New York Yankees: This Season Is Still Unpredictable

Chris GordyContributor IApril 18, 2008

While the New York Yankees (9-8) have only played a handful of games this season, Yankee fans across America might already have mixed feelings on how this season will play out.

While the pitching staff boasts a 4.47 ERA, many questions remain in regards to the rotation. Chien-Ming Wang has already proven that he is the ace of the club, with a solid record of 3-0 and a 3.81 ERA.

Known mostly as a groundball-type pitcher, Wang has already recorded 13 strikeouts this season, including a complete game against the Red Sox.

Veteran Andy Pettite leads the team with the lowest ERA at 3.38. Pettite is 2-1 on the season, with nine strikeouts to his credit.

The problems of the pitching staff this season have come at the hands of the veteran Mike Mussina and the youthful Phil Hughes.

Mussina has been very inconsistent in four starts this year, with a record of 1-3, and a 5.75 ERA. Just last night, Mussina gave up two home runs to Yankee-killer Manny Ramirez, laying out strikes over the plate that even a tee-ball hitter could locate.

Meanwhile, Hughes is 0-2 on the year, with a 9.00 ERA through in 11 innings pitched. If Hughes and Mussina continue to struggle, the Yankees may be forced to pull Joba Chamberlain out of the bullpen and into the rotation.

Closer Mariano Rivera has already returned to his dominance, totaling five saves in five opportunities.

In terms of hitting, the Yankees are warming up their bats each week. After a slow start, Hideki Matsui, Alex Rodriguez, Bobby Abreu and Derek Jeter seem to all be hitting their stride.

A-Rod already has four home runs on the season, with a slugging percentage of .574. Abreu leads the team with 10 RBI, while Matsui leads the Yanks with a batting average of .321.

However, as the season starts to progress, they will need some output from stars like Robinson Cano, Jason Giambi and Johnny Damon, who are all batting under .205.

So after going 2-3 in a five-game set with the rival Red Sox (10-7), the Yankees can rest easy knowing that the two won't face each other again until July.

For now, the Yanks need to concern themselves with putting together some quality wins and putting some separation between themselves and the Orioles (9-7) and Blue Jays (8-8).

Tonight, the Yankees travel to Baltimore for a three-game series with the Orioles. Phil Hughes will get a chance to lower his ERA, as he is opposed by the decision-less Daniel Cabrera.

In 2007, the Yankees went 4-1 against Cabrera, posting a 6.67 ERA against him. Game time is set for 7:05 ET.