At the end of the season last year, Phil Hughes was a lights-out set up man for Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte was dominating in the post season.
This is why it should come as no surprise why they are a combined 9-0 with a microscopic ERA of 1.73 heading into Saturday.
But many wondered how much longer can Pettitte be effective? Which Phil Hughes will show up? Any doubts of either pitcher's ability coming into 2010 have been answered.
What is remarkable about these two is that they are respectably the 3rd and 5th starters in the Yankees deep rotation, and they are the most consistent of the entire lot.
Sure, the top two guys, A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia have had their great games this season, I mean CC took a no hitter into the 8th at Tampa.
But they have not had their "A" game out there all the time. CC gave up a five run lead in Boston on Opening Night, and surrendered six runs to the Tigers on Thursday, en route to a 6-0 shutout by Detroit. A.J. pitched OK in his first start of the season in Boston, but his following start in Fenway last Sunday was a complete disaster for the Yanks.
I won't even mention Javy Vazquez, because his inconsistency you probably all ready know about.
So it hasn't been the top two guys that have carried this rotation thus far, it's the oldest and youngest (also the least paid) members of the rotation that have been the the stoppers for the Yankees this year.
Granted, Pettitte missed a start last week, but he could have pitched, the Yanks played it smart in resting him. I'd rather have a fresh and well rested Andy for the post season, rather than a tired and beleaguered Andy, wouldn't you?
Will Pettitte continue to defy Father Time? Will the young Phil Hughes continue his Cy Young caliber performance? Who knows? But up to this point they have given us no reason to think otherwise.
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