One constant for the New York Yankees over the past month, since they turned up the heat and catapulted their way to the top of the AL East with a record of 24-7 over their last 31 games, has been their starting pitching.
Yes, the same starting pitching that was much maligned the first month and a half of the year, as the Bronx Bombers got off to a sluggish 21-21 start. Alas, the reason for the Yankees success in the rotation had to be credited to the steady pace of CC Sabathia and the heroic return of Andy Pettitte.
Well, it appears that the Yankees will be without either for quite awhile. First, Sabathia will hit the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle in his left leg. Rather than risk Sabathia injuring it further, with the All Star break coming up the Yankees decided to DL him, so he could return healthy when the second half begins.
Sabathia, who was 9-3 this year, apparently felt the discomfort in his leg during the Mets game on Sunday.
However, during the Yankees game against the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday, Andy Pettitte took a comebacker off his foot, and had to be removed from the game in the fifth. As it turns out, Pettitte will miss the next six weeks, and will be on crutches and placed in a walking boot.
For Pettitte this is a huge blow. He had a terrific comeback from retirement, pitching to a 3-3 record and a 3.22 ERA. If he misses the next six weeks, the earliest Pettitte could pitch again for the Yankees is mid-August.
The Yankees, who were not in desperate need of a starting pitcher before this news, will be looking heavily to deal for starter, especially with the idea that Freddy Garcia will be back in the rotation, with Phil Hughes, and Ivan Nova.
In short a great start could get very ugly for the Yankees, especially in the very competitive AL East.