The most powerful weapon the New York Yankees have to offer has faltered as of late which could decimate this season’s hopes.
During this disappointing campaign, the one thing the New York Yankees could always count on was the monstrosity that is the back-end of their bullpen.
After acquiring Aroldis Chapman from the clearance rack from the Cincinnati Reds, New York had built a historically epic ‘pen that was available to take this team to new heights. He joined Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances to create the famous “three-headed monster.”
In 2015, while the trio rounded out the top three spots of baseball’s strikeout leaders, they combined for a 1.70 ERA with 347 strikeouts in 212 2/3 innings.
They were the only relievers to reach the 100 strikeout mark and the 2016 New York Yankees are the first team ever to own three pitchers who each had 100 strikeouts as a reliever in the season prior.
Best part? These guys are automatic as they could be trusted on to close out games starting as late as the seventh inning. That was, until Sunday.
Sunday was supposed to be the most intuitive of victories for this squad as they had a one-run lead in the seventh inning with the ball reliably in the hand of Betances who would initiate the winning blueprint by giving the ball to Miller, who would then give it to Chapman. After that? Everyone would go home happy after the Yankees took a series they were favored to lose.
The blueprint failed, miserably.
Betances gave up two runs and has now given up a run in for straight outings while Miller, after throwing 28 pitches the day before never got the ball into his left hand.
And when it came time for Chapman to light up the radar gun, he surrendered a two-run single and failed to cover home to allow a third run to score and blow the rubber game against the O’s.
It was the first time this season that the New York Yankees dropped a contest when leading after seven innings (they are now 25-1) but this recent stretch of mediocracy from the group that was expected to be a driving force for the Bomber’s playoff hopes is a little bit of a surprise.
Betances has been in the biggest funk of them all.
In the righty’s last 4.2 innings of work, he has surrendered six runs (11.57 ERA) on seven hits while walking three while watching his earned run average climb from 2.01 entering this road trip to 3.54 as we begin this four-game set at Yankee Stadium.
Chapman, after holding batters to a .171 batting average in 10 May appearances, has an ERA of 3.38 and has surrendered as many runs through three June games then he has given up in the entire month of May.
It’s quite simple for the Yankees: they will not turn their season in a winning direction if the bullpen, which was established to shorten contests considerably, fails to live up to the hype.
This past offseason, general manager Brian Cashman mapped out the bullpen that sought to bring out title number 28. With Chapman’s return back on May 9, the formula that has sustained its capability of winning it all is being put to use with the hopes that it can carry this team to even bigger heights. But those heights will fail to be reached unless this hiccup is only a hiccup.
The Yankees’ offense ranks fifth to last in scoring while their rotation finds itself in the middle of the pack (18th) in terms of ERA. If the saving grace that was thought of to hold a Yankees’ lead as early as the sixth inning falls short in supplementing the aging roster? Consider them as good as done, if they aren’t already.
Sure, it is only one game and bugging out over one compact sample size of mediocracy from a trio that spits nothing but excellence is plain ignorant, but if this “historically epic” ‘pen turns into what it has been over the last few days… the Yankees are nothing but a sub .500 ballclub and there is nothing that could possibly turn that around.