As it enjoyed its first off day on Monday since May 4, the Yankees’ bullpen was sitting pretty — with the lowest ERA in the game at 2.87.
That was thanks in part to the seven-game road trip the Yankees finished on Sunday with a record of 6-1, during which they got strong contributions from their relief corps and not just the usual cast of characters.
On a trip in which their bullpen posted a 1.34 ERA — including 14 ⅓ scoreless innings during a three-game sweep of the Reds — the Yankees got key innings from the likes of Albert Abreu, Ryan Weber and Jimmy Cordero.
The trio combined for 12 ²/₃ scoreless innings on the trip — including Cordero’s two innings as an opener for Jhony Brito — while recording two wins, five holds and a save to help share the load for a taxed bullpen.
“Credit to them,” manager Aaron Boone said Sunday. “A number of guys have stepped up in whatever role we’ve put them in. We try to put them in positions where they can be successful, but ultimately it comes down to them going out there and executing.
“Pretty much everyone down there’s been in a big spot, in a high-leverage situation. More often than not, they’ve been able to deliver.”
Ian Hamilton landed on the injured list during the trip with a groin strain, which is expected to keep him out another three weeks.
Tommy Kahnle (biceps tendinitis) is still a week away from being eligible to be activated off the IL.
And Jonathan Loaisiga, after throwing just 3 ¹/₃ innings, is out until at least August because of surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow.
Still, the Yankees entered Monday with the lowest bullpen ERA in baseball, even while being asked to split a heavy workload — their 191 relief innings were the second-most in MLB, trailing only the Rays.
During the seven-game trip, there were five save opportunities that were converted by five different relievers: Michael King, Wandy Peralta, Ron Marinaccio, Weber and Clay Holmes (his first save since April 12).
The only loss was a scoreless tie after nine innings and the other non-save game was one the Yankees led 3-2 before adding three runs in the top of the ninth to allow Nick Ramirez to finish it off instead of Holmes.
“It’s unbelievable, they’ve been doing a great job,” Luis Severino said. “Not only the big guys, everybody in the bullpen, when they’re needed, they go out there and do the job.”
Greg Allen has made a quick impact since being acquired from the Red Sox on Friday night and joining the roster Saturday — taking the spot of Aaron Hicks, who was designated for assignment because he had not adjusted to the part-time role that Allen is now filling.
After arriving at Great American Ball Park in the second or third inning of Saturday’s game because of a delayed flight, he pinch ran in the 10th and scored the go-ahead run.
On Sunday, he pinch ran again and stole a base before scoring an insurance run.
“I’m here to help the team win games, any way, shape or form,” said Allen, who added a triple in his only at-bat. “I think the guys in the clubhouse, from my experience, that’s their main priority. So anything I can do to contribute and help in that way, that’s what I’m here for.”
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