Dave Eiland recently made some comments that suggested that Yankees pitchers are afraid to throw strikes in the New Yankee Stadium. While I have a more extensive study planned for this weekend, I did want to reference what Steve Lombardi wrote on this this afternoon:
I was surprised to see how well the Yankees have done this year, to date, in terms of OPS allowed on the road. New York is pretty close to being second best in the league here. Seeing this, if I were a Yankees pitcher, I think I would be somewhat upset about what the new ballpark in the Bronx is doing to my numbers.
Although this sounds like the Yankees have pitched well overall and have just been victimized by their park, this is not the case. The Yankees are 12th in the AL in ERA+, a stat that corrects for ballpark factors. They have not pitched well regardless of the ballpark, although I reserve the right to change the mind if the research I am doing shows some further extenuating circumstances. It is also important to note that the Yankees lead the AL in OPS+, which is also corrected for ballpark.
This being said, I do believe that there is a championship level staff currently within the organization. I have a decent amount of faith in them having three or four very good starters come playoff time, and in the playoffs, you may have Joba and Hughes in the pen with Bruney, Aceves, Coke, and Robertson. That should be plenty.
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