We didn’t have a chance to talk too much about last night’s game. The Yanks and Orioles suffered through a late-night rain delay after Damaso Marte and Edwar Ramirez* gave up any shot the Yanks had at making Derek Jeter’s record-setting night a victory. Yet, we should talk for a few minutes about the Yankee bullpen’s effort last night.
*If anyone is worried about a spot on the 40-man roster, worry no longer. Edwar Ramirez is dead weight at this point, and if the Yanks need to clear a space for, say, Chien-Ming Wang over the winter, Edwar can just be released.
With Andy Pettitte scuffling through a five innings, the Yanks had to fashion a four-inning effort by the bullpen. In the 8th, Phil Hughes and then Mariano could be summoned, but the six outs in the sixth and seventh would prove to be elusive. One game after no-hitting the Rays for 8.2 innings, the Yanks’ pen was a disaster. Damaso Marte gave up four runs in 0.1 innings, and while Jonathan Albaladejo held the game at 7-4, Edwar Ramirez gave up three in the 7th.
The runs Ramirez gave up don’t matter in the long run. It’s far more alarming for the Yanks’ post-season chances that Marte couldn’t get anyone out in the 6th. But that’s been Marte’s M.O. while on the Yanks. He’s either unhittable or horrendously awful. We saw the latter Marte last night, and the Yanks will still be hesitant to use him for more than a lefty or two come October.
What last night’s game shows us though is the importance of David Robertson. Had D-Rob been available, the sixth inning would have been his last night. Joe Girardi would have employed Robertson followed by some combination of Brian Bruney and Phil Coke before going to Hughes and Rivera in the later innings. While Bruney and Coke aren’t as consistent as we would hope, those five pitchers have provided the Yanks with a winning bullpen formula more often than not.
Robertson returned to the Yankees yesterday afternoon after a trip down to Florida to visit with Dr. James Andrews. MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo checked in with Robertson, and we now have a sense of the right-hander’s timetable. Robertson will rest for another four to six days before beginning a throwing program. He’ll strengthen his right forearm and bicep and make five or six more warm-up throws in the bullpen.
The Yankees expect Robertson back before the end of the season and will be relying on him to carry some of the postseason load. As we saw last night, the bullpen needs him, perhaps more than we realized.