The fine folks at STATS Inc. shared this nugget of information shortly after Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher chased an outside pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning of Thursday’s 3-2 Game 5 loss to the Tigers:
Swisher is 1 for 31 with 10 Ks with runners in scoring position over 38 career postseason games.
“Clutch” is a myth, but that’s a startling stat.
Swisher finished 1-for-4 in the Game 5 defeat and went just 4-for-19 (.211) in the series. But he’s not the only Bronx Bomber that missed major chances in the first-round departure. There’s plenty of blame to go around.
Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Thursday night’s loss, leaving three runners on base. He fanned at a pitch down the heart of the plate to end it and wound up 2-for-18 (.111) for the series.
Derek Jeter missed a go-ahead home run by about three feet in the bottom of the eighth. He went 1-for-5.
Russell Martin was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and left four runners on base. He batted .176 in the series.
The Yankees had a number of promising scoring opportunities Thursday and a lineup paid to convert those chances into runs, but — for whatever reason — they came up short. A-Rod is sure to get most of the blame because of his hefty contract and past failures, but those seeking a scapegoat will find a range of options.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.
In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler Austin–Greg Bird combo in 2017.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.
Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.