Yanks rotation is earnings its pay

Hughes steals the show as Yanks win again
Link Dump: Nady, Munson, Draft, Facker

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


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.


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.

Hughes steals the show as Yanks win again
Link Dump: Nady, Munson, Draft, Facker
  • YankeesJunkie

    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.

  • mike c


    • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Totally. Well-said.

      • All Praise Be To Mo

        Side question on Javy, if he’s having a horrible year come June/July timeframe, any thoughts on shipping him out somewhere to an NL team? Perhaps if the Reds are in contention but need another starter we might be able to finagle Jay Bruce from them?

        • Jammy Jammers

          Or Brandon Arroyo?

        • Zack

          Why would the Reds give up Jay Bruce for Javy if he’s having a horrible year?

          • All Praise Be To Mo

            He’s shown he can dominate in the NL, maybe someone will figure he just can’t handle NY. If the Braves are still in it too and wanting to win in Cox’s last year, perhaps we can get Arodys back for him?

            • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

              No, no chance.

            • Zack

              Again, why would they give up one of their best young players for Javy when he’s a FA at the end of the year? Not to mention Home Run Javy in that ball park.

              Atlanta traded him because they had 6 starters and had to trade 1, dont see why they would trade for him again when they still have 5 starters.

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            4 Words: New advisor Joe Morgan

            But yeah, in all seriousness, the Reds GM might die of laughter if Cash made that call. Hell, if Javy was in the middle of a Cy Young season the Reds wouldn’t do it.

  • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

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

    Let us pray, brothers and sisters.

    • Snakes on the mother effin Temple Of Doom

      I’ll drink to that!

      • http://twitter.com/tafkasic the artist formerly known as (sic)

        It’s only 10:13 here…

        Screw it

        /drinks to that

        • YankeesJunkie

          It is noon somewhere.

          • Across the pond

            Even better its 3.30 here!

            *Raises glass to healthy Yankees*

            • All Praise Be To Mo

              It’s only 7:40 on the West Coast, but nothing like a little Baileys in the morning coffee!

              • Thomas

                At 7:40 a.m., I’d assume you haven’t stopped drinking yet from Wednesday night.

                • All Praise Be To Mo

                  That would be correct sir. Would still be double fisting if Hughes coulda finished off the no-no.

          • nc yankee fan

            More like ” It’s Five O clock SomeWhere” by Alan Jackson

    • Spaceman.Spiff

      Hear, hear!

  • David A

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

  • http://pda.88000.org/wallpapers/48/Pikachu_Dressed_as_Hitler.jpg Do Not Feed The Trolls!

    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.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    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.

    • YankeesJunkie

      No kidding the Yankees would have allowed 18 SB with 0 CS if a guy like Varitek was catching. Nice call.

      • Jeremy

        Andy was being sarcastic. Although Posada is not the best at stopping the running game either.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        The reason why Varitek hasn’t thrown anyone out is because he doesn’t believe in embarassing people. That’s why he’s a Captain.


    • Jeremy

      Clearly, Cervelli should be the starting catcher and Posada should be his backup.

      Better yet, we should release Posada and bring back Molina to be Cervelli’s backup. Our rotation would end up in a five-way tie for the Cy Young.

      • Jimmy

        How about we just use Posada in the eighth inning?

        • Jammy Jammers

          I’m SURE he grunts and farts a lot!

    • Klemy

      ICWUDT and I like it. lol

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

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

    • Pat D

      Sounds like a brilliant idea for a NoMaas photoshop.

    • Klemy


      Godfather of NY (SFW)

  • Pat D

    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/reds/2010/04/21/morgans-biggest-role-will-in-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.

    • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      There’s an off-topic thread for stuff like this:


      (There’s a link in the header/bar at the top of the page.)

      • Pat D

        Ah, thanks for telling me. Not sure how I ever didn’t see that considering I come to this site every day.

        Sorry for taking up the space here. :)

        • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          No worries. Knowing is half the battle.

          • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

            gi jooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooe

            • Thomas

              A real American hero!

  • Greg G.

    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.

  • MattG

    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

      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.

  • http://www.yfsf.org AndrewYF

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

  • Johnny O

    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.

  • Guest

    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.

    • radnom

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

      Whoa, crazy predictions flying left and right.

      • Guest

        Just trying to curb my enthusiasm…

    • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

      With good health, they will likely be in the playoffswin the World Series.


  • larryf

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

    • whozat

      Yeah, but the guy in the two hole in one base over 40% of the time. That’s huge.

      • larryf

        so what will be the higher #? Batting average or walks for NJ? Gotta start hitting soon. Aren’t there any pitchers who won’t walk this guy?

        • pat

          Apparently not.

        • bexarama

          hey, dalelama, how are you today?

          • bexarama

            I should also add that part of me hopes NJ has a darn-near-.200 BA all year but a .400+ OBP just so I get to hear dumb people sob about it

        • Guest

          I almost wonder if he gets in their head a little.

          “Ok, this guy is not going to swing at a ball, but he might just take a strike right down broadway…throw a strike…throw a strike…throw a—damn it!”

  • Tank Foster

    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.

    • Klemy

      You are very correct.

      Tanyon Sturtze

      • Ghost of Scott Brosius


        Paul Quantrill
        Tom Gordon
        Steve Karsay
        Scott Proctor

      • Guest

        Scott Procter’s arm

      • Jammy Jammers

        and Luis Vizcaino, Tom Gordon, Tom Proctor, Ron Villone.

  • Hughesus Christo

    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.