Coming into the 2021 season, the New York Yankees starting rotation was widely discussed and dissected regarding which players would cement themselves behind the Bombers’ staff ace Gerrit Cole.
After a full turn through the rotation where no starter has allowed a single earned run over 35 total innings, those questions have largely subsided.
In turn, the Yankees have boomeranged back from a 5-10 start to build their record up to 28-19 following the team’s season-high sixth straight victory on Sunday. The team sits just a half-game out of first place in the division entering play Monday.
“We’ve got some good pitchers,” said slugger Aaron Judge following the Yankees’ three-game sweep over the division-leading White Sox. “Our pitching and defense is on top of it right now.”
Jameson Taillon, drafted second overall back in 2010 between Bryce Harper (1st) and Manny Machado (3rd), became the latest Yankees starter to dominate the opposition, allowing just two hits over five shutout innings to stifle the mighty White Sox on Sunday for their third straight loss in the Bronx.
“As the season gets going, I think my arm and body are building up and the velocity is getting a little better and the stamina is getting a little better,” Taillon told Meredith Marakovits postgame on Sunday. “I’m encouraged with it.”
Here’s how the Yankees rotation has performed in the team’s last five games:
May 19 at Texas – Corey Kluber: 9.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 9 K/1 BB
May 20 at Texas – Domingo German: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 5 K/0 BB
May 21 vs. Chicago – Jordan Montgomery: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 11 K/0 BB
May 22 vs. Chicago – Gerrit Cole: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 7 K/3 BB
May 23 vs. Chicago – Jameson Taillon: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 K/2 BB
Corey Kluber set the tone in utterly dominant fashion by throwing the 12th Yankees no-hitter in history, and the team’s first since 1999 after going the distance against the Rangers back on May 19. In the wake of that unforgettable night, Yankees starters have continued to subdue opponents and help the Bombers rack up seven straight series wins and counting.
“They’re all a little bit different, obviously,” Aaron Boone recently told reporters about his five starters and their different repertoires, “but I feel like all of them have been on the attack and really pounding the strike zone with their stuff, executing their full arsenal time and time again.”
Through 47 games, Yankees starters own the second-best collective ERA in the American League (3.31) and have thrown the second-most innings of any AL rotation (255 2/3 IP). On top of that, the Bombers starting staff also currently leads the AL in strikeouts (292) and WHIP (1.07).
“We’re each going out there and giving the team a chance to win and going deep,” said Yankees lefty Jordan Montgomery after striking out a career-high 11 batters last Friday night. “We’re just going to keep doing it, keep rolling and no one’s going to be the one to want to finish it.”
While the AL East has returned to its familiar status as the toughest division in baseball, the Bombers have played themselves right back into the thick of the race thanks to clutch hits, greatly improved defense, and, of course, outstanding pitching.
The Yankees roster will once again see its depth tested as injuries continue to pose some challenges, but with a starting staff that can consistently hold opposing teams at bay night in and night out, the Bombers will be a force to be reckoned with.