Interleague is Child’s Play for Yanks in 2012
Added by Elizabeth DiPietro on June 21, 2012.
CC Sabathia and the rest of the Yankees pitching staff have dominated interleague play in 2012.
It’s generally understood that the American League is well-known for power hitting, while the National League yields consistent pitching.
The Yankees have posted a 168-109 record in interleague play since its advent in 1997, the best in the majors. In fact, the top five teams in interleague play all hail from the American League. And, anyone who listens to Yankee sportscasters knows that the Yankees have won one lone game without the help of the almighty home run.
Do these facts imply that good hitting inherently beats good pitching? Not necessarily. Over the course of interleague play, the Yankees have appeared to adopt the pitching practices of their National League counterparts.
With the exception of the Phil Hughes clunker against the Braves Wednesday afternoon, Yankee pitchers have held their opponents to four runs or less in every game since June 8, a span of twelve games in which the Yanks went 10-2 and enjoyed a ten-game winning streak. The streak was comprised of three-game sweeps of the Mets, Braves, and Nationals, as well as the first game of their home series against the Braves.
The most notable pitching performance came from ace CC Sabathia on June 18, although backup catcher Chris Stewart alluded to the consistent pitching by stating, “There’s really no ace right now. There’s five aces.” Sabathia and Stewart worked together for a complete game, allowing only two runs. Yankee starters went at least six innings in every game during the winning streak, alleviating stress on the bullpen, which has also been phenomenal.
The pitching invariably outshined the hitting during the Yankees’ ten spot. Despite their 17 home runs, Yankee batters hit .257 during the streak, which is pretty much in tune with their .261 team batting average for the season. Their batting average with runners in scoring position bettered slightly, but they are still hitting only .218 in those situations. Manager Joe Girardi seems decidedly unconcerned about the issue, continually feeding reporters explanations like, “It’s a part of baseball” and “We have good faith that it’s going to work itself out.”
The Yankee hot streak has cooled considerably this week, with consecutive losses to the Atlanta Braves. They’re hoping to regain some of their interleague magic against the Mets this weekend at Citi Field.
And speaking of outstanding pitching, everyone is gearing up for Sunday’s marquee matchup, Sabathia versus R.A. Dickey.