Sports by the Numbers NYY Stat of the Week
.490 The winning percentage (.490) for the LA Dodgers after a stunning five run rally in the ninth inning on Sunday improved Joe Torre’s new club to 48-50 on the season. Diamondbacks’ closer Brandon Lyon gave up five hits and five earned as he blew a 4-1 lead – and now the Dodgers and D-Backs are dead-even on top of the, uh, fearsome N.L. West. In the A.L. East right now, the Blue Jays are also 48-50, but they are in fourth place only a half game ahead of the last place Orioles. If the Dodgers win the N.L. West with a .500 record, does Joe Torre still get credit for “leading” his team to the post-season for 13 consecutive years?
9 Mike Mussina has gone at least six innings in his last (9) starts – and in his last four starts he has given up just five earned runs. Mussina, who beat Oakland 7-1 in the club’s first game after the break, is second in the league in wins with a 12-6 record, and he leads the staff with a 3.49 ERA – down almost a full run since the end of May. “We looked good today,” Mussina said after beating Oakland. “If we can look like this every day, we’ve got a chance.”
35 Since exorcising the “Devil” out of Tampa, the Rays have spent (35) days in first place in 2008. In case you are wondering, that would be 35 more days than the Yankees have spent in first place.
64 The Yankees have (64) games left on the schedule – and they are still in third place, 4.5 games back of the first place Rays. Is it time to worry? In 12 seasons with Joe Torre at the helm, eight times the Yankees were in first place on July 21, and the club was never lower than second. Working backwards from 2007, the Yankees standing on July 21 during Torre’s tenure: second (7.0), second (3.5), second (1.5), first (+8.0), first (+3.0), first (+4.0), first (tied), first (+1.5), first (+5.0), first (+14.5), second (3.5), and first (+8.0).
449 NY has scored (449) runs after outscoring Oakland 13-5 in a three game sweep to start the second half of the season – but overall the offense is averaging just 4.58 runs per game, the eighth best among A.L. teams. NY has given up 417 runs – an average of 4.26 runs per game, the seventh best among A.L. teams. The number that counts – 53 wins – is only sixth best among A.L. teams.
581 Alex Rodriguez leads the club with a (.581) slugging percentage. Rodriguez, who passed Mickey Mantle on the all-time homerun list earlier this month, is tied with Jason Giambi for the team lead with 20 homeruns on the season. His slugging percentage is the second best in the league, just behind Milton Bradley, and just ahead of Kevin Youkilis – no kidding, Bradley and Youkilis apparently belong in the same company as A-Rod this year. Well, for now.