With Interleague play scheduled to start tomorrow around the MLB, it’s important to take notice of the impact on baseball ever since its inception in 1997. It allows territorial rivalries to be formed that ordinarily wouldn’t be created. Next year there will be a change, as the Houston Astros will move to the American League, which means there will be 15 teams in each league. That will create an interleague game somewhere every night in the majors.
Since 1997, the Yankees have the best record at 157-107. The next best record are the Chicago White Sox, 153-111. The worst team in IL play are the Pittsburgh Pirates. They stand at 81-130.
With the Yankees struggling to put any extended win streaks together in 2012, tomorrow could be the start of something good. From 2003-2004, the Yankees won 13 interleague games in a row, tied for the best such streak in history. Tomorrow, the Cincinnati Reds come into the Bronx for three games, as Andy Pettitte will get the ball in the first game against Bronson Arroyo.
The Yankees have played the Reds nine times, and have a 4-5 record since ’97. New York played at Cincinnati last year, winning two out of three games. Before that series, New York had lost four of six.
The Yankees will also play Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg and the rest of the Washington Nationals in DC in June. New York has played Washington/Montreal 21 times since ’97, and are 11-10.
Before that series, the Yankees will be in Atlanta to take on the Braves in a 1996 and 1999 World Series rematch. Atlanta will also come to New York on June 18. In Interleague play, the Yankees own a 12-10 record against the Braves.
And of course, the Yankees will play the Mets in the annual Subway Series. The first set will take place on June 8 at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have compiled a record of 49-35 against the crosstown rivals.
Since 1997, the American League has established dominance. Only four times has the National League finished a season with a better record against the AL. The AL has won 1,939 games while the NL has won 1,773. Look for that trend to continue, as the AL seems stronger than ever, especially with the additions of Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder.
Not only do the Yankees own the best interleague record, but two Yankees are at the top of the all-time hit list. No surprise, Derek Jeter is number one. He has 326 hits since – Alex Rodriguez is second with 293. Third on the list is a former Yankee, Johnny Damon with 286. Arod is also number one on the RBI list, having knocked in 186. The next closest is Paul Konerko with 155.
Mariano Rivera has converted the most saves in IL play with 75. Second is Trevor Hoffman with 40. Rivera, of course, will have to wait another year to extend his record. The all-time era list (minn. of 100 innings pitched) has a former Yankee and a current Yankee at the top. David Wells is number one, with a 2.79 era. Very surprising is Freddy Garcia, who is second with an era of 2.83. Garcia is also second on the win list with a record of 23-10. Buehrle is first at 24-6.
Although playing the Braves and new and improved Nationals is fun, they are not the teams I want to see the Yanks playing. I’d rather see the Dodgers come to the Bronx. The Yankees have played them six times, all in LA. Seeing the Giants come into the Bronx every year would be good to see as well. The Yankees should play the Mets, Dodgers and Giants all in the same season. That would definitely be historic and would draw a lot of interest as all those teams have roots in New York.
So as Interleague play begin, look for the Yankees to get it going. Over the years, they’ve feasted on national league teams. What teams are you looking forward to seeing the most?