Entering the season, the Yankees' bullpen looked like it had the potential to be the most dominant in the Major Leagues. New York's relievers certainly lived up to their reputation this week.The Bronx Bombers' 5-2 week, which saw them take a half-game lead over the Red Sox at the top
Entering the season, the Yankees' bullpen looked like it had the potential to be the most dominant in the Major Leagues. New York's relievers certainly lived up to their reputation this week.
The Bronx Bombers' 5-2 week, which saw them take a half-game lead over the Red Sox at the top of the American League East, was spearheaded by their bullpen. Yankees relievers had a perfect 0.00 ERA this week, allowing only two unearned runs in 19 1/3 innings pitched, and they racked up 25 strikeouts -- that's 11.6 K's per nine innings. That performance earned the Yankees MLB Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford honors for the period of June 4-10.
As part of The Hartford Prevailing Moments program, each Monday throughout the 2018 season, MLB.com is honoring the MLB Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford. An industry-wide panel of MLB experts, including legendary stats guru Bill James, constructed a metric based on James' widely renowned game-score formula, to provide a weekly measurement of team-bullpen performance.
Here's how the Bullpen Rating System is compiled for each week. For reference, a weekly score of 100 is considered outstanding:
• Add 1.5 points for each out recorded
• Add 1.5 points for each strikeout
• Add 5 points for a save
• Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed
• Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed
• Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed
• Subtract 1 point for each walk
• Subtract 5 points for a blown save
This week, the Yankees led all 30 teams with a score of 116.5. That was enough to edge out the second-place Giants, who had a score of 113.5. The Marlins finished in third place with a score of 95.
Unsurprisingly, New York's sterling relief effort heavily featured closer Albertin Chapman, who saved four of the five wins during the week and, of course, lit up the radar gun with his usual triple-digit heat. Three of the Yankees' five winning pitchers this week were also relievers -- Player Page for David Robertson picked up wins against the Blue Jays and Mets on Wednesday and Saturday, respectively, while Chad Green earned the win against the Mets on Friday.
The unexpected: The Yankees' calling card is their juggernaut offense. But on Wednesday in Toronto, the Blue Jays silenced one of the most fearsome lineups in baseball for 12 innings. So even after Sonny Gray turned in his best start of the year -- eight shutout innings -- the New York bullpen was called upon to keep the game scoreless for as long as it might take the Bombers' bats to awaken. A single mistake pitch could've made the difference.
How they prevailed: The Yankees turned to their Big Four relievers -- Green, Dellin Betances, Robertson and Chapman -- and all four stepped up. Green, New York's multi-inning workhorse, entered in the ninth and turned in two scoreless frames with a pair of strikeouts. Betances then pitched a scoreless 11th, and Robertson a scoreless 12th, collecting two K's apiece. Finally, in the top of the 13th, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton crushed home runs to give the Yankees the lead. And then on came Chapman to shut the door.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.