clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Can This Formula Be Successful?

In recaps around the internet (NYTimes, LoHud, here), writers referred to "the formula" of yesterday's game, and how this is the blueprint the front office hopes will carry the Yankees through the season: 6 innings from the starter, Joba-Soriano-Mo.

In many ways it is a plan of necessity- until the trade market begins to take shape in June, Brian Cashman gains nothing by spending his big trade chips on a starter.  And while the addition of a starter figures to be an area of need, until the Yankees start trudging through the season and see who gets hurt or who underperforms, it's hard to gauge who the Yanks need to be interested in.

A quick scan through Baseball Reference's Play Index confirms: since 1961, of 79 teams with 2 pitchers who made 30+ starts, of which half or fewer were Quality Starts, only 10 made the playoffs. But those 10 include both ends of the 2008 matchup between the Phillies and Rays, the 2004 Red Sox and the 1996 Yankees.

Winning the division is a long slog of beating the teams you're supposed to beat, while winning the playoffs is a mad dash fueled by the performance of a few superstars and a couple lucky contributors.

The Yankees' chances are as good (and as bad) as anyone's right now, but whenever Ivan Nova pitches the way he did last night, it gives me a little more hope.