Dave Allen has a short writeup about the Yankees’ bullpen over at Fangraphs. In it, he recognizes the significant contribution by the bullpen, as the Yankees have built a 6 1/2 game lead in the AL East. The Yankees have had one of the better bullpens in baseball, especially recently. Allen points out the extra-inning affairs against the Red Sox, noting how well the ‘pen did in high leverage situations as evidence of the group’s effectiveness.
Over the last 30 days, the Yankee bullpen’s ERA of 3.83 is higher than the Red Sox’s 3.53. However, the Sox have been helped by a good defensive club (J.D. Drew, Pedroia, Youkilis, Kotchman, etc.), as their FIP of 4.36 is considerably higher than their ERA. The Yankees actually have a 3.50 FIP during that span, meaning that their defense could have done a bit more to help the team’s relievers (there’s not a huge disparity between the ERA and FIP, though). The Yankee bullpen also has a 9.62 K/9 while Boston’s K/9 is 8.04. Plus, our relievers are walking fewer batters—2.78 BB/9—when compared to the BoSox relief corps (4.08 BB/9). Much of this success can be attributed to Phil Hughes and the emerging David Robertson. Joe Girardi deserves our kudos as well for mixing and matching accordingly.