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The Braves ended the Yankees’ 10-game winning streak last night

Jun 20, 2012, 12:17 PM EDT

Atlanta Braves' Heyward, Bourn and Prado celebrate their win against the New York Yankees in their MLB Interleague baseball game in New York

The Yankees have been so good recently that it’s actually news when they lose a game.

After winning 10 straight games, the Bombers were cut down 4-3 by the Braves last night. The Yankees had plenty of chances, especially early on against Tim Hudson, but went just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position. They also had two runners thrown out at the plate.

Hudson was shaky in the victory, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and five walks over five innings. Fortunately for the Braves, the bullpen came up big, as Chad Durbin, Jonny Venters, Eric O’Flaherty and Craig Kimbrel combined to give up just one hit over four innings of shutout relief. Jason Heyward drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the sixth inning with a hard-hit single which deflected off Mark Teixeira‘s left heel.

And so, the Yankees fell short of their first 11-game winning streak since 1985. Of course, that hasn’t stopped them from making the playoffs in 16 out of the last 17 seasons. The Yankees will enter play this afternoon at 41-26, two and a half games in front of the Orioles in the American League East.

  1. number42is1 - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Just so everyone here is aware this is all my bosses fault. he walked up to me end of the day yesterday and said “how about them Yanks. looks like they are never going to lose” I called him a bastard this morning. good thing i have that kind of relationship with him :-)

  2. proudlycanadian - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    So D. J. is reporting that the Yankees came up SHORT with runners in scoring position. If my memory is correct, they had the same problem when they were scuffling earlier in the season.

    • bigharold - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:43 PM

      In fact they’ve been pretty bad with RISP all season even during this recent streak. They been pounding opponents into submission with the long ball.

      Hey, .. there’s a reason they call them the Bronx bombers!

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 20, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    The Yankees have stunk with RISP all season, yet they still lead the division. I would assume they will start cashing in on more of those opportunities eventually, and 11 opportunities with RISP is pretty damned good. This team could be beastly if they get that sorted out.

  4. deathmonkey41 - Jun 20, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    They are probably going to win the division, but lose in the first round of the playoffs. This whole not being able to win without homering isn’t a good recipe for the playoffs or when facing good pitchers. I don’t understand why they can’t be a power lineup and do the little things right like moving runners over, not grounding in DPs constantly, and hitting away from shifts.

    • pharmerbrown - Jun 20, 2012 at 1:27 PM

      That is a junk stat. They are 1-13 in games when they don’t homer, true. But that means that out of the first 67 games, they haven’t homered in 14 of them. By my reckoning, someone hits a bomb in 4 out of 5 games… They then lost an additional 13 games in which someone (or multiple, irreelvant for this point) goes deep. Cuts it down to 3 of 5. Last time I checked, that was enough to make it through True Round 1 (not the silly 1-game play-in).

      And it’s not like they haven’t faced some decent pitching, or that the quality of pitching in the post-season is guaranteed to be better. They’ve faced and beaten King Felix, JV, David Price, and James Shields, to name a few.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jun 20, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        Ignore the record- they’re still not doing the little things right at the plate. They’re relying on the homer to bail them out all the time and when you hit the playoffs, you can’t depend on that happening. Look what happened last year against the Tigers.

      • pharmerbrown - Jun 20, 2012 at 2:08 PM

        you can’t ignore the record. this isn’t pitcher wins we are talking about. the team is composed of several perennial leage HR leader(s), and they are perennially in the conversation, if not are the conversation, for team HR. I’ll take first place over stats any day, and twice on Sundays.

        I’ll admit that I wish their numbers were better… but i’d also be happier if they were a sterling 67-0 right now.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jun 20, 2012 at 2:23 PM

        Well, I hope I’m wrong, but when you hit the playoffs, you sometimes need to scratch out the 2-1 victory by playing small ball and I just don’t see this team being able to do it if they had to do so. I think their bats have the potential to go dead just like in the playoffs last year.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 20, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        The “little things” you speak of aren’t that much of a concern. Yes, the Yankees have an above-average number of GIDP, but they’re closer to the median than they are the leaders, and one would expect them to have an above-average number of GIDP given that they also have an above-average number of baserunners. It’s worth noting that two of the teams above them in GIDP are also in the top half of the league in runs scored, and the team right behind them (the Blue Jays), is fifth in RS. Hitting behind the runners requires a conscious effort to direct the ball not where it’s optimal for gaining a base hit in an effort to make the marginal trade-off of moving a runner up on an out. Yes, it is preferable to move a runner on an out than to not move him on an out, but it’s not worth (significantly, IMO) decreasing your likelihood of getting a hit, especially when their league-leading ISO and second-place SLG indicate they’re quite adept at hitting for extra bases, negating the necessity of moving the runners up with outs, and, if Fangraphs BaseRunning estimator is to be believed, they’re fourth in value added on the basepaths (through a combination of stealing bases, taking the extra base, and not running into outs). Yes, it’s frustrating when Tex and Granderson don’t take the ball the other way to beat the shifts, as game theory would tend to tell us that doing this a sufficient number of times would force defenses into a more normalized alignment and allow them both to swing freely, but Granderson is hitting pretty damn well doing what he’s doing, and Teixeira apparently doesn’t feel comfortable enough in his ability to find the hole on the left side. Remember, the shift only plays when they hit the ball on the ground, something neither does with any great deal of frequency, and trying to hit through the third-base hole almost completely limits them to singles. They’d need to get hits at a significantly higher rate to forgo the benefits of their high ISOs.

        TL;DR version: Don’t sweat it.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 20, 2012 at 2:42 PM

        And for what it’s worth, the Yanks have only been held to three or fewer runs five times. They’ve won three of those games. Your premise seems to be “well what if the offense does poorly in games when they don’t score runs?” A) That’s redundant, and B) they have a pretty damn good pitching staff.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jun 20, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        We shall see when the playoffs roll around.

  5. drewmunny - Jun 20, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    As a Yankees fan, it pains me to agree with your first sentence. As of today, the yanks are just one HR ahead of Toronto, and can’t rely on keeping up that pace through the season, much less through a playoff series. I have to wonder how much they’re affected in the overall lineup with Gardner’s absence, although I can’t imagine it’s really that simple. Time to shake up the lineup? Maybe. The only thing that’s for certain is if they can’t get the RISP problem sorted, they’re in big trouble.

    • pharmerbrown - Jun 20, 2012 at 1:55 PM

      As a yankee fan, how can you recommend shaking up a line-up that is 15 games over .500, 4th in the league in OBP, second in SLG, and fourth in total bases? The starting pitching has rounded into form of late (the typical pinstripe problem), they lead the division, tied for best record (by W/L differential) AL, and appear to be firing on all cylinders.

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