The Yankees back end of the rotation has been nothing short of disappointing. Phil Hughes has lost his control, and many of his pitches are finding the fat part of the plate, and Freddy Garcia is lucky to make it past the fourth inning. Ivan Nova still has his streak of winning fifteen straight decisions, but he has not been impressive in recent starts.
The Yankee starters are prone to the home run ball this season, surrendering 20 home runs already in 20 games. Hiroki Kuroda leads Yankee starters with a 4.38 ERA, while Garcia sits at the bottom with a 12.51 ERA.
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The Yankees are counting on Andy Pettitte to return to the Yankee's staff in mid May, but he is struggling down in AA. According to manager Joe Girardi, Pettitte is having command troubles, and many of his pitches seem to be finding the middle of the plate, sounds familiar.
If the Yankees are to make a run this season deep into the playoffs, their pitching staff is going to need to find a way to shut down their opponents. Lately it seems like the runs are coming early, in the first three innings, and then the pitchers settle down. The Yankee's starters put the offense in a hole early, and it's a constant battle from behind. In a division with the Red Sox and Rays, and even the Blue Jays, the Yankees will have to find a way to shut down these big lineups. If it comes down to a slug fest every night, and the pressure is always put on the offense, the Yankees will not find themselves playing in October.