WARNING: Standard SSS-qualifiers for an April stats post apply…
Yesterday we discussed the Lords of Discipline also known as the Yankee line-up. Today we turn to the Yankees' core four.
No, not the much-discussed four elder statesmen from the last Yankees dynasty, but the 4 starting pitchers – CC, AJ, Andy, and Phil - who have gotten off to such a hot start that they've propelled the team to five consecutive series-wins to start the season, tying the franchise record set by the 1926 Yankees despite the mediocre-to-poor performance of their fifth starter Javy Vazquez.
Despite the reputations of two of them – CC and Andy – as relatively slow starters and despite having faced some of the most feared offenses in the AL in these first five series (Boston, Tampa Bay, LAA, Texas, and Oakland), the Yankee team pitching staff is tied with Minnesota for fewest runs allowed (48) in the league and their starting staff is second behind only Tampa Bay for fewest runs allowed (29). (Incidentally Boston is tied with Pittsburgh for dead-last in the entire league for runs-allowed-by-starters – which I find both shocking and testament to just how much we can all expect them to rebound in the coming weeks and months given the talent of their front-three alone).
But back to the Yanks. Below are the collective stats for CC, AJ, Andy, and Phil:
In 11 games they are 8-0 with an ERA of 2.20 and a WHIP of 1.055. They've hurled 70.1 IP – or an average start of more than 6.1 IP/G and have a K:BB ratio well over 2:1.
Ups and downs in a season are inevitable – and right now virtually every aspect of the Yankee team is up (Javy and Teixeira aside). I can't remember the last time a Yankee starting rotation and line-up came out of the gate so quickly, including 1998, and – without having run the numbers – I wouldn't be surprised if no earlier version of the Yankees ever has.