Yankees Surging After Slow Start

The New York Yankees did not start the season well. They lost their first three series, and stumbled out of the gate. Seeds of doubt clouded the team before the season started, and they only grew as the Bombers struggled. The pitching was shaky, the offense inconsistent. But now? The Yankees are surging.

The Pinstripes have won six of their last seven games, including a sweep of the Rays and an impressive 3-1 away series against the Detroit Tigers.

The Yankees have scored over five runs in six of their last eight games. They haven’t allowed over five runs in their last seven games. The bullpen has been brilliant; Dellin Betances has a third of the teams overall wins, and Andrew Miller has looked comfortable as closer.

The Yankees season so far has been characterized by pleasant surprises. In particular, a trio of hitters– Alex Rodriguez, Stephen Drew, and Chris Young– has been very impressive. All three of them have four home runs, and at least 8 RBI’s. Young is the only Yankee hitting over .300. He also leads the team in on base percentage, slugging percentage, and on base plus slugging. Through 85 games a season ago, Drew only hit 7 home runs. He has four after 14 games. A-R0d, who has been scrutinized for the past several years because of his use of Performance Enhancing Drugs, has been a feel-good story. Despite racking up 17 strikeouts, he’s showing great offensive production for someone of his age. He leads the team in walks and is among the leaders in homers and runs batted in. Mark Teixeira has also been solid– half of his 10 hits have been Home runs, and he leads the team in HR and RBI, and is second in walks.

The pitching has also improved since the start of the season. The two-headed bullpen monster of Betances and Miller has been unstoppable. As previously mentioned, Betances has three of the teams nine wins, good for 1/3. Miller has 6 saves, which means he’s locked down 2/3 of the teams wins. Neither has allowed an earned run.

In terms of starters, Nathan Eovaldi has been a pleasant surprise in his first season in the Big Apple, showing great compusre in the middle of the rotation. At the top Masahiro Tanaka seems to have bounced back well from his injury– he already has 24 strikeouts and a nasty 0.94 WHIP.

The encouraging thing about the Yankees is that some of their top players have yet to show up. Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia have been average at best in the rotation. Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran have combined for one home run. Brett Gardner is yet to kick it into high gear offensively. And the defense has committed 14 errors, good for 7th worst in the league. While it may be difficult for guys like Young, Drew, Rodriguez, and Eovaldi to keep up with their hot starts, the Yankees still look like they have postseason potential. Yes, they started slowly, but professional sports most decorated franchise looks better than expected.

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