The Yankees responded with a 19-8 record. That is a .704 winning percentage; the same winning percentage as the 1998 Yankees. So I thought it would fun to look at the stats from September 5 on to see what drove the team to have such a great finish
Let's start by examining total runs scored and runs allowed in the 27 games after September 4:
- Yankee pitchers allowed 109 runs - 4.04 runs per game; their ERA was 3.84. Overall in 2012, the Yankees allowed 4.12 runs per game, with a 3.86 ERA. So the team didn't pitch any differently down the stretch than during the rest of the season.
- Yankee hitters scored 162 runs - 6 runs per game. Overall in 2012, the team scored 4.96 runs per game.
The difference supplied by the hitters is perhaps best expressed by applying the Pythagorean formula, which predicts that a team scoring 162 runs and allowing 109 runs should go 19-8; in this case, exactly what the Yankees did.
Now let's suppose the team had instead scored its overall average of 4.96 runs per game. That would have resulted in 134 runs; the Pythagorean formula predicts a team scoring 134 runs and allowing 109 should have a 16-11 record. If things had played out that way, the Orioles would have won the East and the Yankees would have been playing the Rangers last night.
So, let's drill down further and look at the hitters - here are their stats from September 5 on:
Cano, Swisher, Granderson, Ichiro, Martin, and Ibanez all got hot at the same time. All these guys hitting over their seasonal averages is what bumped up the Yankees run-scoring.
An additional factor is that other than Andruw Jones, no one slumped. Jeter was his usual consistent self, and Chavez and Nunez provided some thump from the bench. A-Rod's power numbers were mediocre; but he did not lose his good eye, and thus kept getting on base for Robinson Cano.
Finally, I thought it would be fun to prorate these stats out to what they would be over a full season.
Since the 27 games in question represents 1/6th of 162 games, this just involved multiplying the numbers by 6:
Some numbers that caught my eye from this perspective included:
- Cano's doubles
- Swisher's walks
- Granderson's power
- Russell Martin's power