NEW YORK — For the Yankees, August has been a month of unsung heroes.
With an increase in playing time Tyler Wade and Andrew Velazquez have been producing on both sides of the ball while pitchers like Nestor Cortes, Luis Gil and Albert Abreu continue to shine in expanded roles.
Reliever Wandy Peralta is another name that deserves recognition, coming back from the COVID-19 injured list and dominating out of the bullpen.
After 1.2 spotless innings against the Twins on Thursday night, Peralta extended his scoreless innings streak to 10.1 frames.
In other words, through eight appearances in the month of August, Peralta has struck out eight batters, allowed eight hits and hasn't allowed a single earned run to score. His ERA on the season has gone down from 5.26 (on July 8) to 3.75 (entering play on Friday night).
"He's been terrific," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Thursday. "He's been out there in a lot of big spots."
When the Yankees acquired Peralta from the San Francisco Giants in April—in the Mike Tauchman trade—New York had high hopes for the southpaw. Bullpen coach Mike Harkey said at the time that the left-hander was going to be a "great addition to our bullpen," but it's safe to assume this club didn't envision Peralta closing out ballgames as a high-leverage reliever this late in the season.
With Darren O'Day out for the year, Aroldis Chapman recently on the injured list and several key arms working through heavy workloads, Peralta has been pitching late in games this month, even nailing down his first save in a Yankees uniform during an extra-innings thriller in Kansas City last week. That was his first of two saves this month.
"We were excited when we got him," Boone added. "We felt like we were seeing these flashes when we got him in the first half of the season and now he's done a good job of really stringing the consistency part of it together and he's been huge for us."
Peralta's presence in the 'pen, if he continues to produce in big spots, can be crucial for Boone and this coaching staff down the stretch. Mix him with Jonathan Loaisiga, Chad Green, Zack Britton, Chapman, Lucas Luetge and more, and New York has one of the best bullpens in the American League.
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