The Yanks go for their eleventh win in a row in Seattle tonight. Ten games ago the Yanks were in last place in the AL East at 11-19, had lost four games in a row and eight of their previous ten games, and were off to their worst start in 39 years.
Today, they are tied for third, 5-1/2 games out of first. Not to mention they are no longer the biggest losers in the Boss's stables, so to speak.
But really, is being two games over .500 and tied with Toronto all that much to get hepped up about? Besides, who are the real Yankees, the ones that stunk their way to 11-19 or the ones that have been picture perfect since? Or have they just found their true level at a few games over .500 with the streak just serving to balance out the poor play to start the year?
For answers to these and other questions, please come back in five months and I'll be able to tell you for sure. Perhaps the best we can do right now is to look at the Yankees' past to see if it holds any clues. I looked at all Yankee teams that won ten games straight at any point in the given season and took a look at how the ended up.
There were 75 previous 10-game winning streaks, some of which overlapped. The overall winning percentage for those teams was .630, which would translate into 102 wins in a 162-game schedule and which is over 60 points higher than their franchise winning percentage. 79% of these teams finished in first place, 78% represented the AL in the World Series, and 51% won it all.
Perhaps the niftiest partif I can use that word in mixed companyis that the last team to do it was 114-win 1998 team.
Now, none of this is by any means conclusivewhat does the 1905 Highlander team that actually won twelve straight have to do with today's Yankees? However, if nothing else, these teams tell us that anything is possible, especially for probably the richest team in baseball. Maybe Steinbrenner can trade his horse for some magic beans or some such.
Here are the Yankee teams of the past who won ten straight (scroll all the way down):