The Yankees entered the postseason with a slim pitching staff, and it cost them dearly in the end.
New York relied heavily on its bullpen throughout the American League Championship Series, especially in Game 6 of the best-of-seven set against the Houston Astros. The Bronx Bombers called a total of seven men to the mound Saturday night, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Yanks alive.
Allow Zack Britton to explain what happened.
“I think everyone was running on fumes there at the end,” the Yankees’ reliever said, per The Athletic’s Marc Carig.
The Yankees’ pitching staff has been rather thin lately after losing key arms like CC Sabathia (shoulder) and Domingo Germán (who’s currently the subject of a domestic violence investigation) in the latter half of the regular season and most of the postseason. This left New York with just three starters — Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino (who made his season debut in September) and James Paxton — to rely on in the playoffs, resulting in a disappointing conclusion to what was a promising season.
But with five months until the start of the 2020 season, there’s plenty of time to regroup.
“Obviously, we can get a little bit deeper on the pitching side, kind of like (the Astros),” Britton said. “I feel like offensively, we’re right there when we get healthy. I don’t feel like that the gap is that far. You saw it in this series. We were in every single game. I feel like we’re right there.”
But one thing’s for sure, at least in Britton’s mind: “I still think starting pitching is what’s going to get you a World Series championship at the end of the day.”
You can say that again.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images