All-Star Break # 3 – Making my pitch……

So yesterday we look at the performance of the Yankee hitters in comparison with predictions compared by myself and the Bill James Handbook 2008. Today, we do the same for the pitchers…….

Mariano Rivera

Predictions: Games – 41, Saves – 21, ERA  – 2.72
Actual: Games – 38, Saves – 23, ERA – 1.06

Mariano Rivera is a model of consistency. That he is still able to do this at this level at 38 years of age is nothing short of amazing. His ERA is one and a half runs ahead of where I thought it would be.

Kyle Farnsworth

Predictions: Games – 34, Wins – 2, ERA – 3.86
Actual: Games – 41, Wins – 1, ERA – 3.51

Farnsworth has had a much better year than I could have anticipated. His ERA is better now than at any time since he became a Yankee and since Chamberlain moved to the rotation, he has a clearly defined role in bridging the gap between the starter and Rivera

Mike Mussina

Predictions: Games – 16, Wins – 6, ERA – 3.74
Actual: Games – 19, Wins – 11, ERA – 3.61

Everybody expected Moose to bounce back a little but nobody tipped this to happen. He has had high run support but this can’t account for all his wins. He has been a substantially better pitcher than he ever looked like he would be again.

Andy Pettitte

Predictions: Games – 19, Wins – 8, ERA – 3.78
Actual: Games – 20, Wins – 10, ERA  – 4.03

Pettitte had a horrible post-season that he brought upon himself. The official Yankees website has been talking about him having a poor first half. In reality, he has been as good as we could have hoped for. The veteran starters have kept us in the race.

Chien-Ming Wang

Predictions: Games – 18, Wins – 8, ERA – 3.75
Actual: Games – 15, Wins – 8, ERA – 4.07

Wang began to lose his form before his injury. Given the time that he has spent on the DL and that slow down, his performance has been pretty good.

LaTroy Hawkins

Predictions: Games – 35, Wins – 2, ERA – 3.60
Actual: Games – 30, Wins – 1, ERA – 5.79

Girardi has no confidence in Hawkins. His appearances have come in non-crucial innings and it is difficult to imagine he would still be around, if they could’ve got a deal for him and if it wasn’t for the injuries. His ERA has bloated but whether this is entirely due to a loss of form or whether this is partially due to a confidence-crisis is difficult to discern.

The less predictables

In addition to these mainstays, it was impossible to make predictions for Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes, Kei Igawa and Joba Chamberlain because they didn’t really have whole seasons at the Major League level to bases guesses upon. However, there can be no disguising the fact that no-one would have hazarded that Hughes and Kennedy would fall apart quite so badly as they did. No-one would have guessed that Igawa (and his huge contract) would really have no role to play whatsoever. The Steinbrenner (junior) influenced transfer of Chamberlain from successful reliever to average starter was a hasty decision always destined to get off to a slow start and so it has.

Pluses: Mariano Rivera, Kyle Farnsworth, Mike Mussina
Minuses: LaTroy Hawkins, Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Kei Igawa
Surprises: Dan Giese, Jose Veras

Jose Veras has been another key piece of the puzzle. I wouldn’t have expected him to be a regular part of the bullpen at all at this stage but he has stepped in Chamberlain’s role very effectively.

Dan Giese wasn’t even on the compass. He has filled some gaps very nicely.

So what happens next……? We’ll see

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