Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yankees bullpen a complete mess

The New York Yankees bullpen, including Mariano Rivera, is a complete mess right now.

It's gotten to the point that I cringe whenever a Yankee starter comes out of a game. On a night when CC Sabathia gave the Yankees everything they needed, pitching seven innings and only giving up one run even though he didn't have his best stuff, the two top guys in the bullpen couldn't preserve his victory. Yes both Mo and Joba were victimized by errors, but pitchers have to find ways to pick up their fielders. Three days in a row, a Yankee starter has left with a lead, only to see his bullpen cough it up.

I'm not going to worry much about Mo because of his resume, but I do wonder whether he is still suffering lingering effects from the injury that sidelined him for nearly two weeks. Joba Chamberlain is a bigger concern because of his inconsistency. Sometimes he comes out of the bullpen firing bullets and dominating hitters. Other times he can't find the plate and when he does, it’s right in the hitter’s wheelhouse and gets smacked. It’s bewildering.

It was easier to write off the bullpen struggles when it was just David Robertson or Chan Ho Park giving up a couple of runs. But Joba and Mo are supposed to be the bridge between the Yankee starters and victory. The bullpen struggles are putting a lot of pressure on the starting pitching, which has been superb so far, but is bound to have trouble at some point this season. The Yankee relievers need to get it together and fast.

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