New York Yankees: The unexpected Chase Whitley

Two rivals, one winner and it wasn’t the New York Yankees in their series against the Boston Red Sox last weekend.

Sunday night’s three and a half hour long game ended in a tough, 8-5, loss for the Yankees. The Yanks were good, but the Red Sox simply played better. Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran both slugged homers in the fourth against Red Sox John Lackey, while Red Sox David Ortiz hit a three run homer in the third, notching his 19th home run of the season.

Chase Whitley was on the stage Sunday night and while he didn’t gain a win, he was still fighting through a little more than four innings. Luck just wasn’t on his side, and unfortunately he pitched a fastball right down the middle to gain David Ortiz’s 450th home run. Bummer for Whitley, congrats to Ortiz.

“It’s one of those pitches where you let it go and you watch it just play out …  I wanted it to go obviously not there,” Whitley commented after the game. “He made me pay for that. I’ll remember that for next time.”

Good, I hope he does remember that for next time. I hope there is a next time for Whitley to start against the Red Sox. I know he’s just filling in until the three starters (Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, and CC Sabathia) are back or unless there’s a trade for a starting pitcher, but during his nine starts in his first MLB career, Whitley has been a pleasant surprise.

We can’t expect too much from Whitley, he played as a relief pitcher in the minors until May when he stepped up as part of the rotation after the three starters were unable to play. Sunday was only his second straight loss (3-2), he gave up five runs and eight hits in four-plus innings, increasing his ERA from 2.56 to 4.70.

According to the numbers, during his past two consecutive losses, he’s given up 13 earned runs combined. But before that he gave up 11 runs in his first seven starts. The recent numbers look bad, and are a bit alarming, as if he just did a 180 in his performance during the past 2 games. Let’s be real though, we all make mistakes and part of improving performance is learning from past mistakes.

He’s a rookie who wasn’t expecting this, no one really was but he’s embraced it. He was a nobody who has become somebody (at least in the Yankee fans’ world) in a month and a half.

New York Yankees starting pitcher

If I were a Yankees manager, I would work with him and keep him as a starter. He’s shown the potential, now I just think he needs to not be viewed as a fill in and more as a permanent asset as a starter. Maybe take out Vidal Nuno first once the injured starters come back or when and if GM Brian Cashman acquires a starting pitcher in the trade.

As they say, expect the unexpected.