As Paul has noted below, 6.8 percent of the season is in the bank, and the Yanks are at .500, just as they were last year after 12 games. This year’s squad has arrived at that record in far different fashion, however. Take a peek:
Runs scored: 74
Runs allowed: 55
Runs scored: 38
Runs allowed: 44
Thanks to Alex Rodriguez’s monster start, the 07 Yanks began last season on an offensive tear. This year Alex has been merely very good, and with injuries and various underperformances, the offense has struggled at barely a 3-run-per-game clip. The Yanks have a negative 6-run scoring differential, which makes it all the more impressive that they’re at .500. For that, credit goes to the pitching, which has been terrific, both from the starters and the relief corps. Throw out the one 13-run debacle and they’re keeping opponents to just about 3 runs per game. (Hence that .500 record.) Neither of these averages, runs allowed or runs scored, is likely to continue, but the signs have to be encouraging, as the offense is surely going to do better down the road. (Right???)
Thus far, we have to give Joe G. a good deal of credit for some fairly progressive thinking in terms of lineups and strategy, and for keeping the team on an even keel despite injuries and some difficult moments (sending down Shelley Duncan could not have been fun.) Dave Eiland’s emphasis on pitching inside appears to have had some impact, at least based on the small sample we’ve seen.
Yanks haven’t seen to many easy pitchers thus far, and they won’t tonight when they face Dice-K. Looks to me like the quality of pitching is improved this year, in general. We’ll see.
PS: Ken Singleton and David Cone alone together in the booth is a winning battery.