The Yankees normally lead the AL in home runs and walks. This year, they lead the league in those categories along with another that might come as a surprise — stolen bases.
Entering last night’s game with the Angels, the Yankees led the AL with 116 stolen bases, putting them nine ahead of Kansas City and on pace for 166.
“Anytime you’re one base closer, it always helps,” Curtis Granderson said. “Ninety feet is a long way to go even though it is technically a short distance. Now you go from needing a double to possibly needing a single or needing a triple to needing a double.”
The Yankees last led the league in steals in 1985 when Rickey Henderson swiped 80 of their 155 bags. During the Joe Torre era from 1996 to 2007, they averaged 114.
The Yankees swiped just 13 in April, but after stealing 62 of 87 the next two months, the running game has taken off.
“It’s definitely a good thing,” Brett Gardner said. “I know we’ve been doing a pretty good job of it recently, trying to advance and get into scoring position. [It is] not only myself; but there are a lot of guys on this team that are capable of doing that.”