Yankees' rotation takes turn toward success

May 20th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Bryan Hoch’s Yankees Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

The Yankees have been firing on all cylinders this past week, playing their best baseball of the season thus far to claim the American League’s top record at 33-15, and the excellence of their starting pitching has been a consistent theme.

With the Bombers’ weekend sweep of the White Sox highlighted by 's 14-strikeout performance on Saturday, eclipsing Orlando “El Duque” Hernández’s club mark for single-game strikeouts by a rookie pitcher, Yankees starters posted a 0.80 ERA over their seven-game winning streak -- just four earned runs across 45 innings.

“It’s great,” Juan Soto said. “It’s really cool to see those guys grinding out there every day and doing what we’re doing. Those guys are the reason why we’re in first place. They’ve been commanding the team in the right way, they’ve been helping the team when the offense is off.

“They’ve been great, day in and day out. I think they’re a huge part of it.”

Here’s a look at the starting pitching that has fueled this seven-game run, which the Yankees hope to keep rolling as opens a four-game set with the Mariners at The Stadium on Monday evening:

May 12: Gil in 10-6 win at Rays -- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K's
May 14: in 5-1 win at Twins -- 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K's, 1 HR
May 15: Stroman in 4-0 win at Twins -- 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K's
May 16: in 5-0 win at Twins -- 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K's
May 17: in 4-2 win vs. White Sox -- 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 6 K's
May 18: Gil in 6-1 win vs. White Sox -- 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 14 K's
May 19: Rodón in 7-2 win vs. White Sox -- 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K's, 1 HR

It marks just the third time in franchise history that Yankees starters have tossed at least six innings across seven starts, while permitting just five runs total (also May 6-16, 1932, and Aug. 23-28, 1963).

By the way, relief pitchers on the 1932 Yanks must have been lonelier than the Maytag repairman. Over that span, the ’32 rotation of George Pipgras, Red Ruffing, Lefty Gomez, and Johnny Allen didn’t ask for a single out from their bullpen.

At least the ’63 crew of Jim Bouton, Whitey Ford, Al Downing, Stan Williams and Ralph Terry let reliever Steve Hamilton throw two-thirds of an inning during their streak. Of course, that happened after Williams surrendered a go-ahead run in the 12th inning of a game against Chicago.

Alas, back to present day.

“They’re doing a good job, man,” catcher Jose Trevino said. “All of them are pumped. I think that they’re throwing the ball really well right now. They know this is a time that they feel really good, so let’s keep it going.”

Indeed, outstanding starting pitching and early run production have been a recipe for success: the Yankees have outscored their opponents, 41-12, across the win streak.

“How about Luis Gil [on Saturday]? Pretty incredible,” Rodón said. “A great start from Nestor [on Friday]. We’ve been fortunate with our pitching. Offensively, we’ve been really clicking now.

"You guys know who Aaron Judge is, and Juan Soto is. Then you see some swings coming from other guys; Trevi is swinging the bat really well. It’s a bonus to have all that going right now.”