With each out Vernon Wells makes, you wonder when he’s going to reach his tipping point. When will he fling his helmet against the dugout wall or take a bat to a water cooler, finally letting out some of the frustration that must be building up inside? Don’t hold your breath. “It’s not the cooler’s fault; it’s not the bat’s fault,” Wells said before Thursday’s game, a slight grin on his face. “It’s the Indian, not the arrow.” The Bombers fell for the seventh time in the last nine games, dropping an 8-3 decision to the Rays. After falling behind, 4-0, Matt Moore lost command of the strike zone, walking two batters and throwing a wild pitch. “We got some free passes and that’s why we scored,” Joe Girardi said. When Girardi won’t even give his own guys credit for the one “big” inning they had, you know the offense is scuffling. Nobody exemplifies that more than Wells, the feel-good story of the first six weeks of the season. With Wells a key contributor to the Yankees’ 30-18 start, it can’t be a coincidence that once his bat turned ice cold, so did the Yankees. Through May 22, Wells was hitting .287/.341/.506 with 10 home runs and 24 RBI. Since that day, Wells is hitting a meager .101 (9-for-89) with no homers, three RBI and only one walk. “I don’t need to know the numbers,” Wells said before yet another 0-for-3. “I know they’re terrible. That’s pretty easy to figure out.” Girardi has professed his undying faith in Wells, although the outfielder has had a funny way of showing his appreciation. “When you have someone in your corner, especially the guy that’s making the lineups, that’s huge,” Wells said. “Now I’ve got to repay him for that, and that’s what I plan on doing.” Wells failed to do so Thursday, going hitless before being pinch-hit for by young Zoilo Almonte in the ninth. To say that Wells is the most important player on the Yankees would be an overstatement. Robinson Cano and Brett Gardner mean more to the offense, while the entire starting rotation and the back end of the bullpen have carried the team through much of the season. But Wells is a crucial piece of the puzzle. The Yankees are 11-15 since Wells went into his tailspin, and while you can’t place all the blame on him, he certainly shoulders some of the burden.
Yankees' Vernon Wells says he won’t go batty during struggles
New York Daily News | Jun 21