The dominant New York Yankees bullpen was at it again on both Sunday and Monday night, as the Yankees defeated the Mets on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball to reclaim New York and downed the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday to slide into first place atop the A.L. East.
"“Awesome. Everybody was awesome,” Nathan Eovaldi, who was bailed out by the bullpen on Sunday night told Fred Kerber of the New York Post. “It was frustrating to go to the bullpen that early, but the bullpen has been awesome of late.”"
Key word: Awesome.
In their last ten games, the Yankees bullpen have combined to pitched 31.0 innings, giving up just 12 hits and two earned runs while recording six saves, including 4.2 innings of one hit shutout baseball on Sunday and 3.1 innings of one hit shutout baseball on Monday.
"“You want to leave the next guy a good situation and you want to pick up the guy before you, so hopefully there is some kind of synergy and we can hand the ball off to the next guy and seal the deal,” Andrew Miller said. “Guys came in, pitched through the heart of the lineup. Dellin was unbelievable. Across the board, good job.”"
Andrew Miller is now eight-for-eight in saves opportunities, and his eight saves through the teams first 20 games of the season breaks a franchise record that was previously held by Mariano Rivera.
"“We’ve been doing a great job all year, following each other and trying to match zeroes,” said Betances. “I feel like all year we’ve done a great job. We try to match each other up, try to match each other’s intensity.”"
Despite struggling early on in the season, Dellin Betances has been lights out, and is once again pitching like the dominant pitcher we saw in 2014. After his inning of work on Monday night, Betances has retired the last 22 batters he’s faced in consecutive order, 11 of which were strikeouts.
Though Girardi is yet to name name an every-day closer, nor an every-day setup-man, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller are forming into quite the combo.
Other notable bullpen performances include Chasen Shreve, who actually earned the first win of his career on Sunday against the Mets. In his last three appearances, including Sunday night, Shreve has yet to give up a baserunner outside of a walk that was quickly erased by an inning ending double play.
Justin Wilson has also been on a tear. He earned his first win of the season on Monday night after pitching 1 inning of hitless baseball. Wilson is yet to give up a hit or a run in his last six appearances.
The Yankees are certainly hoping for the same production out of their bullpen from here on out. They are undoubtedly the teams biggest strength in 2015.
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