The Yankees last three games of the regular season saw their pitchers deliver a combined ERA of nearly 5. Time would show that in the ALDS most of the big bats would fall silently. In short, they needed their pitchers to wake up and quickly.
|New York Yankees – Pitching – Month – October (Regular season)|
New York Yankees – Pitching – Month – October(American League Division Series)
Joba Chamberlain. Chamberlain is a conundrum. Chamberlain is an enigma, a riddle. Just a week earlier I’d sat in my seat at Yankee Stadium and wondered f this guy could throw a strike. In his last game of the regular season, he let no-one get on base. In 3 appearances in the 3 games of the ALDS, he wasn’t quite as dominating but no-one reached home. This is Chamberlain back in the bullpen where, of course, the Yankees brass will not leave him.
Mariano Rivera. He also played in one of the last games of the regular season and all three of the ALDS games. He also gave up no runs and let few get on base. The difference is that no-one, least of all this writer, was surprised.
Phil Coke. Coke has had a mixed second season in the pinstripes but there was nothing mixed about these performances. He played two of the last three games of the regular season. He gave up one hit and nobody scored. In the ALDS, the only difference was that in his two appearances he didn’t allow a hit.
Alfredo Aceves. Aceves achieved a lot of wins during the regular season (I can’t remember anybody who achieved nearly as many from a season spent mainly in relief since the days of Lee Guetterman – and that seems almost a lifetime ago in all kinds of ways). No wins during these two snapshots but two appearances, three and a third innings, four strikeouts, one walk, one hit, no runs. If he isn’t the long reliever in 2010, we are going to have to find someone truly special to stand in his stead.
AJ Burnett. Burnett only produced 11 innings across his last league appearance and his first post-season appearance but he did almost everything else right.
Phil Hughes. You have to look pretty hard to find disappointing pitching for the Yankees during the ALDS but there is one obvious candidate. Hughes spent the post-season struggling and he looked just as bad during the last few days of the regular season. For most of the season he looked like he had finally found a role he could be consistent in at the Major League level (not that the Yankees were going to leave him there!) but at the last fences he fell apart completely. In less than 3 innings across 5 games, he allowed 9 men to get on base and he was depending on others to make sure only three of them scored.
Jonathan Albaladejo. Too often during the last two seasons, Albaladejo has lost his place on the Major League roster when everyone was available without doing anything wrong. If he had any chance of making the Division Series roster then he blew it completely with his last appearance, allowing 4 men to get on base (2 scoring) across 1.1 innings.
Brian Bruney. Bruney was another who didn’t make the roster for the Division Series but in his case the decision followed one of his best appearances of the season. He had a very patchy year and it was his own fault that his name wasn’t already pencilled in but he must have sensed at this point that he was unlikely to return to the Bronx in 2010.
CC Sabathia. There hasn’t been much that is negative to say about CC’s first season as a Yankee but his final regular season appearance was horrible. Those of us who could count had already calculated that the Yankees didn’t want any situations in the playoffs where they would need to call on more than 3 of their rotation. The thought that their no. 1 guy was going to fall apart at the last moment was too much to bear. Thankfully, Sabathia was "business as usual" by the time the first playoff series began.
David Robertson. Given the periods during the season when Robertson was out of the reckoning, there were those who were surprised to see him facing the Twins at all. That his first ever post-season appearance saw him come into the game with the scores tied and that (despite one wobble) he closed the game out with the win suggests that this guy has what it takes to be a fixture in the Yankees bullpen.
Andy Pettitte. Pettitte was another to step up to the mark and deliver the goods in the ALDS despite a poor performance in the last week of the season. Don’t know why I think this is surprising, he’s been doing it for years!!