October 3, 2009

How Do Jim Leyland’s Teams Finish?

Number8.jpgThe icy-cold fact is this: if the Tigers surrender the division lead — one they’ve held in some fashion since May 14 — on the last day of the season, it will be a one-of-a-kind collapse: a three-game cushion with four to play.

This miserable experience for Tigers fans, so close to the division cough-up job in Game 162 of 2006, got me to thinking how Jim Leyland‘s clubs finish. Are there any trends we can pinpoint?

For starters, I looked at his playoff teams — the 1990, ’91 and ’92 Pirates, the 1997 Marlins, and the 2006 Tigers. I focused on the last month or so of the season, starting with September 1. All in all, it’s pretty respectable. Here’s what I found out:

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • 1990: 20-12
  • 1991: 21-13
  • 1992: 22-10

Florida Marlins

  • 1997: 12-15

Detroit Tigers

  • 2006: 12-16
  • 2009: 16-15 (through Saturday night)

Being 100-percent biased by the Tigers current situation (and ’06), I expected to see poor finishes from Leyland’s clubs. But it just isn’t the case. In fact, Leyland’s two World Series teams had the worst stretch-run records of all his playoff clubs.

Ponder this, won’t you, while you enjoy your Fruit Loops — or gnash your teeth — on the final Sunday morning of the regular season?

1 Comment(s)

  1. Kurt | Oct 3, 2009 | Reply

    This was just totally the Twins. They are 15-4 since Morneau was lost for the season. The Tigers beat them three of those four times.

    Who the heck expected the Twins to win almost every single game they played for 3 weeks?

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