The Yankees rightfully have a reputation for having a circular lineup that is akin to a meat grinder for opposing pitchers. Going into last night’s game against Baltimore, they were second in the AL in OBP/SLG and first in the league in OPS.
Numerically, the Yankees have been punishing pitchers. Anecdotally, they’ve been shellacking starts. So, to combine these two methods, I took a look at just how well the Yankees are hitting against starters.
Starting simply, the Yankees are hitting both lefty and righty starters very well. Against left handed starters, the Yanks have an .824 OPS. Against right handed starters, they have an .819 OPS. That’s awesome no matter how you slice it.
Going a little more deeply, let’s see just how well the Yankees’ offense grinds out games against starters, before getting to the opponents’ bullpens to add on runs.
Including last night’s game against the Orioles and Brian Matusz, the Yankees have seen 137.7 innings against starting pitchers. Only three starters–Joel Piniero (7), David Price (7.2), and Jeremy Guthrie (7)–have gone past the sixth inning against the Yankees. Every other starter has exited after the sixth inning at the absolute latest. In those 137.7 innings against starters, the Yankees have seen 2,593 pitches. That averages out to 18.83 pitches per inning. Remember that a pitcher wants to throw about 12-15 pitches per inning.
How about on a per game basis? Including last night, the Yankees have had 26 games, and with the aforementioned 2,593 pitches, that means 97.65 pitches per game by the opposing starter. Now, this may not seem like a lot, considering most starters usually end up around 100 pitches anyway. However, we have that opposing starters have pitched relatively few innings against the Yankees in 2010.
Combining innings and games, and comparing it to the league average, we get the following. NOT including last night’s other Major League games (I’m writing this on Tuesday night), there have been 2,179 innings thrown by starting pitchers in 364 games. That averages out to ~6.00 innings per game (actual number: 5.9863). In the Yankees 26 games (137.7 IP by SP), the starter has averaged ~5.30 IP/G (actual number: 5.2962) .
So, yeah, the Yankees crush their opponents’ starters. If they keep this up, the rest of the league is in serious trouble. Getting the starter out obviously means more innings against relatively (compared to starters) weak relievers. That means runs. Runs mean wins. What makes this all better is that the Yankees’ starters have pitched fantastically thus far. Good hitting + good pitching = good season (in other news, the sky is blue). The Yankees are going to have a very good season.
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