Yankeemetrics: June 6-8 (Royals)

The Chase is On
The Yankees started their 10-game road trip with a 4-2 win over the Royals, getting a timely hit from the struggling
Brian McCann and a strong outing from rookie Chase Whitley.

Whitley earned his first major-league win, allowing two runs in seven innings. Prior to this outing he had four no-decisions in four career starts, which made him the first Yankees pitcher to make a start in each of his first four major-league games and record a no-decision in each of them.

Two key stats have made Whitley successful so far in his rookie campaign: zero home runs allowed and just three walks in 26 innings.

He is one of two Yankees in the last 30 years to not allow a homer in each of his first five major-league starts. The other is Chien-Ming Wang, who also started his career with five homer-free starts in 2005.

Whitley is one of 37 Yankees in the last 100 years to make a start in each of his first five career games. Of those 37 players, only Fritz Peterson had fewer walks in those first five outings (1) than Whitley (3).

McCann had the biggest hit for Yankees in the win, a three-run double in the third inning to break a 1-1 tie. That feat earns him our Obscure Yankeemetric of the Series: McCann is the first Yankee catcher with a bases-loaded double on the road vs the Royals. Congrats!

Not a KC Masterpiece
The Yankees five-game win streak in Kansas City came to an end on Saturday night thanks to an 8-4 loss. It was the team’s third-longest win streak on the road vs the Royals and the longest since a seven-game win streak from 2000-02.

The Yankees may have won 12 of their first 13 road games started by rookie pitchers, but they can’t seem to win any of David Phelps‘ road starts. They have now have lost the first five road games started by Phelps this season, the longest such streak since the Yankees lost the first seven road starts by Scott Kamieniecki in 1992.

Phelps had his worst outing of the season, allowing a career-high 10 hits and seven runs in 5⅔ innings. He is just the second Yankee to allow at least seven earned runs and 10 hits in fewer than six innings against the Royals, along with Tommy John in 1980.

RISP Fail
Normally, 10 baserunners and 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position should net you more than one run – except when you are the 2014 New York Yankees and mired in a horrible offensive slump. The Yankees lost to the Royals on Sunday, 2-1, as they went 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine baserunners.

The .059 batting average with RISP matched the Yankees worst in a single game with at least 15 at-bats over the last 40 seasons. Their other 1-for-17 games came in 1998 against the Tigers and in 2005 versus the Mets.

Even worse, the Yankees went 0-for-9 with a man on third base, the first time they have done that in a game in at least the last six seasons. The last team in the majors to go hitless in nine-or-more at-bats with a man on third in a game was the Padres in August last season.

The Yankees haven’t scored more than four runs in 10 straight games, matching their longest single-season streak over the last 20 seasons (also done in 2005). Continue reading Yankeemetrics: June 6-8 (Royals)

Yankeemetrics: June 3-5 (Athletics)

Three times is not a charm
The Yankees hit the trifecta in Tuesday’s loss to the A’s, losing their third straight game against their third different opponent in as many days (Twins, Mariners).

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time they had lost three straight games to three different opponents on consecutive days since 1990, and the first time they did all that at home since September 1915!

Mark Teixeira drove in both of the Yankees runs with a first-inning single and a sixth-inning homer. The longball was the 351st of his career, tying Dick Allen for 89th on all-time list. It also moved him past Chili Davis and into sole possession of sixth place among switch hitters.

Hiroki Kuroda pitched his best game of the season, allowing just one run on two hits. It was his second straight start against Oakland giving up two hits or fewer, becoming only the second Yankee in the last 100 years with a streak like that against the A’s. David Cone had a three-start streak spanning the 1996 and 1997 seasons.

Four runs not enough
Another game… another lead… another bullpen meltdown… another loss for the Yankees on Wednesday night at the Stadium.

The Yankees’ bats finally broke through in the third inning with four runs, snapping their six-game streak of scoring three or fewer runs at home. It matched the longest such streak by the team since the DH rule was established in 1973.

Vidal Nuno labored through 4⅔ innings, allowing two runs on six hits before being removed after throwing 92 pitches. The early exit meant he was guaranteed to remain winless in seven career starts in the Bronx. He is now just the second Yankees pitcher in last 100 years to not record a win in his first seven career starts at home, along with Jim Beattie in 1978.

Nuno continued to struggle with the longball in the Bronx as he allowed his 10th homer of the season, all of which have come at home. His streak of seven straight home games allowing a home run to begin the season is tied for the second-longest such streak by a Yankee in the last century. The only pitcher with a longer streak is Jack McDowell, who started the 1995 season allowing a home run in his first eight games.

Rookie Jose Ramirez, pitching in his first major-league game, allowed the go-ahead homer by Josh Donaldson in the seventh inning and took the loss. He is the first Yankee to lose in his MLB debut as a reliever since Duane Pillette in 1949.

Yoenis Cespedes powered the A’s offense with three hits including two solo home runs. He became the first A’s left fielder with a multi-homer game versus the Yankees since Rickey Henderson in 1990.

Tanaka Time[caption id="attachment_64333" align="alignright" width="246"]Jim McIsaac/Getty Images Jim McIsaac/Getty Images[/caption]The Yankees avoided the sweep on Thursday afternoon thanks to another solid start from Masahiro Tanaka and just enough offense to beat the A’s, 2-1.

Tanaka once again was brilliant, allowing just one run in six innings for his 12th quality start in 12 career outings. The only other pitcher since 1912 (when earned runs became official) with a streak like that to begin a career is the Expos’ Steve Rogers, who did it in each of his first 16 games in 1973.

The only other Yankees in the last 100 years to start a season with 12 quality starts in a row are Mike Mussina (12 in 2006) and Ron Guidry (15 in 1978).

For the first time in his career, however, he failed to strike out five batters. That snapped a streak of at least five strikeouts and three earned runs in 11 straight games, which was the longest such streak to start a career by any pitcher in the last 100 years.

Two runs was enough for the Yankees to win, and it also extended their streak of home games scoring fewer than five runs to nine, which is the longest by the team since an 11-game streak in 1991. Continue reading Yankeemetrics: June 3-5 (Athletics)