Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Despite Mo stumble, Yankee bullpen steps up


It's always shocking to see Mariano Rivera struggle, which is why yesterday's loss to the Texas Rangers was so surprising. I can't remember ever seeing Mo give up hit after hit with an intentional walk mixed in, but even the great Mariano is entitled to a bad game now and then.

Despite Mo's stumble, the New York Yankees bullpen has had a great run recently. Prior to last night's game, Mo was sporting a 0.88 ERA with 23 saves. That we expect. But what has been surprising and uplifting for the team is the way the other guys in the bullpen are pitching, most notably David Robertson and Boone Logan.

Robertson has supplanted Joba Chamberlain as the 8th inning guy when the Yankees are ahead, mostly because he has not given up a run in his last 10 appearances. During that time, he has pitched 10 1/3 innings, giving up only three hits and lowering his ERA from 5.01 to 3.95. He's walked a few too many hitters (five in his last four appearances), but they haven't hurt him.

Logan has been just as impressive in battling the lefties that opponents send up against the Yankees in the late innings. He has given up no runs and just one hit in his last 10 appearances, totaling 7 1/3 innings and lowering his ERA from 3.92 to 2.96.

Even Joba has pitched better of late, not giving up a run over his last seven appearances, totaling 7 1/3 innings. But Robertson and Logan are pitching so well, it's hard to imagine Joba reclaiming his job, unless the fiery Joba shows up again.

At a time when the starting pitchers are battling injuries and illness and the lineup has failed to show its offensive might, the Yankees bullpen has been a bright spot, even with yesterday's blip.

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