Analysis

Yankees: Starting Rotation Hitting Their Stride When It Matters The Most

After a brutal August, the Yankees starting rotation is finally starting to get the job done.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Yankees suffered major injuries to their starting rotation.

Luis Severino’s season was over before it started due to Tommy John surgery, Masahiro Tanaka was drilled in the head by a Giancarlo Stanton line drive during summer workouts and James Paxton remains out with an arm injury.

However, the rotation has started to turn it around throughout the last week. The Yankees are currently on a five-game winning streak and are sitting at a half-game behind the Toronto Blue Jays for second place in the AL East while the Tampa Bay Rays also only hold a four game lead atop the division.

If the Yanks stay hot, there is a legitimate chance they can catch the Rays. Prior to the streak, the Yankees lost 15 of 20 games because of injuries, a lack of hitting, and poor execution on the mound.

Below is each starter’s performance during their last start:

Gerrit Cole: 7 IP (DH), 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 9 K
Masahiro Tanaka: 5 IP (DH), 1 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 5 K
Deivi Garcia: 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 6 K
J.A. Happ: 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 5 K
Jordan Montgomery: 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 9 K

These are the numbers the Yankees want to see for the rest of the season and into the playoffs. The most impressive starters to me have been Happ and Garcia. Happ has pitched well of late, going 6.1 innings while posting 10 punch outs against the Blue Jays last week.

The veteran has also posted a stellar 2.45 ERA with 27 strikeouts in his last five starts while limiting the long ball.

At the young age of 21, Garcia has turned heads around the Yankees organization and fanbase. He has gotten off to a terrific start going 1-1, 3.06 ERA, 18 K, 17.2 IP, and holds a WHIP of 0.90. He has proven in his small sample size of play that he can get the big out and can pitch in meaningful games. If Garcia can continue to pitch like this, it will certainly give the Yankees a huge boost in their rotation.

There is an old saying in baseball that you can never have enough pitching, and good pitching beats good hitting.

That motto seemed to be true during their last bouts against Toronto and Baltimore. If their arms continue the dominance and their offense keeps producing and stays healthy, then the Yankees are sitting pretty, even in the bottom half of the playoff bracket.

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