Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Comeback Kids

Over the past decade, home teams facing this situation went on to win the game less than one percent of the time. However, home teams down by just one run with two outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the ninth didn't fare much better, winning the game just 2.3 percent of the time."

Baseball Between the Numbers, p 16.

The Yankees this season already have nine walk off wins.

Though none of them--as far as I can remember, at any rate--involve being down by one run with two outs and the bases empty, at least two of them--Melky Cabrera's hit against Minnesota and Luis Castillo's dropped pop up--came with the Yankees trailing and two outs in the inning.

That doesn't take into account the number of otherwise come-from-behind wins that the Yankees have had in 2009--because there have been so many. Last night was another one.

I know I've talked about it time and again, and it can be hard to quantify what, exactly all this come-from-behind winning means.

The simplest answer is simply that the Yankees like to score late and have a bullpen efficient enough to hold the score as it is until the Yankees do.

Anyone that remembers the late nineties knows that while a bullpen cannot itself make a team go to the World Series, it can put a team so far over the top that no other team has a realistic shot.

The ability to score late also hints towards an ability hit when needed. Few would argue that the Yankees this season, with a low average with runners in scoring position (thanks, Robbie Canó), are the best situational hitters to ever walk the planet, but a team that leads the league in multiple offensive categories is finding ways to get on base. Get on base enough, and the runs will come.

The Yankees this season have been giving fans a great team to watch in 2009. It's not just that the team is winning, but that it is doing so in perhaps the most entertaining fashion for us as baseball fans.

Enjoy it.