Forget opposite day. It might as well be opposite year given the way things have played out during the early portions of New York’s baseball season.
While the Mets’ struggles on the mound continue, the Yankees’ bullpen has been extremely solid despite working under some difficult conditions, especially as of late.
In their last 11 games entering Monday night, the Yankees did not see a single starter get past the seven-inning mark. Masahiro Tanaka was the last to do so when he spun seven together against the Cincinnati Reds on May 8.
Since then, he’s only pitched a combined 4.2 innings in two starts to headline starting inconsistencies within the rotation. But the bullpen has picked up the slack greatly.
In 138.2 innings entering Monday night, the Yankees’ bullpen ERA was at 2.73, third-best in the majors having only allowed 42 runs and a .202 batting average against.
Compare that to the crosstown Mets, whose bullpen is one of the worst in baseball with a 5.08 ERA (28th in MLB) and .271 batting average against.
The Yankees have continued the success even without closer Aroldis Chapman, who has been sidelined because of rotator cuff inflammation.
Six different arms have picked up the slack within the bullpen, allowing the Bronx Bombers to stay in contention:
Adam Warren: 2.31 ERA, 22 K’s in 23.1 innings
Jonathan Holder: 1.93 ERA, 20 K’s in 18.2 innings
Tyler Clippard: 1.45 ERA, 27 K’s in 18.2 innings
Dellin Betances: 0.66 ERA, 2 saves, 25 K’s in 13.2 innings
Chasen Shreve: 0.00 ERA, 12 K’s in 11.1 innings
Chad Green: 0.00 ERA, 11 K’s in 9.1 innings
On Sunday against the Rays, Green, Clippard and Betances combined for 3.3 innings of no-hit, shutout ball to secure a Yankees 3-2 win.
But this core of relievers can only keep this kind of performance up for so long. It will be up to New York’s starters to get deeper into games to ensure these suddenly stellar arms stay fresh as baseball moves closer to summer.