For one day at least, the battered Yankees bullpen got the job done.
Can they be relied upon to do it day in and day out? Who knows?
But it all worked out on Saturday.
David Robertson, forced into action when Bartolo Colon left the game with a left hamstring injury, came in and shut the door on the Indians, tossing 1 1/3 shutout innings.
New York Yankees
Boone Logan, the Yankees’ much-maligned left-handed specialist, followed with a perfect ninth to close out the Yankees’ 4-0 win on Saturday.
All eyes will be on the Yankees’ bullpen for the foreseeable future as the team deals with the season-long loss of Joba Chamberlain.
An MRI revealed Chamberlain damaged a ligament in his elbow earlier this week. He will have season-ending Tommy John surgery to repair the injury later this week. The bullpen is also without Rafael Soriano (elbow) for an indefinite amount of time. Left-handed specialist Pedro Feliciano (shoulder) recently began playing catch with the hope of returning at some point in 2011.
New York Yankees
Chamberlain had been throwing well (2-0, 2.83 ERA, 24 Ks) before going down. Robertson, who has creating some All-Star buzz with his stellar numbers (1.44 ERA, 42K/25 IP), will step into the eighth inning role.
A combination of Logan, Luis Ayala, Lance Pendelton, Jeff Marquez and Kevin Whelan – for now – will be forced to take on the rest of the bullpen responsibilities. There’s little doubt that Brian Cashman will look to land a reliever through the trade market to bolster the ‘pen.
So it was an encouraging sign for the Yankee hierarchy that both Robertson and Logan shut the door on Cleveland Saturday.
Robertson ran into some trouble. He allowed back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. After striking out Michael Brantley, he allowed the runner on second to advance on a balk. But he got Asdrubal Cabrera to go down looking and Grady Sizemore swinging to end the inning.
“I had to fight through it,” Robertson said.
Logan had given up a hit to six of the past 14 hitters he’d faced entering Saturday. He said something clicked with his slider in his last outing. He was able to “get on top” of the ball during his delivery, allowing one hit and striking out three in 1 2/3 innings.
He repeated the delivery on Saturday, sandwiching a strikeout between a fly out and pop out to end the game.
“My confidence came back,” he said.