(And the battle rages on for team HR lead. Courtesy of The AP)
July has been an ugly month for good old Mark Teck-SHARE-uh. His OBP is .320 and his SLG is barely over .400. By now every blog in the Yankopshere has covered his struggles and what the true cause really is, but the last week or so may be a precursor to the usual Mark Teixeira summer breakout we're used to seeing.
After the win over Tampa on July 18, Teix's line had bottomed out at .239/.344/.496. He had just 2 XBH in the entire month, neither of them HR and none since July 3, and just 4 RBI. In the 8 games since July 18, Teix has 10 hits in 32 AB (.313 BA), including 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 R, and 9 RBI. The power and timing that was seemingly missing from his swing earlier in the month looks like it's starting to come back, he doesn't seem to be pulling off the ball too early and popping everything up as he had been, and the results are much better. Teix is in the middle of a 5-game hitting streak after another 2-hit night last night, and has all 3 HR and all 9 RBI in just the last 5 games. He's seen his season line creep back up to .245/.344/.509.
Small sample yes? Yes. Drastic improvement? Not at all. But with the long stretch of diminishing results leading up to this recent resurgence, I'll take the baby steps as a good sign. Teix is one of, if not the most important cog in keeping the Yankee offense dangerous during The Horse's absence. And up until recently he hadn't been living up to that responsibility of his massive contract. But now all signs are pointing in the right direction and if he can continue this upward trend, and get his production back to the normal Teix levels we expect, it makes the immediate concern for adding a bat at the deadline less of an issue and makes the long-term concern of having the Yankee lineup at full strength and at its most dangerous during the stretch run and postseason much more likely.