I promise I’m just about done reliving the horror show that was the 2010 ALCS, but as I kept thinking about the Yankees’ heinous collective offensive line of .201/.300/.370 along with even more brutal pitching numbers, I couldn’t help but wonder how poorly the 2010 ALCS stood with regards to the Yankees’ team performances in the 31 postseason series they’ve played since the playoffs were expanded to three rounds in 1995.
So I decided to make some charts.
Yankee team hitting performances in postseason series since 1995, sorted by OPS (yellow highlight indicates series victory; green highlight indicates World Series championship):
This chart revealed a couple of factoids I was previously unaware of:
- The Yankees’ greatest offensive performance by OPS was in the 1998 World Series against the Padres.
- The just-completed 2010 ALDS was second, and actually marked the only time in any of these 31 series that the Yankees slugged over .500.
- The Yankees apparently raked in the 1995 ALDS vs. the Mariners, though as you’ll see below they also authored one of their worst collective pitching performances.
- The Yankees also raked in last year’s ALCS against the Angels.
- Of the 9 series listed above in which they OPSed under .700, they still managed to win a rather surprising six of them. Of course, two of those series — the 1998 and 1999 ALDS against the Rangers — represented their top two pitching performances.
- If Braves fans were pissed about losing the 1996 World Series, here’s even more reason for them to be: The Yankees OPSed just .596 a team — their second-worst team OPS of all 31 series listed here. Not only that, but the Braves OPSed .697 in that series — I wonder how many World Series winners had a negative 100-point-plus discrepancy between their offense and the team they beat?
- Oh wait, here’s one: The 2003 Yankees OPSed .743 against the Marlins, who OPSed .582(!) in their six-game World Series. That has to be one of the greatest negative deltas between winning and losing team OPS in baseball history. Not only that, but the Yankees turned in their fifth-best team pitching performance in that series (by OPSa), pitching to a 2.19 ERA and 1.11 WHIP over six games. Sorry Florida fans, but the Yankees probably should’ve won the 2003 World Series. Had blogs been around back then I can’t imagine the kind of outrage that would’ve been manufactured with the Yankees turning in more-than-respectable team totals on both sides of the ball yet still managing to lose.
- So it wasn’t quite the Yankees’ worst offensive showing ever, but the 2010 ALCS was the sixth-worst since 1995 by OPS. It’s pretty insane that they actually won four of the five series in which the offense performed even worse than that, and came within one out of winning a World Series with a team OPS of .528 (in 2001, of course).
And here are the Yankee team pitching performances in postseason series since 1995, sorted by OPSa (yellow highlight indicates series victory; green highlight indicates World Series championship):
- The Yankees’ finest pitching performances by far were the aforementioned 1998 and 1999 ALDS sweeps of the Rangers, in which the pitching staff allowed just one run in each series, with both instances randomly coming off of Andy Pettitte. Holding a team to .434 OPS is criminal; .351 is outright insane.
- In addition to the 1998 team posting the top OPS for a Yankee postseason club in a playoff series since 1995, they also pitched to 2.75 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. Talk about beastly.
- It remains incredible how fast the Yankees fell to the Rangers after their complete deconstruction of the Twins in the 2010 ALDS, which saw them post their second-best team OPS and 6th-best team OPSa of these 31 series.
- Unsurprisingly the majority of the Yankees’ winning series are near the top of this list. The Yankees’ worst pitching performance in a series they won was the 1999 ALCS against the Red Sox, although I’m sure that number is a touch inflated by the Game 3 shellacking Boston administered to Roger Clemens, considering the Yankees still won four games to one.
- I was actually surprised to see the 2009 World Series (relatively) low on this list, clocking in at 9th-worst. Did you know the Phillies out-OPSed the Yankees (.782 to .725) last year? I didn’t.
- Four of the five worst pitching performances are legendarily bad ALDSes, including the 2006 series against Detroit; 1995 against the Mariners; 2007 against the Indians; and the all-time worst-pitched series by a Yankee team in the postseason since 1995, the 2002 ALDS against the Angels, who OPSed over 1.000 for the series.
The 2010 ALCS came in at fourth-worst (.890 OPSa) — not surprising, though I actually figured it’d be closer to second-worst of all time. I’d forgotten how putrid the pitching was in the 2007 ALDS vs. Cleveland.
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