The New York Yankees are hanging in contention as the Major League Baseball calendar is set to reach mid-August. Their young and talented team is alive in the American League East and in the Wild Card race. Their recently restocked pitching staff, including a fortified bullpen, is part of what's keeping them afloat.
The Yankees dropped a bit in the standings over the last seven days, going 2-4 in six tough games, but their relief pitching stayed solid and earned New York another honor as "MLB Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford."
As part of the MLB Prevailing Moments program, each Monday throughout the 2017 season, MLB.com is honoring the "Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford." An industry-wide panel of MLB experts, including legendary stats guru Bill James, constructed a metric based on James' widely renowned game-score formula, to provide a weekly measurement of team-bullpen performance.
Here's how the Bullpen Rating System is compiled for each week. For reference, a weekly score of 100 is considered outstanding:
• Add 1.5 points for each out recorded
• Add 1.5 points for each strikeout
• Add 5 points for a save
• Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed
• Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed
• Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed
• Subtract 1 point for each walk
• Subtract 5 points for a blown save
The Yankees bullpen scored a rating of 99 points by allowing four earned runs and 15 hits in 21 2/3 innings of work. Relievers struck out 27 batters against three walks, and they earned two saves.
Setup man Dellin Betances continued his stellar work with three scoreless innings over two games, striking out six and walking only one. David Robertson, the right-hander who returned to the Yankees via a Deadline deal after pitching for the White Sox for the last two seasons, was effective, too, contributing three shutout frames over two games while striking out four. And Adam Warren also shined in two games, giving up only a walk in three innings while striking out one.
The unexpected: Veteran left-hander Jaime Garcia, the recent addition to New York's starting rotation via Atlanta and Minnesota, was brought on to stabilize the Yankees' pitching staff and give the team innings down the stretch. But in his debut in pinstripes on Friday, he lasted only 4 2/3 innings, giving up six runs (five earned) on five hits and four walks.
How they prevailed:Chad Green stepped in for Garcia and righted the ship with brilliant work over 2 1/3 innings. Green gave up only one hit and struck out five batters while not issuing a walk. The Yankees ended up not being able to climb out of the hole that Garcia had dug, but Green's excellence scored a lot of points for the week for the New York bullpen.
The Yankees relievers combined to finish ahead of the second-place Cardinals, who compiled a 91.5 rating for the week. Third place belonged to the Brewers, who had a rating of 87.5.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.