The story of the Yankees bullpen in August was Kerry Wood. The finest player on the team was C.C. Sabathia. It is fair to say the pitching had a good month.
|New York Yankees – Pitching – Month – August|
Kerry Wood. Once upon a time Kerry Wood was a great starter. He’s had a couple of good seasons as a reliever. This year for Cleveland, his ERA moved between 5 & 6 and he looked like one of those players who has stayed too long in the major leagues. They do say that a change is as good as a rest and his move to the Bronx has transformed him. In August, he produced a 0.71 ERA and whenever he let men get on base, he cleaned up after himself to keep it like that. Outstanding.
Boone Logan. Logan has been second choice for a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen this season and to be honest he has only moved up that pecking order because of a likely season ending injury to Damaso Marte. Logan didn’t allow a run this month and whenever his brief stints on the mound didn’t quite work out, the rest of the bullpen was working so well that they tidied up for him.
Mariano Rivera. Another great month for Rivera with just the odd wobble meaning that his ERA for the month was a little higher than is customary.
C.C. Sabathia. Whilst the bullpen was having its strongest month, the starting rotation was having more than its share of short outings and bad starts. Sabathia rises above all this and keeps winning. 5 wins in August and over 7 innings per start. He should be the Cy Young winner come the end of the season.
A.J. Burnett. Sabathia’s no. 2 is supposed to be Burnett but rather than emulating Sabathia’s form, there couldn’t be a great contrast than the one between C.C. and A.J. . Sabathia is all order and consistency. Burnett is a pitcher who has lost his mechanics and his confidence. He had the worst ERA and worst OBA on the team – leading Girardi to make the statement that only Sabathia is guaranteed to be starting in the post-season.
Javier Vazquez. Vazquez is a conundrum which the Yankees are no closer to solving. Removed from the starting rotation after some sub-par starts, he gave the team two great relief performances which saw him restored to his usual role. As a starter again, it just didn’t work out. Those who said he couldn’t play under the bright lights of the big city seem to be proved right.
Dustin Moseley. Moseley was the guy who gained from the regular starters inability to achieve as he found himself filling in for first this starter and then that starter – whoever lost form or was injured. The truth is that Moseley wasn’t much better than the guys he was filling in for and he should be the one to surrender his spot on the rotation when Pettitte returns to the active roster.
Chad Gaudin. The only good thing to say about Chad is he mops up innings well in games when the Yankees have no realistic hope of winning, allowing the real contributors to be fresh for the games that matter.
Joba Chamberlain. Chamberlain has quietly re-found the thread as the bullpen came into its own in August and the expectations on Joba are no longer so strong. He became a key player in the later innings without anyone really noticing or without him really drawing the spotlight to himself. His OBA was second on the team on the month. It has been quite awhile since he has shown this consistency.
Ivan Nova. Nova was restored from the minors and to the starting rotation and picked up a win. He hasn’t lit up the night but he has done well at an important time.
Phil Hughes. Hughes’ second half has been one of indifferent performances and strong run support. His 4 wins on the month were second only to Sabathia and that IS surprising.