The Yankees were shutout for the first time this year by Josh Beckett (7-2) last night. And the reason why is as simple as that fact might make it seem: Josh Beckett.
Beckett has in his past 47.2 innings, gone 5-0, given up only 9 earned runs, 31 hits, and 16 walks. To put it simply, he has become the Red Sox ace.
So with the way he pitched last night, no one should be overly surprised. However, it is worth wondering why the Yankee bats were so quiet. Two hits the entire game is dismal for anyone’s standards, especially an offense with the second most runs scored in the American League.
And so I went about inspecting the pitching that the Yankee’s have been hitting so well as of late, and the following is what I found. Given is the list of pitchers that started against the Yankees in all of the Yankee wins since May 13, along with their current ERA:
In all of the Yankee wins since May 13, the Yankees have only faced three starters with an ERA below 4.28. And when they faced the three pitchers below that number (J.A. Happ, Cliff Lee, Matt Garza), the offense was relatively quiet, never scoring more than three earned runs against them.
But everyone knows that the Yankees won’t be crushing good pitchers. No one consistently hits good pitcherst. It’s the Yankees specialty so far this season to simply take their bats to the relief, where they win games (see: Minnesota Twins, May 15-19, 2009)
The answer to question of how good the Yankees offense is lies in how other teams fair against the same pitchers that the Yankees struggle against. Specifically, look at the Boston Red Sox.
AJ Happ? While Boston hasn’t seen him this year, in his past four starts, both the Mets and Nationals have scored three runs off of him, 1 more than the Yankees did.
Slowey? In his past 46.1 innings (he had bad start) he has given up 21 earned runs. So not many, including the Red Sox, have scored well on him in his past eight starts.
Tallet? The Red Sox have played to game against him so far this year, scoring 5 earned runs against him over thirteen innings…roughly a 3.46 ERA
Those are pitchers from Yankee wins. Here are some arms that the Yankees lost to since May 13;
Pavano gave up 2 ER over six to Boston
Millwood shut down Boston over seven innings
So without beating to death the issue of the Yankee Offense, and their performance against above-par pitchers, one can rest their head at night knowing that our lineup has posted as good numbers as any other – and truly beast against relief.