As many people would tell you, the New York Yankees are not a team that’s going to knock the ball around the park every night like they used to. Coming into the season, the Yankees were forced to rely on their pitching more than ever.
While the Yankees’ pitching staff proved strong for most of the first half of the season, they’ve started to fall off the wagon lately, and it’s hurting the Yankees, costing them a lot of games. It’s an issue that needs to be fixed.
Take a look at the Yankees last five starts:
Hiroki Kuroda: seven innings, five hits, zero runs, one walk and eight strikeouts against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
C.C. Sabathia: 5 2/3 innings, 11 hits, five runs, three walks and four strikeouts against the San Diego Padres.
Ivan Nova: seven innings, four hits, zero runs, one walk and eight strikeouts against the Padres.
Phil Hughes: 2 2/3 innings, six hits, five runs, three walks and one strikeout against the Padres.
Andy Pettitte: 2 2/3 innings, 11 hits, seven runs, one walk and four strikeouts Monday night against the Chicago White Sox.
The answer to the Yankees’ struggles is right in front of us: the starting pitching is not getting the job done, thus hurting any chance of winning on a nightly basis.
Since the beginning of July, the only two pitchers the Yankees have been able to count on have been Kuroda and Nova, who have both been pitching just as good as any other pitcher in the league over that span.
There has to be something wrong with Sabathia for him to be as bad as he’s been over the past month, giving up at least five runs in his last four starts. Pettitte hasn’t been very reliable since the last time he came off the DL. And Hughes has always been a wild card; you really don’t know what kind of outing he’s going to give you.
Unfortunately, there aren’t more good options to fix this problem. David Phelps and Michael Pineda have both been dealing with some injuries down in the minors, and there isn’t anyone else in the minors who would be much of an improvement.
The Yankees aren’t totally out of playoff contention yet, but if the pitching staff doesn’t start to turn things around, they might just be out very quickly.
Gavin Ewbank is a Yankees writer for RantSports.com. Follow @GavinEwbank2013 for more Yankees talk.