Friday, June 7, 2013

Close Game Performance Regressing After Hot Start

At the beginning of May I did a little post tracking the Yankees' stellar performance in close games.  Their combination of good pitching and inconsistent but relatively clutch hitting put them in a lot of those in April and they responded with a 12-3 record in games decided by 3 runs or fewer that drove their hot start.

How did that hot start translated to these last 5 weeks?  Not too bad.  The Yankees definitely regressed from their April performance, understandable given how unlikely it was that they'd keep that pace and how many close games they've played, but still came in over .500.  Since May 1st, the Yankees have gone 13-11 in 3-runs-or-fewer games, broken down to records of 2-2 in 3-run games, 5-3 in 2-run games, and 6-6 in 1-run games.  Included in the 1-run losses are the 2 late losses to the Mets and the extra-innings loss to Baltimore on the 10th-inning Nuno HR, so the results aren't that far from being much better.

For the season, the Yanks are now 25-14 in games decided by fewer than 3 runs.  It's still a very good record and still the driving force behind their continued competitiveness.  Even with the lineup starting to come together and come back around, expect a lot of close games like this to continue to be the norm.  If the pitching holds up its end, they should continue to perform well in these close situations.

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