When the New York Yankees load the bases with nobody out, do you feel supremely confident that the baseball game you're watching is about to rip at the seams and turn into a blowout?
Do you find yourself oddly calm when the Yankees come up with only one run in these scenarios, because even though that's fairly underwhelming, at least they didn't come up empty?
Unsurprisingly, the data supports your pessimism.
If it's felt like the 2023 (and 2022, and 2021, and 2020...) Yankees have been especially adept at squandering offensive momentum, there's a reason behind that emotion, and a helpful chart from data collector Jay Cuda lays bare what's been going wrong in the Bronx.
Prior to Thursday's game, Cuda laid out the numbers of bases-loaded, no-out opportunities for each MLB team this season, as well as how many runs they've scored resulting from those scenarios, creating a rudimentary efficiency metric.
The Yankees? They're fairly good at loading the bases with nobody out, doing so eight times in 2023 thus far. They've scored ... 11 runs, or 1.38 runs per opportunity. That's 22nd in efficiency, entering Thursday's action.
MLB Standings: Yankees have low efficiency with bases loaded
First, stats confirm the Danny Jansen myth, and now this. What can't stats do? Stats!
The Phillies have, somehow, been the best team in baseball at cashing in here, despite languishing in the mid-tier of the NL East all season long. Though they've only built six such rallies, they've scored a ridiculous 24 resulting runs, meaning they've cashed in an average of four men per opportunity. Per the averages, they've basically gone six-for-six with grand slams. The streets are buzzing.
Unsurprisingly, the surging Braves are the best team in baseball at filling the bags with no outs, and the Red Sox and Rays have both been efficiency monsters, averaging over 2.0 runs in these opportunities.
If the Yankees are going to continue to rise up the standings, they're going to need to take better advantages of these opportunities. Anthony Volpe seems to get it so far; he's 3-for-4 with a grand slam and 7 RBI with the bases juiced so far in his career. While they couldn't contribute much offense themselves on Thursday, at least they managed to toss the Blue Jays further down this chart, as Ryan Weber wriggled out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam with only a single run scoring.
As JoezMcFly says, the sac fly is underrated. And it's true! But when the bases are loaded with nobody out, can't the Yankees just mix in a booming gapper every once in a while?