The Yankees have benefited from some great pitching performances and some consistent pitchers this year. Who were the main heroes and the late season culprits?
|New York Yankees – Pitching – Month – September|
Phil Coke. Coke has not looked the pitcher who made his entry on to the major league stage in 2008. He has, however, usually provided an adequate performance and has frequently been better than that. In September, he started to look again like the pitcher we had seen back in the previous season and when he wasn’t that good, he looked like the luckiest pitcher in the major leagues. It is not a bad combination if you can pull it off.
C.C. Sabathia. With the expection of an abysmal performance against Tampa Bay in the last few days of the season (which fell in October), Sabathia looked every bit a 20-game winner. That defeat left him stuck on 19. Four of those came in September and a 1.29 ERA over 35 innings is quite an achievement.
Phil Hughes. Hughes has become a consummate relief pitcher in 2009 which is why the Yankees are thinking of converting him into a starter in 2010!! Less than 2 runs every nine innings, less than 1 walk every four innings. Great performances.
Alfredo Aceves. Aceves has had a great time of it in 2009. He was left off the opening day roster but since he made it, there has been no looking back and September was as good as every other month of the season.
Sergio Mitre. Mitre was the fifth starter for the last few months of the season. His performance in September was so bad that he took away any chance he had of making the playoff roster. A 9.60 ERA for the month, a visible lack of confidence and the highest OBA on the side. Great finish!
Joba Chamberlain. Chamberlain, at times, has looked like he was growing into a great starter. For most of September, he didn’t look like he should ever be allowed to start again. At times, he looked like he couldn’t throw strikes and when he did manage one, it generally ended up in a gap in the outfield. Back to Plan A, I think.
Edwar Ramirez. At the start of the year, Ramirez looked like a fixture in the 2009 Yankees bullpen. By mid-season, he was gone. At the roster expansion point, he returned. He didn’t look any better and his time with the Yankees should be at an end now.
Damaso Marte. He looked a much better possibility after returning from injury than he had before he was injured. Second in the pecking order amongst left-handed specialists – behind Coke but looking more reliable than late season call-up, Mike Dunn – Marte, suddenly fell apart again late in the month.
Ian Kennedy. I don’t know what was more surprising. Was it that Kennedy made it back to the Majors in 2009? Or was it that he got out of his one appearance with a 0.00 ERA. Put simply, he was awful in that game.
David Robertson. Robertson was another pitcher who managed to get ahead of the timetable and return to the team before season’s end. That was where the similarity with Kennedy ended. He threw well. He threw strikes. He occasionally got in to a jam but he usually managed to get himself out of the problems. Sadly, because of Chamberlain’s redirection to the bullpen, he is unlikely to get many innings in the playoffs.
Brian Bruney. He had a good month, on the whole, in September, and it was somewhat surprising that he didn’t make the roster for the first round of the playoffs. He pitched with conviction but his uneven season was too much for him to overcome.
Chad Gaudin. If the Yankees need a 4th starter in the playoffs, it is likely to be Gaudin which in and of itself suggests how much of a surprise Gaudin has been over the last few weeks. He has shown a gritty determination to keep the Bombers in the game and produced some goos innings without ever been overpowering.