The Yankees have won seven of their last 16 games. It’s lulls like these of late that have caused the Yankees to fall off a potentially historically good win pace, to a merely great win pace.
While the Yankees’ recent play definitely hasn’t been good, it has also overshadowed that this team has been excellent overall. Just going .500 the rest of the way would take them to 98 wins. If someone had offered that to me before the season, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.
Despite the win total the Yankees are going to finish with, plenty of people are going to come out of the regular season disappointed. While that’s definitely an understandable feeling, it shouldn’t erase what the team has done this year. To prove that, let’s take a look back at some of the other bad streaks from good teams from Yankees’ history.
The highest winning percentage in team history belongs to the 1927 Yankees, as you probably know. The worst run they had was an 8-8 stretch from August 4-18. However, they were the 1927 Yankees, so that stretch still somehow an included a five-game win streak. Of course that means, it also included a semi-long losing streak as well.
The 1998 Yankees actually had a worse run than the one the Yankees are currently on. On the heels of a four-game win streak, they dropped a game on August 30th. They then lost six of their next 16 games, allowing 83 runs in that time. Following that stretch, the Yankees did end the season on a win streak, and ended up winning the World Series, so that run didn’t end up being that big a deal.
The funniest stretch of any is the Yankees’ 5-10 record in June and July of 1939. What’s funny is that even though they played .333 baseball, they still outscored their opponents by nearly a run a game during that period. Winning games 10-2 and 11-1 will help the run differential.
By pure winning percentage, the worst World Series-winning team the Yankees have ever had was 2000. They went 3-15 to finish out the regular season, getting outscored by 89 games in that time. A nine-game lead in the division shrunk into a 2.5-game advantage. The Yankees hung onto the division despite getting swept and outscored 24-5 in a three-game series by a 69-win Rays team.
The most costly streak in Yankees’ history arguably came in 1931. In May of that season, they played the first-place Philadelphia Athletics in six consecutive games. Philadelphia took five of the six games, and turned a 2.5-game lead into a 6.5-game lead. By the end of June, the A’s lead was up into double digits, and it never dipped below that again.
The Yankees went 10-6 in the other games against Philadelphia that season. While it’s unreasonable to expect more than a .500 record against a 107-win team, if the Yankees had even gone 4-2 in that stretch, the final deficit in the standings would have essentially been halved. Moral of the story: good teams have had bad runs. This team has still been good this season.