As the Yankees turn into the final 2 weeks of the season some disturbing trends are starting to emerge.
The division leading and assumed division winners is not as secure as many of the home town fans would have thought.
One of the presumed stengths of the team-was the pitching, which when the Yankees opened the purse strings last winter for C.C. Sabathia, and A.J. Burnett, we all thought it was almost a guarantee of a strong, stable rotation.
One of the two [C.C.] has lived up to the billing, not spectacular, but with a 17-7 won-loss record and 3.42 era, C.C. has been solid. A.J. Burnett on the other hand has been unpredictable pitching to an 11-9 won-loss record and 4.33 era.
A.J. seems to lose focus in his starts and can be cruising along when suddenly he loses the plate and his command, or serves up a few too many fat pitches, that most hitters don't miss. He has also apparently had communication issues with Jorge Posada.
Now Andy Pettitte has a sore shoulder and is missing a start, Andy has been pitching well in stark contrast to how he ended last year. His numbers 13-6, and 4.14 era. He has been more secure of late than A.J. Burnett who seems very adept at making and slamming pies on people better than he is able to pitch an effective game and get a win.
Luckily Aceves has stepped it up as the mid inning man has been very successful, thank you very much, in part to the numerous Yankees offensive explosions. His 10-1 record and 3.72 era are remarkable as a reliever.
The rest of the bullpen- Bruney, Hughes, Coke, Albaladejo, Marte and of course Mariano has been able to keep and protect many of the games especially when starters like Joba, Mitre and Gaudin can't get out of the 4th or 5th inning many times.
The losses of Wang and recently Robertson have certainly not helped the pitching prowess the Yankees were supposed to command, and now as we head into the final games with a tenous 6 1/2 game lead over the Bosox, don't crack the champagne just yet.
If the starting rotation cannot be solved in the coming days, the post season is in serious jeopardy with only C.C. as the main reliable starting pitcher, unless A.J. can do what he hasn't been able to do in the last few months-become a consistent quality starter, and if Andy can't get over a tired aching shoulder, the Yankees may again be watching other teams in the post season. Who woulda thunk it?