Skip to content

For the second straight year, the Yankees are overachieving

Sep 2, 2014, 10:30 AM EST

Joe Girardi AP

Katie Sharp at the Yankees blog IATM notes that, for the second straight year, the Yankees are poised to do something historic. Not, like, gloriously historic, but historic nonetheless:

If the Yankees maintain their current season pace, they would become the first team in major-league history to post back-to-back winning seasons while being outscored by at least 20 runs in each year.

Last season the Yankees went 85-77 despite a run differential of -21, their worst mark since 1991 (-103). Based on the amount of runs scored and allowed, the team was expected to win just 79 games.

This year they could easily end up with an even lower run differential and still produce a winning record – they currently have been outscored by 27 runs and are five games over .500.

Katie analyzes why this may be and chalks it up to good hitting in close-and-late situations. Whether that’s a skill or not is often debated. I’ve not seen a lot of great evidence that convinces me that it’s a skill, so it may be luck.

But you can’t just say the Yankees have been lucky, either. They’ve had a good back end of their bullpen, and good bullpens help in close games (losing the blowouts + winning the close ones often = outperformance of run differential). Another constant: Joe Girardi. I don’t think anyone has the market cornered on managerial analysis any more than we have it cornered on close-and-late hitting being a skill, but managers doing harm often lead to a run being blown or forgone here or there. Girardi never seems to mess up like that. And maybe he’s doing some good things too in that dark area of managerial unknowns.

Not that any of this will make Yankees fans feel a lot better if their guys don’t make the playoffs for the second straight year. But it’s probably worth noting that it could’ve — and maybe should’ve — been way worse for them than it has been.

Latest Posts
  1. Neal Cotts almost retired before signing with the Rangers in 2012

    Jan 30, 2015, 10:50 PM EST

    Neal Cotts Neal Cotts

    Neal Cotts battled numerous injuries and nearly called it quits before the Rangers signed him to a minor league deal in 2012.

  2. Joe Kelly said he’s going to win the 2015 AL Cy Young Award

    Jan 30, 2015, 9:40 PM EST

    Joe Kelly Joe Kelly

    Joe Kelly has some bold words for non-believers.

  3. Yasiel Puig: “[Juan] Uribe’s a fatty”

    Jan 30, 2015, 8:30 PM EST

    Yasiel Puig Yasiel Puig

    Yasiel Puig meant it in a good way!

  4. Rockies sign Omar Quintanilla and Rafael Betancourt

    Jan 30, 2015, 7:20 PM EST

    Rafael Betancourt Rafael Betancourt

    The Rockies addressed their depth on Friday, signing reliever Rafael Betancourt and utility infielder Omar Quintanilla to minor league deals.

  5. Red Sox are willing to trade Edward Mujica

    Jan 30, 2015, 6:10 PM EST

    Edward Mujica Edward Mujica

    The Red Sox are willing to trade reliever Edward Mujica, according to a report.

  6. Four more minor leaguers suspended

    Jan 30, 2015, 4:55 PM EST

    Police Blotter

    MLB has been suspending guys by the truckload lately.

  7. Orioles, Steve Pearce avoid arbitration for $3.7 million

    Jan 30, 2015, 4:26 PM EST

    Steve Pearce Getty Getty Images

    He hit .293 with 21 homers and a .930 OPS in 102 games last season, topping 200 plate appearances for the first time at age 31.

  8. The Braves and Rockies made a trade

    Jan 30, 2015, 4:10 PM EST

    Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

    A couple of pitchers who don’t profile well in a hitters’ environment for a couple of catchers who have shown a little at the plate. Advantage: Braves.

  9. Red Sox sign former All-Star Alexi Ogando

    Jan 30, 2015, 3:49 PM EST

    Alexi Ogando AP

    Ogando posted a 3.12 ERA in 381 innings from 2010-2013.

  10. Victor Martinez could catch early in the season

    Jan 30, 2015, 3:07 PM EST

    Victor Martinez Victor Martinez

    The lack of a DH and the health of Miguel Cabrera are the determining factors.

  11. Yankees sign Scott Baker

    Jan 30, 2015, 1:04 PM EST

    Scott Baker

    Baker has struggled to regain his form after missing all of 2012 following Tommy John elbow surgery.

  12. Red Sox sign Felipe Paulino

    Jan 30, 2015, 10:49 AM EST

    Felipe Paulino AP

    Paulino was once a young power with lots of upside, but injuries have repeatedly derailed his career.

  13. Red Sox sign former All-Star Bryan LaHair

    Jan 30, 2015, 10:20 AM EST

    Bryan LaHair AP

    LaHair looks destined to go down as one of the least successful All-Stars of all time.

  14. “That’s what Cuba does to you. It leaves you wanting more”

    Jan 30, 2015, 9:18 AM EST

    Cuba

    Must-click material from Jorge Arangure of Vice Sports

  15. Joba Chamberlain is being pretty choosy

    Jan 30, 2015, 8:43 AM EST

    Joba Chamberlain Getty Images

    Even second tier relievers are in demand in the offseason.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Shields (2721)
  2. T. Snider (2699)
  3. R. Belisario (2201)
  4. D. Viciedo (2160)
  5. M. Scutaro (2142)