The New York Yankees have a young, exciting core of position players, and they are proving that they are serious contenders in the American League East and in the Wild Card race. Their beefed-up bullpen is just part of the success.The Yankees faced a tough task over the past seven
The New York Yankees have a young, exciting core of position players, and they are proving that they are serious contenders in the American League East and in the Wild Card race. Their beefed-up bullpen is just part of the success.
The Yankees faced a tough task over the past seven days, playing road games every day against teams they're up against for berths in October in the Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners. But they went 4-3 on that challenging swing, and one of the main reasons was stellar relief pitching that earned New York the honor of "Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford."
As part of the MLB Prevailing Moments program, each Monday throughout the 2017 season, MLB.com is honoring the "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.
:: Bullpen of the Week winners ::
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
The Yankees' bullpen scored a rating of 112 points by allowing five earned runs and 17 hits in 24 2/3 innings of work. Relievers struck out 34 batters against six walks, and they earned two saves.
Standout performers for the week included setup man Dellin Betances, who appeared in four of the team's seven games, logging four scoreless innings in total and striking out six and walking one.
New acquisition Player Page for David Robertson, who came back to the Yankees in a trade with the White Sox, chipped in big-time during the week, as did Tommy Kahnle, the other bullpen arm the Yankees acquired with third baseman Todd Frazier for prospects. Robertson pitched in three games and gave up only one run while striking out five. Kahnle was perfect in three innings over three games, striking out six.
The unexpected: Twice during the week the Yankees' starter didn't get out of the third inning. The first time was Tuesday, when Luis Cessa gave up three runs on four hits in 3 2/3 innings against the Twins, and the second time came Sunday afternoon in Seattle against the Mariners, when Caleb Smith also lasted only 3 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits.
How they prevailed: Thanks to a complete team effort by the bullpen, the Yankees won both games. On Tuesday, Chasen Shreve, Adam Warren, Betances and closer Albertin Chapman combined for 5 1/3 shutout innings and enabled New York to rally for a 6-3 victory. On Sunday, Chad Green, Betances, Robertson and Chapman did the same and the Yankees pulled out a 6-4 win.
The Yankees relievers combined to finish well ahead the second-place Angels, who compiled a 76 rating for the week. Third place belonged to the Red Sox, who had a rating of 75.5.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.