Yanks rotation is earnings its pay


If every pass through the rotation went like the last one, the Yankees would win 130 games. Maybe more. Four of the five starters produced incredibly starts, while the exception was a mere decent start. There is no better way to describe this excellence than to lay out the numbers.

Photo credit: Frank Franklin II/AP

Last pass through the rotation

Pitcher IP BF #P R ER H HR BB SO
Sabathia 6.0 22 73 1 1 3 0 0 9
Burnett 7.0 28 111 0 0 6 0 2 7
Pettitte 8.0 30 107 2 2 4 0 3 4
Vazquez 5.1 23 107 3 3 6 2 3 6
Hughes 7.1 25 101 1 1 1 0 2 10

In those five games the Yankees pitched a total of 42 innings, thanks to the rain-shortened affair on Friday evening. Of those 42, the starters have picked up 33.2 innings, leaving little work for the bullpen. (Yet, still, Mariano has gotten into the past three games.) They have been nothing but stellar, allowing just seven runs, which amounts to a minuscule 1.87 ERA and a 2.72 FIP. No, it is no wonder at all that they won all five games.

The bullpen has done quite a job as well. Joe Girardi deployed five relievers in the past five games, leaving Sergio Mitre and David Robertson dormant. Here’s how that crew fared.

Bullpen last five games

Pitcher IP BF #P R ER H HR BB SO
Chamberlain 3.0 10 47 0 0 1 0 0 5
Rivera 3.0 10 50 0 0 1 0 0 3
Marte 0.2 3 13 0 0 0 0 1 1
Logan 1.1 7 32 0 0 2 0 1 1
Aceves 0.1 4 13 3 3 2 1 1 0

The three-run homer Al Aceves surrendered to Nelson Cruz on Saturday makes this line look a bit worse than it actually is, considering the lead the Yankees held at the time. Even still, that’s just three runs in 8.1 innings. That’s a 3.24 ERA and 3.44 FIP. Without Aceves, well, we’re looking at a zero ERA and 1.51 FIP. Even with Aceves, the 10:3 K/BB ratio is just stellar.

Will the rotation perform this well on the next pass? I’m willing to bet not. That’s not to say they’ll pitch poorly. They might post a performance that nets them another four — hell, maybe five — wins in the next five games. But the way they’ve pitched in their past five is nothing short of remarkable. That has lessened the pressure on the bullpen, forcing them to throw just 1.2 innings per game. That, as a side note, is how you build a good bullpen. Just build a rotation that limits their necessity.

Categories : Pitching


  1. YankeesJunkie says:

    The AL East is and the rest of baseball is on notice.

    The Yankees rotation does not stop, every starter can dominate the other lineup and while they won’t do it everyday the Yankees will have a good chance to win the game they play with whoever starts the game. In combination with a fairly dominant back of the end of the pen and a dominant offense this team could really rack up the wins.

  2. To the continued clean bill of health for this rotation and for this team as a whole…

    Let us pray, brothers and sisters.

  3. David A says:

    I cannot wait to get home from the UK to watch these games… Seems I am missing the start of an awesome season.

  4. This rotation is pretty much what I expected it to be last year, possibly even better considering both Burnett and Hughes have ERA’s around 2.

  5. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    Just imagine what they could do with Jason Varitek or some other great game calling catcher, they would be 18-0 right now instead of 11-3.

  6. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    I think Cashman is sitting in his leather chair, petting his white cat, laughing like an evil genius.

  7. Pat D says:

    OK, I know this is best left for an open thread, but I’ll be at work once today’s goes up, so I have to post this.

    Joe Morgan was hired as a “special advisor” to the Reds. As we know in Yankee-land, that can mean anything. Story is at http://cincinnati.com/blogs/re.....community/.

    But go down to the comments and check out this one from BobHowsamJr: “I recommended the Reds hire Morgan as manager last year. Everyone pretty much said he’ll never give up the announcer gig. Too much money, etc. Well welcome back, Joe!!! May 18 remains the projected firing date for Dusty Baker, at which point Morgan will be named the successor. Let’s hope Morgan is wise enough to hire Bench, Perez and Concepcion as coaches.”

    Not that I have any ill will against the Reds team, I really hope they do this. Just because we’ll all know that Joe Morgan isn’t nearly as smart as he thinks he is.

  8. Greg G. says:

    That, as a side note, is how you build a good bullpen. Just build a rotation that limits their necessity.

    Love this line, Joe. Well done.

  9. MattG says:

    It’s very reminiscent of 1998, isn’t it? Of course, the big thing about that season, aside from the starters pitching well all year, is that everyone stayed healthy.

    If the Yankees get 1000 innings out of these 5 starters, they are going to win 110+.

    • All Praise Be To Mo says:

      I highly doubt we’ll get 1000 out of these 5, with Hughes being on a limit, and AJ’s injury past and possibly Andy getting old. I would like to see us clinch early again however where we can give these guys breaks before the postseason like we did last year. No need to have CC pitch 230 before the playoffs if we don’t have to again.

  10. AndrewYF says:

    I am inching ever so closer to that ’9′ confidence level. So close now.

  11. Johnny O says:

    Nice to see Girardi stick with the SP’s (Burnett and Pettitte) over the last week+ in the late innings when they’re pitching well but over 100 pitches and letting them get out of jams on their own. I’m sure the SP’s appreciate the manager’s faith in them. Now if only he let Marte and Robertson and Aceves do the same, then Mariano wouldn’t get the call so often.

  12. Guest says:

    I’m pretty sure I have never been more confident about the Yankees. My confidence level goes to eleven. Really, its primarily a matter of staying healthy at this point. Yes, it is possible that the team could remain healthy and STILL struggle for the rest of the season from here on out, but I doubt it.

    With good health, they will likely be in the playoffs.

    With great health, there’s a shot they could put together a season (regular season at least, playoffs are a crapshoot) we will remember for quite sometime.

  13. larryf says:

    All this with our #2 batter hitting 136 and #3 hitting 115. We have even won with Cervelli’s bat!

  14. Tank Foster says:

    I think the pitching has improved steadily since Girardi took over. Girardi may have little or nothing to do with the choice of acquisitions, I don’t know, but I think his management of the staff is excellent. Better than Torre.

  15. Hughesus Christo says:

    I’m legitimately concerned about the Javy thing now. If he doesn’t get his velocity up, he’s going to be a 5-inning starter here all season. That doesn’t cut it, even as a pure innings eater.

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