As the Yankees’ continue to slide, they inch closer to several infamous distinctions in franchise history. Not only is the 2012 team trying to avoid becoming the first to blow a double-digit lead, but even the modest three game bulge at the beginning of September would qualify as the largest ever surrendered in the final month. In addition, this year’s team is on the verge of becoming only the second Yankees’ club to finish out of first place (and first to miss the playoffs), despite spending at least 89 game dates in the top spot.
The best way for the Yankees to avoid making unwanted history is for the team to have a strong September. Historically, the Bronx Bombers have finished up the season playing .567 baseball in the final month, which is in line with the team’s all-time winning percentage. This year, however, the team has stumbled in the early part of the month, alternating wins and losses for a 4-5 record. Although the sample is very small, it’s worth noting that the Yankees have finished in first on only three occasions when the team played below .500 in September.
Note: Color markers indicate seasons in which Yankees did not finish in first place.
In order for the Yankees to salvage their season, the team will eventually need a winning streak, something they haven’t enjoyed since taking three in a row from Texas from August 13 to August 15. Since then, the Yankees have gone 24 games without consecutive victories, a streak that is guaranteed to grow to at least 26 games because of last night’s loss. Based on that figure, the Bronx Bombers’ inability to string together wins already represents the tenth widest gap between winning streaks and longest since 1991.
Note: Only includes periods within a single season. Gap based on the last game in a previous streak and the second win in a subsequent one.
*2012 streak is guaranteed to last at least 26 games.
With each mounting loss, the Yankees’ 2012 season is gradually becoming one they’d like to forget. The only problem is, if the team fails to make the postseason, no one will let them. That’s why so much more is at stake for the franchise. Not only is this year’s team fighting to win a pennant, but now, it is also trying to avoid infamy.