It was October and the Yankees’ starting rotation was struggling.
While Gerrit Cole was on the active roster, the Yankees elected to not use him in the series with Tampa Bay in order that he might be ready for the Wild Card game.
Jameson Taillon was back from injury and a rehab assignment and ready to go but, as already noted in last month’s report, the Yankees had sent Andrew Heaney to the bullpen and now assigned him outright to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders (Triple-A) – an assignment he would decline and so elect to become a free agent.
Let’s see who rose above the challenges of the end of the year:
- indicates left handed pitcher. No asterisk indicates right-handed pitcher.
|Aroldis Chapman (RP)*||1||0||0.00||1||0||1||0||0||1.0||0||0||0||1||2||1.00|
|Albert Abreu (RP)||0||0||0.00||1||0||1||0||0||0.2||1||0||0||0||0||1.50|
|Chad Green (RP)||0||0||0.00||1||0||0||0||0||1.0||1||0||0||1||1||2.00|
|Clay Holmes (RP)||0||0||0.00||2||0||0||0||0||2.0||0||0||0||1||2||0.50|
|Jonathan Loaisiga (RP)||0||0||0.00||2||0||0||0||0||1.2||1||0||0||1||2||1.20|
|Wandy Peralta (RP)*||0||0||0.00||2||0||0||0||0||2.1||2||0||0||1||5||1.29|
|Jameson Taillon (SP)||0||0||0.00||1||1||0||0||0||3.1||2||0||0||1||2||0.90|
|Lucas Luetge (RP)*||0||0||3.00||1||0||0||0||0||3.0||4||1||1||0||4||1.33|
|Joely Rodriguez (RP)*||0||0||3.00||1||0||1||0||0||3.0||5||1||1||2||8||2.00|
|Nestor Cortes (SP)||0||1||3.86||1||1||0||0||0||4.2||5||2||2||0||5||1.07|
|Domingo German (SP/RP)||0||0||13.50||1||0||0||0||0||1.1||1||2||2||2||3||2.25|
|Jordan Montgomery (SP)||0||1||23.63||1||1||0||0||0||2.2||6||7||7||3||3||3.38|
Nestor Cortes was given the start in the 160th game of the season and pitched for him what was a fairly typical 4 and 2/3 innings and did enough to keep the Yankees in the game. They trailed 2-1 when he left the mound for the final time.
The starting pitcher for the second game of the series was Jordan Montgomery and let’s say he saved just about his worst pitching performance of the season for last. His ERA of 23.63 was a little cruel as he didn’t look quite that bad, but it wasn’t pretty.
The best of the bunch was Jameson Taillon, back from injury and swaying things in his favour when the Yankees would be considering if they wanted to keep him around. They only kept him on the mound for 3 1/3 innings but he only conceded two hits and a walk which led to no runs on his record.
Three of the Yankees best relief pitchers played in two of these last three games. Clay Holmes, Wandy Peralta and Jonathan Loaisiga (all in games 1 and 3), all returned ERAs of zero and Clay Holmes, in particular excelled, with a WHIP of below 1. The Yankees have got far more from Holmes than they could ever have hoped for when they signed him in mid-season.
Albert Abreu, who was recalled from Scranton as the end of September came into sight, closed out the first game of the series but without run support was unable to stop the runners that Domingo German had left behind, from costing the Yankees the game.
Nobody came out of game 2 with any credit and the bullpen was no exception. Michael King in particular put in a dreadful appearance with his 4 conceded hits costing the Yankees three runs and him personally an ERA of 81.00 and a WHIP of 12.00. Both in relief and spot starting, King has been an above average performer for the Yankees this year but he couldn’t match those appearances in this game. Lucas Luetge and Joely Rodriguez at least put in the innings in a game where the Yankees had no hope but it wasn’t a great day for them either.
Chad Green‘s appearance in the final game of the regular season shows a 0.00 ERA but that disguises the walk and hit he gave up, but in this game the Yankees’ batters were so far on top that the odd hit here and there wasn’t going to cost them anything. Aroldis Chapman had not moved from his seat in the bullpen during the series because of lack of save opportunities, but with the final game coming to a conclusion, Aaron Boone decided to give him an outing, even though the game was already a washout. He conceded a walk but otherwise looked strong.
Let’s look at the pitching performances during the Wild Card game:
|Chad Green (RP)||0||0||0.00||1||0||1||0||0||1.2||1||0||0||1||2||1.20|
|Clay Holmes (RP)||0||0||0.00||1||0||0||0||0||2.0||1||0||0||0||1||0.50|
|Luis Severino (SP/RP)||0||0||6.75||1||0||0||0||0||1.1||1||1||1||1||1||1.50|
|Gerrit Cole (SP)||0||1||13.50||1||1||0||0||0||2.0||4||3||3||2||3||3.00|
|Jonathan Loaisiga (RP)||0||0||18.00||1||0||0||0||0||1.0||0||2||2||3||2||3.00|
The Yankees never really looked like they had a chance in the Wild Card game as Boston swept them away easily. Ryan Brasier who had his career best season, started the game for the Boston Red Sox and his performance well exceded that of the Yankees ace, Gerrit Cole who has had a very, very mixed year. He allowed 6 batters to get to base (4 hits, 2 walks) and lasted only 2 innings. Chad Green replaced Cole and his performance was remarkably similar to that in the last game of the regular season. Next up was Clay Holmes who was again excellent. He allowed only one hit across 2 innings. However, when he was substituted Jonathan Loaisiga, who had been solid in the final series against Tampa Bay, could not repeat that in this game and Luis Severino, who had done well being used out of the bullpen since he returned from the long period of injury he suffere,d also struggled this time. From the management side, it does seem to suggest that Aaron Boone frequently lacks a back-up plan when things go wrong. When Cole failed, he seemed all at sea.