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…
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.