Some unfortunate news for people who believed the Yankees‘ 13-game winning streak made them immune to bad things: Nope.
Perhaps it should’ve been a bad omen when the 2021 Yanks produced the franchise’s first 11-game winning streak since 1985, a season in which the Bombers did not make the playoffs. Once they extended their powerful stretch to 12 and 13 games, though, matching the 1961 Yankees, things seemed a little brighter, though. The ’61 M&M Boys ended up as emphatic World Series champions.
Even the ’85 Yankees won 97 games, though their postseason chances ruined by the lack of a Wild Card, eliminated before the playoffs began falling two games short of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Yeah … about that …
Once 76-52 following their torrid stretch, the Yanks now sit at 78-62, an unmatched departure from their previous position in the standings.
Well … almost unmatched. Look, it’s the extremely average 1991 Texas Rangers waving at you!
The Yankees have matched the 1991 Texas Rangers during their brutal stretch.
Without a Giancarlo Stanton walk-off against the Orioles and a Clay Holmes Houdini escape job, this Yankees team could’ve also gone 1-11! Over the course of this 12-game stretch, New York has been in control exactly once (Gerrit Cole in Anaheim). Once. Once! Very cool.
For those of us who are unfamiliar with the 1991 Texas Rangers (most of us?), they finished 85-77, though they played like an 82-80 team, per Pythagorean record. They finished with an under-.500 road record and never led their division outright after May 27. Managed by Bobby Valentine (!!), this motley crew didn’t make much of an impact on the larger MLB picture.
And that’s why they’re not a one-to-one allegory for the 2021 Yankees’ horrid slide. The Rangers experienced their winning streak from May 12-May 27, then followed it with a losing jag in the beginning weeks of June. The 162-game season is long; kudos to the ’91 Rangers, but divisions aren’t won on Memorial Day. The 2021 Yanks, on the other hand, looked to be rounding into form at the perfect time, reigniting themselves just before the playoff race got serious … only to prick their own balloon and nearly fall out of a postseason spot by Sept. 9. Far more embarrassing and difficult to foresee! New York had much less time on the clock and had just reloaded at the deadline. And yet … a ’91 Rangers-esque meltdown still followed.
Just how gruesome has it been?
Of course, that’s no great departure from the rest of the season, if we’re being blunt (and we are). According to YES Network’s Seth Rothman, the Yankees are averaging 4.3 runs per game this season. That’s 20th in MLB and the fifth-worst mark in the entire American League, right up there with the O’s, Royals and … 2021 Texas Rangers, who are staring at the Yanks from across the room, menacingly mouthing, “One of us” right about now.
The pitching’s been good-to-great. The offense has been poor-to-abysmal. Might as well pull out the Zubaz, because we’re rooting for a worse version of a Rangers team from 30 years ago that nobody remembers. Nothing special here.