Wednesday, August 25, 2010
The Yankees are loaded
The only thing missing from Tuesday's win was one of those bases-loaded hits with which the Yankees have become so familiar.
One of the reasons the Yankees currently stand 30 games over .500 is that they're doing something of historical significance with regards to that.
A group of those in ESPN Stats and Information found the following notes:
With the bases loaded this season, the Yankees are hitting a robust .410. If the Bronx Bombers can somehow maintain that, the Elias Sports Bureau says they'll finish with the best such number since division play began in 1969, a mark currently held by the .410-hitting 1976 Phillies.
The Yankees have 10 grand slams this season, tying a club record previously set in 1987 when Don Mattingly clubbed six in a season. Three different players-- Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, and Jorge Posada-- each have at least two slams, making this the first team in Yankees history to have such a trio.
Cano is hitting .615 with the bases loaded this season after his grand slam and two-run single on Sunday. He's 8-for-13, same as Willie Randolph was in 1979.
Amazingly, there are three Yankees within the last 40 years who have been even better than that.
Bobby Murcer was 7-for-11 (.636 BA) in 1974. His specialty was the bases-loaded double -- he had three of them.
Mike Stanley was a ridiculous 9-for-11 in 1995 (.818 BA), netting two doubles and two grand slams. That matches the best batting average by any hitter with the bases loaded in the time for which data is fully available (since 1974) Stanley's prowess was such that he also scared pitchers into four bases-loaded walks.
In 2000, Bernie Williams didn't have quite the average Stanley did, going 9-for-13 (.692 BA), but did manage seven extra-base hits (the only other Yankee of recent vintage to do that was Mattingly, the year of his six slams).
Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Francisco Cervelli are all at .500 or better. Even newcomer Austin Kearns has gotten into the act, with hits in both of his bases-loaded at-bats.
Notable Yankees with Bases Loaded
>> Derek Jeter: .071 BA (1-14)
Even if you took the 11 sacrifice flies that the Yankees hit and counted those as outs in the at-bat column (sac flies don't count), they'd still be hitting .380 with the bases loaded this season. That's still WAY better than the team with the second-best bases-loaded numbers this season, the Nationals (.349).
Remember that they've done all this with Derek Jeter, considered one of the great clutch players in the game, having done nothing with the bases loaded.
Jeter is a miserable 1-for-14 this year. But if he gets going, like the .353 hitter he was in those situations prior to this season, imagine how great these numbers will turn out to be at years end.
Yes, you probably know by now that the Yankees are 13-1 when Alex Rodriguez doesn't play this season.
But do you know who the principal damage-doers are? The Elias Sports Bureau sorted through the box scores and gave us the numbers.
Teixeira's 4-for-5 pushed his batting average when Rodriguez is out to .404, a long way from last season when Rodriguez's absence was thought of as a reason why Teixeira started slow.
Cano, after an 0-for-4 Tuesday, is hitting .389 sans A-Rod, with seven home runs and 23 RBI. Not far behind: Jorge Posada at .378 with five homers and 16 RBI.
Who would have thought: Without Rodriguez, the Yankees are outscoring foes, 113-46, and hitting .301.
Speaking of Rodriguez, we had Accuscore run 10,000 simulations last weekend for the AL East, factoring in Rodriguez's injury.
The impact of such was small, but significant.
Prior to Rodriguez's injury, Accuscore projected the Yankees to win 97 games and win the AL East 59.5 percent of the time. Following the injury, Accuscore's revised projection was 96 wins, and a division title 52 percent of the time.
Such it is that one win can make a big difference in this tight a race. There's not as much to worry about with regards to postseason. Even with Rodriguez out, Accuscore still had the Yankees making the playoffs in 91 percent of its simulations.