On Sunday, the Yankees dropped 13 runs on the Rays, thanks mostly to a seven-run sixth inning. That inning not only broke open a previously tied game, but propelled the Yankees back into first place in the AL East.
On Monday, the Yankees trailed 6-1 to the lowly Orioles after four. Over the next couple innings, they slowly chipped away at that deficit. In the ninth, they scored four runs, capped off by a big Gary Sanchez home run, eventually winning 10-7.
On Tuesday, the Yankees dropped the hammer on Baltimore, opening up a 9-0 lead before eventually winning 11-3.
The common factor across those three wins is that the Yankees scored 10 or more runs in all three games. It’s far from the only time the Yankees have scored 10+ runs in three-straight games, but it was the first time they’ve done that since 2006. (Fun fact: the 2006 streak was against Boston during the famous five-game sweep in Fenway.)
What it’s not, is a record. Back in 1930, the Yankees scored 10+ runs in FIVE consecutive games.
On June 12, 1930, the Yankees were in Detroit coming off a loss in the opener of a three-game series. The teams were fourth and fifth in the standings, but the Yankees were closer to first place than they were to the Tigers.
In the second game of the series, the Yankees were facing Tigers’ starter Waite Hoyt, who they had only traded to Detroit about two weeks prior. Hoyt had clashed with new Yankees manager Bob Shawkey. After the team started the season slowly he proclaimed “the trouble with the Yankees is that there are too many guys on it who are not Yankees.” He was gone shortly after that and was now facing his former teams for the first time.
Especially considering the circumstances of his departure, he probably wanted to show off against his former team. That did not happen. Hoyt lasted just two innings, as the Yankees blasted him for five runs. They cracked double digits on the way to a 14-2 win.
The following day was a closer affair, but the Yankees came away with a 10-9 victory. Of all the people to have a big game that day, it was Samuel Byrd, who had the lowest OPS of anyone in the lineup besides the pitcher.
After that, the Yankees were off to Cleveland for three games against the Indians. The Yankees dominated early, but had just eight runs going into the eighth inning that day. With two outs in the eighth, Lou Gehrig hit a bases-loaded double, scoring everyone to get them to 11 runs. Should Gehrig just ground out there, the Yankees probably win 8-7, and this streak is stopped in the middle.
In the second game in Cleveland, the Yankees had reached 10 runs by the third inning, and scored 17 for the game. Starting pitcher Herb Pennock didn’t have a great game either, but considering that it was 1930, he still threw a complete game. His final line of 10 runs allowed on 16 hits and one walk in nine innings, while still getting the win, has only happened one other time.
The following day, the Yankees were slacking off and only reached 10 runs in the fourth inning. They scored 17 runs for the second consecutive day, and extended their streak to five straight games.
The streak finally came to an end against the Tigers on June 19th. They scored a paltry five runs in a win over Detroit back in Yankee Stadium. Had they reached 10 runs again that day, it would have tied the all-time streak, which was held by the 1929 Giants.
Unsurprisingly, the player who dominated the most during that run was Lou Gehrig. He got 28 plate appearances across those five games. He hit .600/.643/1.200 with 18 RBI. Meanwhile, Babe Ruth walked 15 times across those games, and finished that stretch with a .778 On Base Percentage. That means he essentially reached base four out of five times every game during that period.
As a team, the Yankees scored 69 runs during those five games. Meanwhile, they only allowed 30 runs themselves. The offense nearly finished with more walks than runs their pitching staff allowed, walking 29 times.
Is this impressive? Yes, but also not quite as crazy as it seems. The 1930 season was one of the most notoriously offensive seasons in baseball history. The Yankees scored 10 or more runs 36 times in that season, and had another streak of four such games earlier that year. Not shockingly, the Yankees had the best offense in baseball, but were also one of six teams to average more than six runs per game.
Even still, it turns out the Ruth/Gehrig era offense was really good.
All data courtesy of the Baseball Reference Play Index