When Michael Pineda‘s shoulder was deemed 100 percent healthy in Spring Training, the Yankees had visions of him making 30 plus starts for them this year – finally returning to the All-Star stature that opened eyes in Seattle.
Instead, they’ve been forced to be patient with him again, as a suspension and subsequent injury sidelined him for about three months. However, when he has pitched, Pineda’s been impressive – and he’ll look to continue an impressive streak tonight against the Royals.
According to @ESPNStatsInfo, the 25 year old will try to become just the second pitcher in franchise history to allow two or fewer runs in each of his first seven starts of the year. The other pitcher to accomplish this? You guessed it – Hideki Irabu back in 1998.
That year, Irabu pitched to a 1.13 ERA over his first seven starts, allowing just six runs in 47.2 IP. The streak was broken on his eighth start, when he gave up three runs to the Boston Red Sox. Irabu ended up going 13-9 with a 4.06 ERA that year, which resulted in a Yankees World Series title.
Pineda has allowed seven runs in 30.2 IP – his season ERA sitting at 2.05. With each start since coming off the DL, his pitch count has been raised. With a tired bullpen, manager Joe Girardi hopes “Big Mike” can go deep into tonight’s game. The Yankees hope it results in a win and the team’s fifth straight W.