Yankees Suddenly Are Looking Armed and Dangerous

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports /
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All of that has led to two good things. The first and by far most important is the 8-game winning streak, snapped tonight in a hard fought loss. The other is that the pitching script has been flipped. The bullpen was supposed to be better than the starting staff and save the pitchers.

Remember the mantra from last year, that the goal for the starters was to go six innings? That is no more.

Instead, because the starters are going deep into games, they have saved the bullpen from overworking early. Girardi has been able to use almost exclusively the best arms—Warren, Betances, Chapman—while still getting them all rest. All of this has added up to a 2.38 ERA for the entire Yankees pitching staff over those last eight games.

That excellent pitching continued tonight, even in a loss. It was Severino’s turn again, and he delivered another great performance. He went eight innings and officially gave up 3 ER’s. I say officially because, of his three earned runs, two came from a home run by Avisail Garcia.

Just before that hit, SS Pete Kozma booted a likely double play ball. That would have cleared the bases and turned Garcia’s blast into a solo shot. But a double play cannot be officially assumed, leaving Sevvy responsible for a runner who should have been erased. All of that means the un-official scorekeeper in my head credits Severino with an 8-inning, 2 ER performance.

Add that he struck out ten and walked exactly nobody and this start might be the best of the bunch, even in a loss. Either way, the starting pitching has been superior, and the Yankees are ebullient.