Yanks’ offense quietly streaking towards history

7/16-7/18 Series Preview: Toronto Blue Jays
Heyman: Yankees exploring outfield market
(REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)

The Yankees scored eight runs and lost yesterday, frustrating only because the pitching staff was unable to make all that offense hold up. In the process, the team set a new franchise record by scoring three or more runs in their 39th consecutive game. As I wrote in the game recap, I would have guessed one of those Babe Ruth-Lou Gehrig era teams would have done it in like, 60 straight or something. The record streak caught me by surprise a bit.

As it turns out, this isn’t just the longest streak in franchise history, it’s the third longest single-season streak of its kind in baseball history. Thanks to the always useful Play Index, here are the ten longest streaks of three or more runs scored in a single season…

Rk  Tm Strk Start End Games W L R HR SB BA OBP SLG OPS
1 CLE 1994-05-21 1994-07-15 48 32 16 309 64 63 .306 .372 .499 .871
2 PHA 1930-06-27 1930-08-05 41 30 11 295 39 22 .306 .392 .477 .868
3 NYY 2012-05-30 2012-07-15 39 28 11 205 68 25 .259 .336 .473 .810
4 SEA 1996-06-20 1996-08-01 39 23 16 264 58 22 .305 .387 .506 .893
5 CHC 1930-07-23 1930-08-31 39 24 13 282 39 20 .328 .397 .495 .892
6 NYY 1933-05-28 1933-07-04 38 23 15 263 43 25 .300 .382 .478 .860
7 NYY 1938-08-10 1938-09-08 37 28 9 270 55 24 .280 .383 .495 .877
8 DET 1927-06-18 1927-07-26 37 25 12 266 17 53 .317 .389 .470 .859
9 NYY 1937-06-20 1937-07-27 35 26 8 261 56 15 .302 .388 .525 .913
10 NYM 1990-06-01 1990-07-07 34 26 8 216 51 22 .295 .362 .494 .857
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/16/2012.

The all-time record actually spans two seasons; the Yankees scored three or more runs in 49 straight games from September 1950 through May 1951. The Oakland A’s also ran off a 40-game streak spanning 2000-2001. Sure, that technically counts, but I’ve always felt streaks spanning two seasons are just … weird. It’s a timing issue, not a performance issue. Wouldn’t it be weird if someone had a hit in the last 30 games of one season and then in the first 27 games of the next? Would it really feel like he’s broken Joe DiMaggio’s record?

Anyway, as you can see the Yankees are hitting .259/.336/.473 during this 39-game streak, almost dead even with their .263/.337/.464 overall season line. They’ve scored the minimum three runs just seven times in the 39 games and have averaged 5.3 runs per contest. Their season average is 4.9 runs per game, and you can attribute that extra 0.4 runs per game to improved performance with runners in scoring position — they’re at .247/.354/.477 with men on second and/or third during the streak compared to .223/.325/.390 during their first 49 games.

The last time the Bombers failed to score at least three runs was the middle game of the nightmare series out in Anaheim, which the Halos won 5-1 after knocking around Andy Pettitte. Here’s the box score. Yeah, it’s been a while. More than anything, this fun little streak speaks to the offense’s consistency this season. They score a healthy amount of runs game-after-game and as long as the pitching doesn’t blow up like it did yesterday, they have a chance to win. The Yankees have won 28 of 39 games during this stretch, which shouldn’t be a surprise given their solid all-around play.

7/16-7/18 Series Preview: Toronto Blue Jays
Heyman: Yankees exploring outfield market
  • Dave M

    Pretty impressive. Especially when you consider that no on is really having a career year on the team. Well, Cano might if he keeps on the pace he’s on right now. But that’s really it.

  • yooboo

    I prefer the within season record, too. Lets go for 50 and beyond that.

    No Murder’s row and Big Red Machine teams? wow.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      No Murder’s row and Big Red Machine teams? wow.

      Surprised me too. ’94 Indians? Didn’t remember them being that good, but I guess they were.

      • forensic

        They averaged over 6 runs per game over the course of the season and were on pace for nearly 975 runs. It’s just hard to always remember teams from that year because the strike screwed up so many numbers that you’re used to seeing from great offenses and teams as they only played 113 games.

      • MannyGeee

        look at the lineups. I forgot how good they were too until I looked at the names in those lineups.

        just sick.

      • Reason

        A young Manny, Thome and Albert Belle (three HOF-level talents), Kenny Lofton, and Baerga in his prime. Eddie Murry was an afterthought. That was one hell of an offensive line-up.

  • Eddard

    Just goes to show you that this is the best offense in baseball by far. Everyone likes to cite the RISP stat but the offense has been consistent scoring runs. The record will likely continue through tonight and we crush lefties so will probably continue through this series and we’ll be into the 40s.

    • Knoxvillain

      Nope. Ken Rosenthal clearly said that the AL West is the best division now and the Rangers and Angels are better than the Yankees. He is always right.

  • Paul VuvuZuvella

    And they’ve done this without a guy who scored 87 runs last year batting primarily from the 9-hole.

    • Knoxvillain

      And without a better Tex and a terrible Martin.

  • forensic

    Kind of amazing how much lower their batting line and runs scored are compared to the other teams. Even if you give them another 50 runs for 10 more games they’re still well behind the others. Guess they just haven’t quite had the same number of explosions as those other teams during the streak.

    • forensic

      Just be thankful they can hit homers like they are.

      • Rainbow Connection (futurely Dummies Playing w/ Balls and/or RI$P FTW)

        you sure you have these facts, correct? in the AL, theyre 1st in slugging, 2nd in OBP, 1st in OPS, and 4th in runs. Seems like their batting lines and runs are doing just fine compared to other teams….

        • YanksFanInBeantown

          He’s talking about the other teams on the list, bro…

        • forensic

          I was comparing their line over those 39 games to the other teams over the games in the chart above. Lowest OPS by nearly 50 points and lowest runs per game by quite a bit also. They’re saved by their homers being the most and making up for a little of their easily lowest BA and OBP.

          • Rick in Philly

            Part of it might also be offensive environment. Like Rainbow Connection said, the Yankees are up near the top of baseball in OBP/SLG/OPS this year, but the baseline for the leagues is definitely lower right now. There are some serious offensive eras represented there.

            • forensic

              That’s definitely true and part of it, but it’s still quite a gap there.

  • dalelama

    No doubt this is an excellent regular season squad that will probably collapse again in the playoffs as it has the last two seasons.

    • pat

      Would be better if the collapsed in the regular season and didn’t bother making the playoffs.

    • Now Batting

      Because losing and collapsing are synonymous…last I checked the ALDS went down to the final game and was decided by one run.

    • Jim Is Bored

      Pretty good definition of a troll: Someone who posts an inflammatory statement and then ignores all of the responses which show how idiotic that statement is.

      Definition of an idiot: Someone like me who continues to feed you.

      • hivemind

        No, a troll is someone who posts things they don’t mean just to get people angry (for the lulz). The end result is the same, however.

      • dalelama

        Sorry if the truth inflames you….Chill making the playoffs is a good thing…Just don’t get your hopes up too high as this team contains quite a few post season underachievers.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    As they say it’s better to be lucky than good. That’s one low OBP right there.

    • Reason

      All teams on that list were lucky. They were also good.

  • MannyGeee

    hey, remember back in April when this team sucked and they needed to blow it up because they couldnt get more than 2 runs a game? and they were only gonna get worse??

    yeah, those were fun times.

  • Rich in NJ

    It still would be nice to have a young developing bat or two be part of the mix.

  • MannyGeee

    1994 Tribe notables:

    Kenny Lofton, Omar Vizquel, Carlos Baerga, Albert Belle, Eddie Murray, Candy Maldonado, Sandy Alomar, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Tony Pena, Ruben Amaro

    wow, what a team.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      That’s nothing, look at the 1998-1999 teams. They just gave Brian Giles away because the outfield was Justice, Lofton, and Manny, plus they have Sexson and Branyan to split time at DH with Harold Baines.

      • MannyGeee

        yeah, thats cool and all… but where’s their 41 game streak with 3+ runs? Jus sayin…

  • joe

    I don’t like the way the lineup is constructed, which caused me to lose interest in the team after last year. I hate homeruns and would prefer a guy to hit only 20 homers with a 320 average over 40 homers with a 250 average. It’s too ironic that more guys hitting over 300 come through more often than guys hitting 250 otherwise there should be a correlation that shows more guys hitting 250 should come through more often with a hit with a RISP than a guy hitting over 300. I want runs scored with singles and doubles since that is where big innings are more likely to happen over 2 3 run homeruns in an inning.

    • gc

      I want runs scored and wins. Don’t care how they get em. I’m nutty like that though.

    • KeithK

      I totally agree that it’s more fun to watch a team that gets lots of hits (high average) than one that relies on low average and many HRs. For example, it’s more exciting to see an extra inning game end on a close play at the plate than on a HR.

      That said, these Yankees are my team so I happily still follow them even while I wish they were a little different.

  • Rooting for U.S. Steel

    “Wouldn’t it be weird if someone had a hit in the last 30 games of one season and then in the first 27 games of the next? Would it really feel like he’s broken Joe DiMaggio’s record?”


    Isn’t that kinda what happened with the streak DiMaggio broke? Willie Keeler had one hit during the last game of the 1896 season, and started the 1897 season hitting in 44 consecutive games…

    • yooboo

      Yeah. The record he broke was 42 so it is either 44 or 45. For me, it is 44.

      • yooboo

        —-In 1897, Keeler had a 44-game hitting streak to start the season, beating out the previous single season record of 42, set by Bill Dahlen. Keeler had a hit in his final game of the 1896 season, giving him a National League record 45-game hitting streak. This mark was surpassed by Joe DiMaggio in 1941, who had a 56-game hitting streak. In 1978, Pete Rose tied Keeler’s single season mark of 44 games. No other player in baseball has ever matched this feat. Keeler also had eight consecutive seasons with 200 hits or more, a record broken by Ichiro Suzuki in 2009.[4]—-

        From Wiki. In my case, Rose and Keeler tied as number 2. I will not recognize Keeler as a sole number 2 although it (45) is legit.

  • http://wtgnyc.blogspot.com WFAN FIRST TIME, LONG TIME

    If only the Yankees had signed Dunne and Puholes, LOLOLOL! But seriously, I called to talk about adding that kid BJ Upton from Arizona. Maybe trade Brackman and Betances? Anyway, great show guys!

    • Hugh

      If they manage to use Brackman in that trade, it would certainly qualify as a high-quality bit of GM’ing by Cashman.

  • yooboo

    *****1930 St. Louis Cardinals are only the team whose lineup is consist of 8 starters that hit 300 or over BA.

    They had 21 games in row, 20, and a several series of 10 plus in that season. Only 4 players finished a double digit in home runs. 2 players with 100 RBIs (114 best).

    They scored 10 runs or more a game 28 times if I count right.

    *****1927 NY Yankees only had 3 players who belted at least 10 HRs and 2 of them were over 40. 4 players with 100 plus RBI (2 over 160).

    This Murder’s row owned 19 games in row with 3 runs or more.

    Yanks scored 10 or more a game 24 times if I count right.

    Hard to believe that the Murder’s row lineup was that exciting. damn.

  • LiterallyFigurative

    They’ve hit 68 Hrs. in that span, but only scored 205 runs. I’m happy for the homers, but the offense needs a little diversification, no?