Former New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera has the distinction of having the lowest WHIP of any live-ball pitcher in baseball history at 1.00. A future Hall of Famer and bona fide Yankee royalty, Rivera’s career is one that any pitcher would love to call his own.
While Rivera’s legacy is cemented, Michael Pineda has a long way to go before his name can be mentioned in the same breath. However, if he continues to pitch at his current pace, Pineda will be etching his name into the annals of Yankee history sooner than later.
The Chicago Cubs were the latest victim of Pineda’s dominance on Wednesday night. In six innings of work, the Cubs scored no runs and managed four hits as Pineda burned fastballs into the strike zone with workmanlike efficiency. The lone threat occurred in the fifth inning when Chicago had runners in scoring position with one out. Pineda kept his cool, fanned Matt Kalish, and got Darwin Barney to chase a pitch and fly out to Brett Gardner to squash the rally.
The Yankee offense provided insurance by scoring two runs on 12 hits. The runs came in the fourth and fifth innings, one driven in by Gardner on a single in the fourth and another run came on a single by Scott Sizemore in the fifth. That was Sizemore’s first RBI since 2011 after coming off two knee surgeries that almost ended his career. The Yankee Stadium crowd gave Sizemore a warm ovation as he rounded first base.
Pineda’s ERA stands at 1.00, and even more impressive, he sports a WHIP of .89. The Yankees team WHIP of 1.21 is seventh in the MLB right now, and Pineda clearly plays a huge part in that impressive performance. He is getting six innings per night, and teams simply cannot find ways to generate runs on him.
For a man who barely made the starting rotation, Pineda is playing with Rivera-esque confidence. He is throwing mid-90’s fastballs and daring batters to swing away. If he can maintain these obscenely low numbers, Pineda could be an All-Star, and on his way to a long career in the Bronx.