As we all know from hearing it roughly 9,000 times over the last 11 years, the Angels are the only team in Major League Baseball to have a winning record against the Joe Torre managed Yankees.
During this period of time, the Angels own a 60-54 (.524) record. If you include the two playoff match-ups, the record goes up to 66-57 (.537). Not exactly dominating, but a modest edge on a team that has otherwise not known defeat. I ran some numbers using baseball-reference.com, and retrosheet.org, and have compiled the meaningful stats of all 114 games between these teams since 1996. A special thanks to Robb Wolf for helping me accumulate all the stats. It wasn't easy, and it took a ton of time to go through each box score. Here we go, through last night's game:
*Note that none of the following stats include post-season play*
Total Runs Scored
10+ Run Games
Blowout Wins (6 runs or more)
Extra Inning Wins
I think the most interesting stat here is the number of one-run wins for the Angels. Considering how heavily vaunted the Yankees bullpen (particularly Mariano Rivera) has been for a long time, it's definitely worthy of note that the Yankees have gone 8-16 in these one run contests. Of course, as any Angels fan knows well, the Angels' bullpen has been one of the most unheralded units in baseball, consistently protecting leads, or holding deficits to small margins until the Angels could come back.
And now some numbers, just on behalf of the Angels. From 1996-2007, the Angels have compiled the following stats:
All Non-Yankee Opponents:
Batting Average: .273
Runs Scored/Game: 4.84
Runs Allowed/Game: 4.71
Against the Yankees
Batting Average: .274
Runs Scored/Game: 4.85
Runs Allowed/Game: 5.06
So, for all of the Angels' success against the Yankees in the 11 years Joe Torre has managed them, there has been very little discrepancy between their numbers against the Yankees and their numbers against other opponents. Although the Yankees have outscored the Angels over this period of time, the evidence shows that the Yankees have an "all or nothing" tendency against the Angels; that is they have blown out the Angels on several occasions, but also have been prone to complete shut-downs of their offense. The Angels have had a marginal step-up in both hits per game (up 1.8%), but also in runs allowed per game (up 7.4%). This, of course, is to be expected: the Yankees have had some of the most potent offenses over the last decade or more, while having roughly average pitching during that same stretch (going back and forth between some seasons in which they were near the top of the league, and seasons where they were below average).
Of course, you can't have a conversation about the Angels and Yankees match-up over the last several years without mentioning the playoffs. The two teams have met twice (2002 and 2005) in the division series, with the Angels winning both times (the first 3 games to 1, the second 3 games to 2). In 2002, the Angels went on to win the World Series against the San Francisco Giants. In 2005, they lost to the Chicago White Sox (the eventual World Series Champions) in the American League Championship Series. For the sake of my blood-pressure, we won't go into why they lost that series.
The Numbers (9 total games, Angels lead series 6-3):
Earned Run Average
Well, as you can see, the two teams are pretty offense-oriented once playoff time comes around. Offensive numbers are way up across the board, and pitching numbers become rather high as a result.
That's a wrap for now on this Angels vs. Yankees entry. Seeing as it is one of the most talked about match-ups for Angels fans over the last decade, I hope you enjoyed the breakdown. It's certainly been a lively and exciting series to watch, and should continue to be so for years to come.
Small Ball: 1