Despite losing setup man Zack Britton to elbow surgery in spring training, the New York Yankees bullpen has been dominant through the first 10 games of the regular season.
Entering play on Tuesday, the 'pen has combined to post a 1.61 ERA over 44.2 innings, striking out 59 batters. Opposing hitters have mustered up a .151 batting average with two home runs and nine walks to start the year.
Capping off those impressive numbers, Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman struck out two batters in the ninth inning of a 3-1 win over the Blue Jays on Monday night, picking up his first save of the season.
Chapman, who unveiled his new split-changeup at the end of last season, recorded another strikeout with this nasty pitch in his latest outing. Opposing batters have gone 0-for-5 with five strikeouts against Chapman’s newest weapon and overall, the left-hander has struck out 11 batters in the four innings he's pitched thus far in 2021.
While Britton continues to rehab from elbow surgery, the Yankees did get left-hander Justin Wilson back from the 10-day injured list last week. Wilson has tossed two scoreless innings since his return.
Darren O’Day has also been strong so far for New York, constantly fooling hitters with his sidearm motion. In five appearances, O’Day has yet to give up a run, striking out three and allowing three total hits.
Hard-throwing youngster Jonathan Loaisiga has struck out the side in two out of his four appearances and has also not given up a run this season, as well. Loaisiga has eight strikeouts and a 0.50 WHIP in six innings. Right-hander Luis Cessa has nearly replicated this production, throwing 4.2 scoreless frames while striking out eight hitters.
As for setup man Chad Green, he’s just another Yankee who has put up zeroes to start the year. In 7.2 innings pitched, Green has struck out six batters and recorded a save without allowing a run.
Once Britton returns from the 60-day injured list, New York will add another lockdown arm for Yankees manager Aaron Boone to unleash late in games.
Past Gerrit Cole, the Yankees starting rotation has been a bit shaky after rough outings from Corey Kluber and Domingo Germán. The club will need to continue to lean on their bullpen, which has proved to be reliable thus far.
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