105 PA)
Austin Jackson (5 RBI in 131 PA)
And a similar list using runs scored, rather than RBI.
Magglio Ordonez (2 runs in 83 PA)
Mark Ellis (4 runs in 112 PA)
James Loney (5 runs in 120 PA)
Brad Hawpe (4 runs in 84 PA)
Jorge Cantu (4 runs in 82 PA)
And Ordonez has been that impotent despite hitting third in a very respectable lineup. Brendan Ryan is batting ninth for the Mariners and hitting .177 this season, yet he’s still managed six runs scored and seven RBI in 94 plate appearances. Ordonez is averaging a run scored and an RBI every 10 games!
I’m not saying Ordonez is done, and I’m not saying that his poor run and RBI numbers mean much of anything going forward.
I’m just saying he’s been really, really, really lousy so far.
The Yankees and Astros are set for Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, and neither team will hold back as they seek a World Series berth. The Astros are prepared to back starter Charlie Morton with any able-bodied pitcher in their ranks — including Justin Verlander, though A.J. Hinch said it would be a “dream scenario” to get anything more from his ace — while the Yankees are prepared to utilize all but a few of their arms. One pitcher you won’t see? Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who last took the hill for the Yankees during their Game 5 shutout on Wednesday.
Tanaka expended 103 pitches over seven scoreless innings in his last start, fending off the Astros with three hits, a walk and eight strikeouts. He hasn’t pitched on fewer than three days of rest all year, and even with a do-or-die scenario facing the Yankees on Saturday night, manager Joe Girardi doesn’t want to compromise his starter’s ability to stay rested and ready for the World Series.
Girardi will also play it safe with fellow right-hander Sonny Gray, who dominated in a five-inning performance in Game 4. All other pitchers should be available and ready to go, though the club is hoping for a lengthy outing from veteran starter CC Sabathia. Sabathia is no stranger to the postseason: over eight separate playoff runs, he touts one championship title and a collective 4.24 ERA in 123 innings. He held the Astros scoreless in his Game 3 start, blanking them over six innings on three hits, four walks and five strikeouts for an eventual 8-1 win.
Even without Tanaka or Gray likely to take the mound for Game 7, the Yankees will enter the series finale with history on their side. Per MLB.com, they have a 4-3 road record in Game 7s and are 6-7 in all 13 Game 7 finales to date. The Astros, on the other hand, dropped their first and only Game 7 clincher back in 2004, when the Cardinals capped the NLCS with a 5-2 win in St. Louis. The teams are scheduled to face off for the first-ever Game 7 at Minute Maid Park on Saturday at 8:00 PM ET.