Over their last 15 games, the Yankees are 5-10.
Obviously, the team has hit a rough stretch offensively, one that can be connected, in part, to the team’s bevy of injuries. However, with that said, though much of the collective slump is predicated upon a wide-sweeping offensive malaise, the Yankees’ starting pitching, which was so stellar in April, has also played a particularly significant role in the team’s disappointing slide.
In April, the staff posted a 3.41 ERA and a 3.78 FIP. Those numbers actually include right-hander Javier Vazquez, who was as awful as one could be during that specific period of time. If you subtract Vazquez’s numbers, you get a starting rotation worthy of a 2.48 ERA and a 3.30 FIP. Thus, in April, although the Yankees’ FIP was still very strong, after a quick glance at the starting ERA in comparison, it is clear that the group was pitching above its head. As is normally the case when an individual or a group is just too good, a regression is often the forthcoming fix.
Sadly, for the Yankees, that regression came this month and in unison. With everyone – maybe except for CC Sabathia – performing at an unsustainable pace in April (due to high strand rates, low strikeout percentages, etc.), the entire starting rotation is now struggling. In May the Yankees’ rotation – no Mitre and no Vazquez included here – has posted a 4.34 ERA and a 4.74 FIP. Not terrible numbers, but not anywhere close to April. Such an outcome should have been expected, however, given the team’s 2.48 ERA and 3.30 FIP in the previous 30-day period.
Coinciding with the starting pitching regression is a slight downturn in terms of overall offense compared to April. In May, the Yankees are hitting .287/.366/.435, which is still a good line despite a lack of tremendous power. However, during their frustrating 15-game, 5-10 stretch, as a unit, the group is only hitting only .271/.349/.401 and, with runners in scoring position over 149 at-bats, the numbers are even worse as the Yankees have batted a dreadful .248/.335/.389. That will not cut it, especially with most of the starters regressing (the pitching cannot carry them).
So, here is the situation in a nutshell—the Yankees starting staff (for the most part) is regressing as it was bound to do – they got hot at the same time and are now cold at the same time – while the team’s offense has simultaneously provided less than desired results (to say the least). The hitting – and Mark Teixeira is the main culprit – is not producing runs to counter the runs allowed via the pitching downturn. These things together have created a perfect storm for the Yankees with regards to losing ballgames, explaining the 5-10 record over the last 15 games.
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