Left-hander Rudy May is the last Yankee to lead the American League in ERA. May posted a 2.46 ERA in 1980 along with a 15-5 record.
May capped a run of three straight Yankee ERA leaders. Another southpaw, Ron Guidry (aka Louisiana Lightning), led the AL in both 1979 (2.78) and 1978 (1.74).
In the words of immortal Yankee broadcaster Mel Allen – “How about that?”
In 1969 Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Woodstock rocked the world, and the Mets won the World Series.
That year the Yankees batted .235 as a team — in the era before the designated hitter, when America League pitchers hit. There were some decent bats in the 1969 New York lineup — Roy White (.290), Horace Clarke (.285) Bobby Murcer (.259) and Joe Pepitone (.242). The team finished fifth out of six teams in the newly-formed AL East, a game under .500.
The previous season, 1968, the Yankees hit a franchise worst .214, but that was the year of the pitcher. Nobody hit that year. Oh heck, even that awful Stump Merrill last place team of 1990 still managed to hit .241.
Why should Yankee fans care? In the 44 seasons since 1969, no Yankee team has hit this poorly. Until this year.
Here’s the woeful lineup the Yankees trotted out Thursday against Texas, a lineup that was shut out and managed two meaningless singles and made Derek Holland, an ordinary southpaw, look like Sandy Koufax. Cleanup hitter Vernon Wells, shown above, struck out all three times at bat – but he’s not the only culprit for these hitless wonders.
I Suzuki CF
J Nix SS
R Cano DH
V Wells RF
Z Almonte LF
L Overbay 1B
D Adams 2B
A Gonzalez 3B
A Romine C
At the start of play today, the Yankees are hitting .239 as a team. Who are these guys? Outside of Cano and Ichiro, nobody knows.
Somewhere, George Steinbrenner is hopping mad.