The New York Yankees finally seem to have everything working for them as they beat the Nationals today 5-3 after 14 long innings to extend their win streak to eight. The bullpen has been very, very good, despite losing Mariano Rivera for the year,and David Robertson for a little bit over a month, although Robertson returned last night as he pitched the 9th inning in the Yankees 7-2 win. But now with “Houdini” back, the Yankees bullpen will only be stronger, as Soriano continues to dominate as the closer, and Robertson will continue his dominance in the eighth. Boone Logan and Corey Wade (despite giving up the game-tying Home run to Ian Desmond today in the 8th inning) have also been very good, along with Cody Eppley and Clay Rapada. The Yankee offense, despite having troubles with RISP, keep cranking out those homeruns, and Teixeira did get a double in the 14 th inning today, allowing Jeter and Nix to score to give the Yankees the lead. Granderson also had a big double yesterday to give the Yankees a bit of a cushion, so perhaps that is changing. But perhaps the biggest key to the Yankees success so far has been their starting pitching.
The Yankee starters have been excellent. According to fangraph.com, the last two weeks the Yankee starters have gone 10-1 with an excellent 1.83 ERA. Surprisingly the pitcher who has done the worst of the bunch has been CC Sabathia, who hasn’t been as sharp as he usually is this year but is still able to go out there and win ballgames for the Yankees. Ivan Nova has continued his winning ways and has pitched pretty well as of late. After a lot of up and down outings, Kuroda seems to have found a good groove. After coming back from retirement, Andy Pettitte has been very good for the Yankees, as he has provided great pitching for the Yankees and also great advice for the younger guys in the rotation, such as Phil Hughes who has seem to have found himself as of late. Hughes has won his last three decisions, starting with that exceptional performance against the Tigers where he threw 9 innings, while giving up only 1 run and 4 hits. After getting off to a slow start, Hughes seems much more confident out on the mound, as he has taken an “aggressive” approach, and also seems to have had make a bit of a mechanical adjustment, hiding his pitches a bit better to be more deceptive.
At the beginning of the year, the only sure thing in this rotation was Sabathia. Everyone else was just a bunch of question marks with huge potential, particularly Hughes. But now in June, with a third of the season over with, and the Yankees currently in first place, the rotation seems to have reached its potential. As always there is still rumors running around that the Yankees might be interested in possibly pitching trades for Matt Garza or Ryan Dempster or anyone else who might be available. But quite frankly the Yankee rotation is proving that it can be good and as long as everyone stays healthy they should be fine. They do have Freddy Garcia if they need him, though that is not that reassuring. But they also have David Phelps back in the minors, where he will be getting stretched out and continue getting his work done as a starter. Yankees also have Adam Warren who has been pitching very well if they need some help. Don’t forget the Killer B’s, although they have been struggling a bit, and they also have DJ Mitchell. Basically the Yankees should be good in the pitching department.
Ivan Nova takes the mound tomorrow as the Yankees try to extend their winning streak to nine in a row.