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Yankeemetrics Week in Review

6/3/2011

SMALLBALL IN SEATTLE

The Yankees started their nine-game West Coast road trip with a frustrating 4-3 loss in Seattle. The Mariners scored all four of their runs without an RBI hit or sacrifice fly. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Yankees lost such a game, when their opponent scored at least four runs and didn’t have an RBI hit or sac fly was July 1, 1990 in a 4-0 loss to the White Sox.

However, this game was actually more memorable for the gut-wrenching way in which the Yankees lost. Three Yankee errors -- including two dropped flyballs -- and back-to-back walks with two outs in the eighth inning brought in all four runs for the visiting team. Starter Andy Hawkins was tagged for the loss, despite going the distance while throwing eight hitless innings.

After the game, Hawkins said: “I’m stunned, I really am. That’s not even close to the way I envisioned a no-hitter in the big leagues.” Hawkins wasn’t even officially given the no-hitter, because of the rule that a pitcher must not allow a hit in at least nine innings to be credited with a no-hitter.

THE NEW M&M BOYS

The second game proved to be even more of a disappointing defeat as the Yankees fell 5-4 in 12 innings. Mariano Rivera took the loss, allowing a walk-off single to Adam Kennedy after loading the bases in the 12th inning.

According to Baseball-Reference.com, it was the 17th walk-off hit given up by Rivera, but the 12th inning is the latest he’s ever allowed one. Kennedy lined a 0-1 pitch to center, just the third time Mariano has allowed a walk-off hit when ahead in the count and the first time on an 0-1 pitch.

Yankee Teammates With 15+ HR
First 50 Games, All-Time

Mark Teixeira gave the Yankees a 3-1 lead in the third inning with his 15th home run of the year. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that Teixeira’s blast gave the Yankees two players with at least 15 home runs in the first 50 games of the season for fifth time in franchise history, and the first time since Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris did it the 1961 season.

CC DEALS ON DJ’S DAY

The Yankees avoided their first sweep in Seattle since 1996 with a 7-1 victory, thanks to a dominant pitching performance by CC Sabathia. Sabathia went eight innings allowing just one run for the win.

It was his third straight win in as many starts, going eight innings or more in each outing. Only one Yankee pitcher in the last 25 years has had a longer win streak won while throwing at least eight innings in each start: Andy Pettitte had five starts in a row like that as a rookie in 1995.

This game marked the 16th anniversary of Derek Jeter’s major-league debut, which also came in Seattle, on May 29, 1995. Jeter started at shortstop and went 0-for-5 in the game. Prior to Jeter, the last player aged 20 or younger to make his MLB debut as the Yankees starting shortstop was Bobby Murcer, who played his first game as a 19 year-old in 1965.

THE AGELESS COLON

The Yankees travelled down the Pacific coast to Oakland and continued their winning ways there, shutting out the A’s 5-0. Bartolo Colon was brilliant, throwing his first shutout since 2006, while giving up just four hits and no walks.

Colon became the fourth Yankee in the last 60 seasons to pitch a shutout, allowing four-or-fewer baserunners, at the age of 38 or older. The others to do it were David Wells (2002), Tommy John (1987), and Luis Tiant (1979).

BABE GRANDERSON

The second game of the Oakland series was another rout, with the Yankees winning 10-3. Curtis Granderson once again provided much of the offense, with three hits, including a homer, and four RBI.

That gave him 17 homers and five triples on the season, becoming the second player in major-league history to accumulate those totals before the end of June, according to Elias. The other? A fellow named Babe Ruth, who did it for the Yankees in 1928.

Mark Teixeira had a single in the game but it was a strange baserunning play that earns him our Obscure Yankeemetric of the Week. He was credited with a steal of home, becoming just the second Yankee first baseman to steal home in the last 35 seasons. Chris Chambliss actually had two steals of home in 1977.

IT’S OVER IN OAKLAND

The Yankees took the final game in Oakland 4-2, earning their third sweep in a row of the A’s and 10th straight win in the head-to-head series. Fellow Stats & Information colleague Scott Beaman earns our Guest Yankeemetric of the week with this nugget:

The 10-game win streak vs the A’s is the team’s longest against the franchise since a 14-game streak from 1956-57, when they were based in Kansas City. The Yankees will look to extend that streak later this summer, when they host the A’s for a three-game series July 22-24.

Katie Sharp is a researcher with ESPN Stats & Information