What does Yankees legend Allie Reynolds and Freddy Garcia have in common? Read on.
Our weekly look at the ups, downs, and everything-in-between from the past week
The Yankees brought their bats to Baltimore for their rain-shortened series against the Orioles last weekend. Friday night the Bronx Bombers lived up to their namesake, hitting five longballs in the game while scoring 15 runs.
This was the fifth time the Yankees had scored at least 15 runs at Camden Yards since the ballpark opened in 1992. No other team in baseball has more than three 15-run games as a visitor at the stadium. While it was the 89th time over the last 90 seasons that the Yankees had hit at least five homers in a game, it was just the sixth time they had done it in April. The 1932, 1974, 2002, 2003, and 2009 teams also achieved this early-season feat.
On Sunday, the Yankees overcame a Mariano Rivera blown save and won 6-3 in 11 innings. Freddy Garcia turned in another brilliant performance, holding the Orioles scoreless in his six innings of work. Combined with his six-inning scoreless effort in his first start on April 16, Garcia joined Allie Reynolds as the only Yankees in the Live Ball Era (since 1920) with back-to-back scoreless outings of at least six innings in each of their first two starts in pinstripes.
Most Four-Hit Games
Yankees, Live Ball Era (since 1920)
Two Yankees also achieved notable hitting marks in this game. Derek Jeter had four hits, notching his 36th career four-hit game. Thanks to the wonderful play index tool at Baseball-Reference.com, we learn that Jeter is now tied with Bill Dickey for the third-most four-hit games by a Yankee over the last 90 seasons.
Robinson Cano extended his hit streak in Baltimore to 15 games with a double in the 11th inning. Only two Yankees have longer hit streaks on the road against the Orioles since the team moved to the Charm City in 1954: Derek Jeter had a 21-game streak from 2002-04 and Gil McDougald had a 17-game streak from 1956-57.
The Yankees returned to the Bronx for a four-game series with the White Sox, but forgot to bring their bats with them. On Monday night, former Mets first round pick Philip Humber held the team hitless through 6 1/3 innings as the Yankees managed just three hits in the 2-0 loss. The only other time in the last 20 seasons that the Yankees had three hits or fewer in a home shutout loss to the Pale Hose was a 4-0 game on May 16, 2000.
The offensive struggles continued in the second game of the series, as the Yankees had only four hits and lost 3-2. This was also the 12th straight game that they grounded into a double play. Just four other times in the last 90 seasons have the Yankees had longer streaks: in 2007 (16 games), 1981 (16), 1996 (15) and 1971 (15).
Ivan Nova pitched one of the best games of his young career, throwing six innings of one-run ball in the loss. This performance was worthy of our Most Obscure Yankeemetric of the Week Award. How about this nugget? The last Yankee, under the age of 25, to pitch at least six innings and allow one run or fewer in an April start in the Bronx was Andy Pettitte in 1997.
On Wednesday, the Yankees ended their longest losing streak of the season at two games with a 3-1 win over the White Sox. They managed just six hits, with all three runs coming from a home run by Robinson Cano in the first inning. The last time the Yankees were held to three runs or fewer and no more than six hits in three straight home games was May of 1999.
The Yankee bats finally woke up on Thursday, erupting for 12 runs on 12 hits as they split the four-game series with Chicago. Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner homered, marking the 13th time this season the Yankees have hit at least two homers in a game. Only the 2003 team had more multi-homer games in the team’s first 22 games, with 14. It was Gardner’s third homer of the season, which means that Gardner now has more home runs than Carl Crawford (1) and Adrian Gonzalez (1) combined.
Katie Sharp is a researcher with ESPN Stats & Information