The three-headed monster of the New York Yankees was destined to be phenomenal, but recent performance shows that historical references do not come for free.
You just do not judge a book by its cover. The good old saying applies to anything in life, including sports. When looking at a team on paper, you know that the final product may not be anything near what is being envisioned.
Witnessing the front office piece together a bullpen that was tremendously hyped up from the start, Yankee fans drew an exception to the phrase. How could this new monster of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman at the back end possibly falter?
A combination of the trio’s numbers from last year were eye-popping and set the stage for a back-end that baseball had never seen. With that said, those combined numbers were not all accomplished on the same team.
Chapman came aboard and was promptly, as expected, handed a suspension from major league baseball. He served the 30 games and it was supposedly time to have some fun.
The flame thrower came back and, sure, the Yankees won some exciting games where all three dazzled. However, adverse effects have been felt by all three individuals since.
Whether it is pressure, the general robotic conception of three human pitchers, or sheer underperformance, you cannot sit back and say that the trio coined as ‘No-Runs DMC’ has lived up to the hype.
Currently, they spearhead a bullpen that ranks 16th in major league baseball and 10th out of 15 American League teams in ERA (3.91)
In addition, Betances, Miller, and Chapman have not been extraordinary by any stretch since the formation.
Chapman returned on May 9. Since that point, Betances has pitched to a subpar 3.78 ERA and has folded in three big spots. Miller, on the other hand, has watched his ERA go from an invincible 0.00 to a more hittable 2.25 since the alteration.
While the so-called “Cuban Missile” has done his job for the most part, his recent blown save in Baltimore demonstrated the Yankee bullpen backfiring in a big spot. In addition, the two-out run the left-hander surrendered in Colorado seemed harmless, but displayed a frustrating aspect of a brilliant arm that should not squander runs of that nature.
In the most recent two-game set, Joe Girardi saw two of his big three appear in a situation where a shutdown inning would give the offense a much needed chance. Two instances of a deficit growing is what was received.
Let’s not even go into strikeouts given that their ability to miss bats is purely known. Let’s look at the column that matters.
When you take a look at the beloved combined numbers of the men who have earned themselves a nicknamed shirt, you see a 2.83 ERA.
To put things into perspective, 61 relief pitchers in baseball (min. 20 IP) have managed a better earned run average than that thus far. Let’s not forget the expectations here.
With how high the bar was set, a 2.83 ERA, while great in the eyes of many, is far too elevated. By putting three top-tier, closer caliber relief pitchers in the same bullpen, combined numbers comparative to a Cy Young Award caliber starting pitcher is where the bar is set.
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While shallow middle relief has not helped the cause, a trifecta of this standard should be disgusted at an overall bullpen ERA anywhere close to the number four. In other words, it should not happen on their watch.
Moreover, what was initially supposed to be an irrefutable and unquestionable part of this team has suddenly been called into question.
There is not one man to toss the blame. Lately, the three have not appeared sequentially nearly as frequently. Simply put, each individual has to do their job no matter which inning they are called upon to do it and what the score is entering that frame.
Otherwise, the Yankees will regret leaning on them during a time when each and every one of them has trade value through the roof.
Until the true untouchable nature of this dynamic back-end surfaces, do yourself a favor and hop off the historical reference train. The bunch has yet to do anything historic and there are no current signs of anything to come.