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There Is Hope, But Just Barely… (A Quick Historical Look At The Yankees Pennant Teams After 78

by Paul Semendinger

June 29, 2021

***

The 2021 Yankees are 40-38.

There have not been many time in the team’s long history when they have had a team with a record this mediocre at this point in the season and then reached the postseason.

It has happened (see below, in bold), but not often. In only one of those years, have the Yankees won the World Series.

Typically pennant winning and playoff teams prove their mettle by this point in the season. It’s rare for a team to be able to turn it around after basically playing .500 ball for the first half of the season.

Also of note, the very few teams that did turn it around were able to acquire the necessary help to change the team’s dynamics and reach the postseason. Those teams were already making moves by this point in the year to change the team’s dynamics.

Historically this says that there is hope, just not much.

Every Single Yankees Pennant Winning or Playoff Team’s Record After Their 78th Game

Note – Due to postponements, the game totals do not add up to 78 each year

1921: 47-31

1922: 45-33

1923: 53-25

1926: 50-27

1927: 55-22

1928: 57-21

1932: 53-25

1936: 52-26

1937: 53-23

1938: 48-27

1939: 55-23

1941: 50-26

1942: 52-26

1943: 47-30

1947: 51-26

1949: 51-27

1950: 47-30

1951: 46-32

1952: 48-30

1953: 53-25

1955: 52-26

1956: 52-26

1957: 52-26

1958: 51-26

1960: 46-31

1961: 49-28

1962: 45-33

1963: 48-30

1964: 46-31

1976: 48-30

1977: 44-34

1978: 45-33

1980: 51-27

1981: 46-32

1995: 37-40

1996: 47-31

1997: 45-33

1998: 58-20

1999: 49-29

2000: 41-37

2001: 45-33

2002: 48-30

2003: 48-30

2004: 50-28

2005: 39-39

2006: 45-33

2007: 38-40

2009: 45-33

2010: 48-30

2011: 47-31

2012: 48-30

2015: 41-37

2017: 43-35

2018: 52-26

2019: 50-28

***

NOTES:

1995 Yankees – On July 28, the Yankees acquired David Cone to bolster their starting rotation. That same day, they traded Danny Tartabull for Ruben Sierra. Cone went 9-2 down the stretch for the Yankees. Sierra hit .260/7/44.

2000 Yankees – This was a team that was constantly looking for the right pieces. From June 11 on, the 2000 Yankees acquired the following players: Dwight Gooden, Jose Vizcaino, David Justice, Denny Neagle, Glenallen Hill, Luis Polonia, Glenallen Hill, Luis Sojo, and Jose Canseco. Of note, David Justice batted .305/20/60 to spark the team. Hill hit 16 homers in 40 games. Neagle did not pitch great (7-7, 5.81), but he gave the Yankees 91.1 innings. There was no question that this was a team that was going for it.

2005 Yankees – Robinson Cano (.297/14/62) was called up, as was Chien-Ming Wang (8-5, 4.02). On July 28, the Yankees acquired Shawn Chacon who went 7-3, 2.85 down the stretch.

2007 Yankees – On May 6, the Yankees signed Roger Clemens as a free agent for a prorated $28M. His first game back was June 9. Clemens went only 6-6, 4.18 the rest of the way, but he gave the Yankees 99 big innings that helped solidify the starting rotation. The Yankees also picked up Jose Molina who hit .318 in 29 games.

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