The Yankees dominated in the American League Division Series (ALDS) against Baltimore but then just stopped hitting in clutch situations in the American League Championship Series (ALCS) against Detroit. Consequently, this is a rather cursory glance at the pitchers during that period because the truth is that it doesn’t matter how well you perform if you have next-to-no run support. Few of the pitchers were outstanding and only a couple ran into real problems but the bats couldn’t make any noise at all during that fateful final series.
|New York Yankees – Pitching – Month – October – Playoffs only|
Rafael Soriano. Soriano looks unlikely to be back with the Yankees in 2013 but that shouldn’t stop their fans from being grateful for how much he contributed throughout the season and playoffs particularly standing in for Rivera after his injury. He pitched in 3 games in the playoffs without giving up a run or a walk.
Boone Logan. Left-handed specialist Logan was another relief pitcher who managed to pick his way through the playoffs without giving up a run. He kept the Yankees in the game in the 9th innings of the third game of the ALDS building a bridge between Kuroda and Soriano and allowing the Yankees to creep back into the game prior to winning in extras.
Clay Rapada. Rapada has been a real find for the Yankees in 2012 and he was near to his best during the playoffs. He appeared in five different games averaging just one out per outing but he didn’t give up any hits and just two walks.
Joba Chamberlain. Chamberlain, like Teixeira, was pressed into action too soon after he recovered from injury but the longer time he played the more he improved. So a bad August, turned into a reasonably good September and finally into playoffs where though he gave up too many hits, he didn’t allow a single run in 4 appearances.
Derek Lowe. Lowe’s uneven season turned into a diabolical October where in the playoffs he gave up three runs in only two innings pitched.
David Phelps. Phelps was chosen over Nova when the decision had to be taken about who to put on the playoff roster. It wasn’t the best decision and Phelps made three appearances all in relief and came away with an ERA which was the wrong side of eight.
Cody Eppley. Eppley was one of a number of pitchers who pitched good enough to be on a winning side against Detroit in the ALCS. He pitched in each game of the series and came away with a 0.00 ERA despite allowing 4 hits and a walk but was counted on the losing side every time.
David Robertson. Robertson struck out seven in 6 and a 1/3 innings and was 2nd on the team in OBA. He was less of a feature than Eppley in the ALCS and also couldn’t help the Yankees away from the series sweep which brought their season to a premature close.
Phil Hughes, Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia. None of these starters performed particularly badly in the ALCS although Sabathia was the worst in that series by some distance. But there is a limit to what you can do when your batters cannot convert clutch opportunities into runs. Sabathia had done well in his two ALDS appearances to be fair to him. None of these pitchers were outstanding but the fault in the Division series could not be laid at their feet for it was the offensive side that failed to deliver when they were needed.