It needs to be observed that the Yankees’ bullpen – which at times been their great strength and other times their greatest weakness – didn’t come back from the All-star break doing quite as well as they had in the first half. Those ERAs that were 1.something became 2.something for the month of July but, overall, the team’s pitching held their own. Let’s see who did particularly well and particularly badly…….
|New York Yankees – Pitching – Month – July|
C.C. Sabathia. Sabathia led all the starters and led the team (if you considered only those pitchers who made more than one appearance in the month) in ERA and OBA during July. His 4 wins and 1 loss is about a typical ratio for the season and July saw him maintain those high standards.
Mariano Rivera. Rivera wasn’t quite matching his performances in May and June but July was still a good month for him. He let more people on to base and conceded more runs than usual but he was still our best reliever and the best closer in the league which speaks volumes about how good he is most of the time.
David Robertson. He struck out 16 in ten innings in July and his OBA was the second lowest on the team. But his ERA was higher than it has been most of the season and it is not easy to see why. It will be interesting to see what happens next because he has shown signs in the past that his confidence can fail him when things are not going quite his way – and then he doesn’t believe he can dominate batters as he needs to.
Hector Noesi. This gritty battler had his best month. I don’t think it’s going to last but it’s nice while it does. He can eat up innings like no-one else in the bullpen and doesn’t seem to tire no matter how often the batters he faces foul him off.
Sergio Mitre. Every appearance a bad appearance and then to the disabled list. His second stint on the Yankees is not going to be a memorable one.
Phil Hughes. Who will eventually lose their slot in the rotation to Nova? Hughes or Burnett? Hughes was the guy who got a win in the month and three of his four appearances were above par but when he was bad (22nd of the month against Oakland) he was really bad. He got considerably more run support than Burnett but his 2010 record (first half at least) was streets ahead of Burnett. He also has the excuse of the injury that he was carrying in the first half this year (though I’m not really sure what that was – and I’m not sure anybody else is) but conversely they are paying Burnett much more to have him out there – and the Yankees tend to like to get something for their money (unless you’re called Kei Igawa)
A.J. Burnett. Who will eventually lose their slot in the rotation to Nova? Hughes or Burnett? Burnett didn’t win on the month and took three losses. I’ve pretty much rehearsed all my other arguments above.
Bartolo Colon. Colon made 6 starts in July. Three wins, three losses. His best was on the 2nd of July against the Mets. 6 innings, no runs, 5 hits. His worst (statistically) was 14th of July against Toronto. Two-thirds of an innings, eight runs (although only 3 of them were counted as earned). His worst performance (actually) though was the game in between those two, against Tampa where he gave up 10 hits. It was that performance that edged him into my bad books.
Ivan Nova. Nova’s two appearances in the month came on the first day and the second to last day of July. First surprise. The second one followed him spending a little while on the minor league disabled list. Second surprise. At the point he was sent down, he was the second best starter (statistically) on the Yankees roster. They sent him down anyway. Third surprise. He bounced back when recalled to be just as strong as he was before his reassignment. Fourth surprise. He’s showing mental and physical toughness and should continue to grow.
Rafael Soriano. Soriano came back early than expected. Didn’t sulk when he wasn’t immediately giving the 8th inning job back. Struck out two and didn’t give up a hit, walk or run in his first game back. This signing might not be the disaster it looked like it was going to be.
Steve Garrison. Garrison had a chance of making the team going into Spring training. Ended up assigned to Double-A Trenton Thunder (not normally something to feel encouraged about), and then struggled with injuries. Somehow he wound up being called up to the majors in July and was given one outing where he pitched two-thirds of an innings without anybody even looking like getting on base. He was reassigned to Trenton but this was to do with the strength of the bullpen rather than any failing on his part. His day might yet come.
Lance Pendleton. If you’d have told me at the beginning of June that a day would come this season when the bullpen would be strong enough that we didn’t need to carry make-weights like Pendleton to mop up in games we had already lost then I would have been surprised. That the day came only a month and a little later is truly staggering and significant. Bye, bye Lance. We will manage without you.