With the additions of David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, Jamie Garcia, and Sonny Gray, the New York Yankees now have one of the best and most well rounded pitching staffs in the major leagues. Even if a few of the big names go into prolonged slumps (looking at you Aroldis Chapman), Joe Girardi can potentially hand their work off to someone who is just as competent, if not more so.
The starting pitching, which was regarded as the weak link before the season started, and the bullpen, which drew criticism in the weeks leading up to the All Star Break, are now arguably strengths on this team. With that the Bronx Bombers are poised to make a playoff run and, with a team like this, there is little anyone else can do about it.
There is no more chink in the Yankees armor, right?
If the Yankees had acquired all of these pitchers a month ago, I would have agreed. Now, however, just as opponent’s bats are going silent, so are the bats of the Yankees. The hitting, regarded to be the team’s forte since last season, has been the team’s main struggle over the past few series.
It’s not like the Yankees have been going up against tough pitchers either. The Detroit Tigers have been suffering from abominable pitching this season and they still managed to shut the Yankees out on Wednesday and hold them to three runs the day before. Over the past few games, the team has gone something along the lines of 1 for 18 with runners in scoring position. Now I know what it feels like to be a Mets fan (I kid).
Clint Frazier, Matt Holliday, and pretty much everyone in the lineup besides Didi Gregorious have seemed to struggle at the plate of late. Even the pride of the Yankees, Aaron Judge, while not being in a slump per se, hasn’t been his great self since the Home Run Derby. His batting average steadily declined over the past month and has finally dipped below .300 after being at .330 earlier in the season.
I don’t doubt that these hitters will get back in the groove eventually, but it needs to happen sooner rather than later, otherwise this team is in for trouble. The best chance this team has to make it far into the playoffs is to win the AL East.
I don’t trust them enough to feel 100% confident that they will be able to win a play in game if they wind up being a wildcard because, while they have a great pitching staff with Sonny Gray, there isn’t a single person who I feel certain can pitch a shutout if needed. The closest name is Luis Severino, but he is still young and may not be able to take the pressure.
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