Sep
04

Yanks approaching home run milestones

By

When Jorge Posada deposited a Jason Frasor pitch into the second deck at Rogers Centre last night, he became the seventh Yankee to reach the 20 home run mark. Not many teams have seven guys who hit 20 or more homers. In fact, Jorge pushed the Yankees into a tie for first place all time, with the 1996 Orioles, 2000 Blue Jays, and 2005 Rangers. At the rate the Yankees have knocked pitches out of the park this season, this feat isn’t completely unexpected.

With 28 games left to play, Derek Jeter will have plenty of chances to put his team in first place by itself. He needs just three home runs to reach the milestone, and is right on pace to hit it. Not that the Captain really cares. “I could care less if I ever hit another home run,” he told reporters. Classic Jeter. Not that he’s wrong. It’s a pretty meaningless record in the grand scheme of things. More than anything, it’s a testament to how well this offense has hit.

It doesn’t look like the Yankees will tie the record for most players with 30 or more homers, four, held by 10 teams. Unsurprisingly, four of those squads are the Colorado Rockies, from 1995 through 1997, and then again in 1999. Mark Teixeira is over 32 already, but the next closest, Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Damon, are ate 24.

As a team the Yankees have 210 home runs, tops in the AL by a decent margin. That puts them on pace for 253 homers (254 rounding up), which would fall 11 short of the all-time record of 264 set by the Seattle Mariners in 1997. The Yankees team record is in sight, though. They hit 242 as a team in 2004. The only way they don’t reach that is if they decide to rest their starters amply in the final weeks of the season. (Which, may I add as an aside, didn’t work too well in 2006.)

Many will write off this achievement, saying the Yankees are propped up by the comfy dimensions of the new Stadium. Yet that completely discounts the bombing they’ve done on the road. Their 93 road homers also leads the league. With a team .832 OPS on the road, it’s tough to argue that they’re getting it all done at home.

The homers aren’t necessarily essential to the team’s success, but they’re sure fun to watch. The sheer number of them, both the raw totals and compared to the rest of the league, demonstrates what an offensive force the team has become — or returned to being. It’s one more fun aspect in an eminently enjoyable 2009 season.

70 Comments»

  1. If Jeter could care less, that means he already cares a lot.

    BAM.

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

      heh. means he cares, maybe not a lot…i hope that bastard cares, cause i’m all about setting pointless records!

      he and NICK SWISHER need to get on the stick…

  2. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

    What an awesome season for Jeter. I hope he gets to 20 HR’s.

  3. Just wondering why this is tagged as “Better than the Mets”.

  4. Dela G says:

    i don’t think jetes gets to 20, but thats just me :D

    • Riddering says:

      Jeter gets to 20 TONIGHT.

      There, I’ve now brought balance to the world by countering your pessimism.

    • Bob Stone says:

      If it happens, it will be close. Jeter has 17 home runs in 540 at bats. That translates to 1 home run per 31.76 at bats. Presuming he gets 4 at bats for the remaining 28 games (which is a big assumption considering days off and walks) he would hit 3.5 more home runs. That would bring the total to 20 (rounding down).

      I think you may be right Dela G. It will be a stretch for him to hit 20.

      • Tom Zig says:

        Well he hit a bunch in his recent hot streak. Before then I didn’t think he’d make it to 15. I hope Jeter just swings for the fences until he gets to 20.

        • Bob Stone says:

          I hope so too, even though the “8 players with 20 home runs” record isn’t very important. But the statistics say it will be tough unless Jete goes on a wild power surge.

        • vin says:

          Not sure either if Jeter gets there. But if he does, that will be one tough record to break.

    • Billy says:

      espn.com pro rates stats and as of yesterday jeter is on pace to hit 21 homeruns

  5. Tom Zig says:

    Melky is going to go on a ridiculous hot streak and hit 9 HRs this month. Jeter hits his 20th to lead off game 162

  6. Raf says:

    I think their road numbers are what I like the most. they have the ability to mash in the new Yankee Stadium and on the road. always a good quality to have come October.

  7. mryankee says:

    Edited by RAB. Completely and egregiously off-topic.

  8. Lawrence A. Herman says:

    Yankee Factoid of the Day: The Yankees have 28 games left and their magic number is 22. Over their last 28 games, the Yankees have gone 23-5. In other words, the way they are playing now, they would win the division even if the Red Sox ran the table.

  9. vin says:

    Am I being overly optimistic when I think that Yanks are going to go on one of those 11-2 runs in the postseason? This team just has the feel of the 98/99 team.

    The ability to score with and without the long ball will be tough for any team to match up with.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      Is there anywhere we can go to get the splits of how many runs we’ve scored with the long ball and how many w/o?

      • vin says:

        I think I’ve got it:
        http://www.baseball-reference......2009#hitlo

        The “Not in Play” Row…
        209 HR (doesn’t count Gardner’s inside the parker, obviously)
        329 Runs on HR’s.
        773 Total Runs

        42.5% of all runs came on (over the fence) HR’s.

        I have no idea if that’s good or bad, but I’ll take it.

        • Jose says:

          A quick and easy (although slightly less accurate) way to figure out approximately what percentage of runs are scored by homeruns is to do the following:

          Multiply team home runs by 1.6 and divide by total runs scored.

  10. mryankee says:

    My only concern is the 1998 team had much more consistent starting pitching. They also faced a cleveland team with no super ace a Texas team that was not a great pitching team. The Padres were solid but hardly a pitching team to fear. This year the road will be much more difficult. Tigers: Verlander-Jackson-Wasburn-Porcello. Angels Lackey-Weaver-Kazmir-Santana. Red Sox Beckett-Lester-Wakefield-Bucholz. If Phily or St Louis or even San Francisco pretty tough pitchers all around. The Yankees may very well win but the road will be much tougher than 1998.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      Yeah…but we’re the best team.

      IMO the team with the best chance to beat us is the Angels. And we should beat them.

      • jsbrendog says:

        making it to the WS is the hard part. if we do, we will beat the phiilies/st louis. carpenter/wainright/piniero are not going to be able ot handle a powerhouse AL lineup. they’re used to catcher pitcher 8-9 and there’s 2 easy outs (vast majority of nl catchers at least) philly might be tough with lee/hamels but i don’t think it’ll be that bad

    • vin says:

      I agree that the ’98 team probably had more consistent starting pitching. I think the bullpens are very comparable. One big difference between the two teams is that this year’s team has a horse at the front end of the rotation (not really sure if that’s better than having a less talented, but more consistent rotation).

      Verlander is nasty, but Jackson has been scuffling for the last two months. The Yankees are a bad matchup for Washburn. Flyball lefthander = trouble for Detroit.

      Not to mention the fact that Detroit isn’t very good on the road (12 games under .500). And one of the home games will most likely be started by Washburn.

      • Matty Ruggz says:

        Don’t forget that in ’98 both Coney and Wells had their best seasons in pinstripes, winning 20 and 18 games respectively. I feel that either of those pitchers’ ’98 seasons compare favorably to the one CC is putting together this season.

        But who’s counting? Go Yanks! Lets get Girardi to change his number to 28 next year!

  11. sabes says:

    They’re also close to having 7 players with 75 or more RBI. How many teams have done that?

    • Jose says:

      I can’t think of any Yankees teams to accomplish that. The closest I could find was the 1936 Yankees who had 6 players above 75 RBI and stopped short of 7 when Red Rolfe only had 70 RBIs.

      They played only 153 games though and had no DH. They scored 1065 runs and almost had 1000 RBIs, they ended up with 997 RBI. Unreal.

    • vin says:

      The 2003 Red Sox had 8 guys with 75+ RBI.
      Nomar, Manny, Millar, Mueller, Walker, Varitek, Nixon, Ortiz

      Not sure if any other team did it. I’m not a subscriber to B-R play index. The only display the first team (alphabetically) and the middle-bottom of the list.

      • vin says:

        Not only did all these guys have 75+ RBI…

        They also had 85+ RBI. That’s just sick. Damon was the lone slacker with 67. Amazing.

  12. mryankee says:

    I am just saying there are more pitfalls than 1998-a lot better pitchers out there that the Yankees will face. I believe they can win but the Angels are so damn tough on the Yankees.

  13. Pete says:

    Seriously, all I want is to make it out of the ALDS. If they can do that, the visions of a championship MIGHT start dancing in my head…

    • Thomas A. Anderson says:

      Agreed. That 5 game series can be a death trap as we’ve all seen the last 5 years.

    • Bob Stone says:

      All of these short playoff series are risky. Any team can get hot or cold for 3 to 7 games. I’d like to think that the best team always wins, but it is simply not the case. Luck plays too large a part to get cocky or over-confident no matter how well a team plays during the regular season.

      I for one, would like to see longer playoff series. Many years ago the World Series was best of 11 (and best of 9 for awhile). I would love to return to that format. I know it’s impossible with the increased number of playoff series and the longer season. At the very least the ALDS/NLDS should be best of seven. That takes a little bit of the luck (randomness)out of the equation.

  14. BklynJT says:

    HRs aren’t essential to a team’s success??? That’s ludacris, at least for this team. How many of our run have come as a result of the HR ball? I would wager that at least 50% of our runs. Seems important to our success to me. We are the Bronx Bombers, not the Bronx Manufacturers of Runs.

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