The Yankees got off to a good start this year despite the fact that a number of their key hitters – Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, and Derek Jeter to name a few – were not hitting well. This was primarily because of Yankee pitching and starting pitching in particular. CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Andy Pettitte, and Phil Hughes all got off to phenomenal starts.
Much like Teixeira’s slump didn’t last though, these pitcher’s great runs were not going to continue forever, and we’ve seen that the past few days with Hughes, Burnett, and then Pettitte last night. Sabathia still pitched well, but he is the one guy with a track record of sustained dominance. Don’t get me wrong: Burnett and Pettitte are both good pitchers and I think Hughes will be great. But they are not going to dominate every time out like they did for the first few weeks.
Unfortunately for the Yankees, all 3 pitchers began to come back down to earth at the same time and, in part thanks to all the injuries, the offense hasn’t been enough to get them by.
The good news is, of course, that the Yankee starters should bounce back and right the ship again; such is the ebb and flow of the long baseball season. And speaking of bouncing back: Javier Vazquez pitched about as poorly as he could his few first starts and, in theory, the Yankees should be due to benefit from him also “balancing out,” because in Javy’s case, that means pitching better.