|The Yanks have had a rough June. They’re 8-10 this month, and their recent downswing has allowed the BoSox to surge ahead into 1st place in the AL East by 2 games, and the Blue Jays are just a game and a half behind the Yanks. I fear that despite all the blame being placed on the offense (or the lack thereof due to various injuries and/or stomach viruses [hangovers]), the true culprits that need to be held accountable for these losses are the pitchers—namely, the ones coming out of the bullpen.
Forget, for a moment, about Matsui. Forget about Sheffield. Forget even about Johnson and Chacon. Sit down and make sure you remove the young children from the room, as the numbers I am about to discuss may cause explosive language to come from your mouth.
The Yankees’ bullpen actually started out fairly strong, but in the past month they have gone sharply downhill. For comparison, the relievers have a combined ERA of 3.86 on the year (8th in the majors), but in the past 30 days they have an ERA of 4.86 (20th in the majors) and their opponents are hitting .333 off their pitching. Without Mariano, who continues to be strong despite a couple rough innings, these numbers would be even worse.Relievers' Stats, Last 30 Days (5.0 or more IP):
Scott Proctor: 16.1 IP, 7.71 ERA, 1.59 WHIP
Kyle Farnsworth (right, vomiting into his jersey after giving up yet another run): 13.0 IP, 6.23 ERA, 1.92 WHIP
Scott Erickson: 6.2 IP, 9.45 ERA, 1.95 WHIP
Aaron Small: 13.0 IP, 3.31 ERA, 1.85 WHIP
Ron Villone: 12.1 IP, 1.46 ERA, 1.14 WHIP
Bullpen Disasters, Last 30 Days
5/22: Bean allows 2 ER in bottom of 8th, giving Red Sox 8-run lead. Yankees lose to Red Sox 9-5
5/26: Proctor blows save, 1 ER. Farsworth allows 3 more ER. Yankees lose to Royals 6-7
6/1: Farnsworth blows save, 2 ER. Yankees lose to Tigers 6-7
6/4: Erickson (right, covering up his low self-esteem with a sassy pose) allows 4 ER, putting game out of reach. Yankees lose to Orioles 4-11
6/8: Proctor blows save, 3 ER. Yankees lose to Red Sox 3-9
6/11: Farnsworth gives up 1 ER, allowing the A’s to take the lead. Yankees lose to A’s 5-6/15: Small (left, tipping his hat to his career) gives up 2 ER in 9th inning, putting creating a 4-run deficit for the Yanks. Yankees lose to Indians 4-8
6/17: Beam allows 2 ER in 5th, Proctor allows 1 (though he faced just 5 batters). Mariano blows save and allows 2 ER. Yankees lose to Nats 9-11
6/19: Farnsworth allows 1 ER, turning a 1-run shortfall into a 2-run deficit. Yankees lose to Phillies 2-4.
Lest you continue to think that the Yankees problems stem solely from their offensive troubles, rest assured that their bats still quite dominating. As a team, the Yankees are 2nd in the majors in runs scored (399), 3rd in batting average (.286), 6th in hits (688), 6th in slugging percentage (.453), and 1st in OBP (.369). They are clearly doing their very best with their persistently changing lineup, and they are hitting well enough to win most of their games.
What, then, should be done? More accurately, what can be done? The Yankees are dangerously low on resources and good bullpen help is hard to come by. They could try to deal for a starting pitcher and rotate one of the starters into the bullpen, or they may try to add another big bat. Octavio Dotel is allegedly going to be ready to pitch in a couple weeks, so waiting to see what his contribution can do is another option. What do you think the Yanks should do? Submit your requests in the comments, and I’ll see what I can do to make it happen*.
*nothing can be done.
Labels: bitching, injuries