Since the Yankees haven't been able to score much this week, I thought it could be fun to look at some games when they had no trouble scoring. Last night, a writing colleague of mine, Ashley Varela, who appears with me on a site called High Heat Stats, reached out to her Twitter followers last night for writing prompts. It seems she was suffering through a little bit of writer's block and couldn't come up with anything baseball related to write about. I had done something similar in the past. I had asked my Twitter followers for random words to see if I could write a short story post based on the word and it actually worked well for me a couple of times. Anyway, Ashley got a few good suggestions and she wrote about them last night.
Her post was on the Seattle Mariners scoring 20+ runs and can be read here. In that post, she highlighted other teams' records in 20+ run games and there was a Yankees' mention:
The New York Yankees have cataloged the most 20+ run games, with 25 victories from 1920 to 2011.
I had a feeling the Yankees would be up there in that category but didn't realize it would be that many. So thanks to Ashley having writer's block and her Twitter followers helping her out, I got the idea to look up and to write about some of those 20+ run games by the Yankees.
- On July 26, 1931, the Yankees beat the Chicago White Sox 22-5 in nine innings. 22 marks the most runs the Yankees have scored in a home game. Lou Gehrig lead the way with four RBI in the game Tony Lazzeri and Babe Ruth each had three apiece and five players, including pitcher Red Ruffing, finished with two RBI.
- On June 3, 1932, the Yankees beat the Philadelphia Athletics 20-13 in nine innings. The total of 33 runs between the two teams is a Yankee record (set three times). In this game, Lou Gehrig hit four home runs and finished with six RBI (16 total bases). Tony Lazzeri also collected six RBI. He finished with hit two singles, a double and a triple.
- On May 24, 1936, the Yankees once again, beat the Philadelphia Athletics. This time it 25-2 in nine innings. 25 marks the most runs the Yankees have scored in a road game. Now, this is amazing and caused me to nearly fall off my chair. (Okay, it's really my bed but who cares) Tony Lazzeri finished this game with 11 RBI. That's right. He account for 11 of the 25 runs. He hit three home runs and a triple and accumulated 15 total bases. Frankie Crosetti, Joe DiMaggio and Bill Dickey all finished with three RBI. The only guy to finish with an RBI for Philadelphia was Pinky Higgins. They scored their other run thanks to errors by the Yankees.
- On June 21, 2005, the Yankees beat the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays 20-11 and what stands out about that game isn't necessarily the final score but how the Yankees got there. They were down 11-7 going into the bottom of the eighth inning when all hell broke loose and by the time the inning was over, the Yankees had scored 13 runs to take a 20-11 lead over the stunned (Devil) Rays. The Yankees hit four home runs in that 8th inning - Gary Sheffield, Jorge Posada, Alex Rodriguez and Hideki Matsui all went deep with Sheffield, Rodriguez and Matsui going back-to-back-to-back. (Chris Berman would have had a field day in that inning) And those home runs all came with two outs in the inning. Sheffield finished with two home runs that night and amassed seven RBI. Williams finished with five RBI with a double and a triple.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Yankees have also been victimized in 20+ run games. Most recently, there was an atrocity of a game on August 31, 2004 in which the Yankees not only allowed the Cleveland Indians to score 22 runs against them but they were held scoreless. The pitching lines alone for the Yankees will cause you to dry heave.
- Javier Vazquez was the starter and the loser. He lasted only 1.1 innings and gave up six runs on five hits with two walks and one strikeout.
- Next up, Tanyon Sturtze who lasted three innings but allowed seven runs on six hits with two walks, one strikeout and one home run.
- After that, C.J. Nitkowski, who I honestly had forgotten was even ever on the Yankees, came in and gave up three runs on three hits in 1.2 innings of work. He walked three and struck out one.
- And finally we have Esteban Loaiza who pitched the final three innings. He gave up six runs (all in the top of the ninth) on eight hits. He walked two, struck out three and he gave up two home runs.
To this day, I blame a guy I work with who attended his first Yankee game that night. I told him the next morning that he was never allowed to go to Yankee Stadium again.
Thanks again to Ashley for the inspiration and hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane - even the 2004 mention.