About a week ago I wrote about the Phil Coke problem. He was not pitching effectively as the main lefty reliever. Now I will talk about Brian Bruney. Bruney is 4-0 with a 4.55 ERA this season. Last season he was 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA. The year before, however, he was 3-2 with a 4.68 ERA. Bruney has shown the ability to be lights-out and started the year as the Yankees set-up man. I felt this was a great idea at the time and that he would be an awesome set-up man. I've changed my mind. Since June 28th Bruney has pitched 16.2 innings with a 4.44 ERA. That is mediocre. Bruney had an 11.81 ERA in July and a 0.87 ERA in August. The August ERA looks great. Here are the facts though:
-Bruney has gone 6 innings without recording a strikeout.
-In Bruney's last 9 appearances, only 2 of them were with a lead of 2 or less runs.
-Joe Girardi has only used Bruney in big lead or low-risk situations.
-Bruney has a 8.71 ERA with runners on when he enters the game.
-Bruney has a 15.00 ERA with runners in scoring position when he enters the game. (The ERA doesn't include runners that were already on base when he entered the game)
-Bruney has a horrific 38.57 ERA with runners in scoring position and 2 outs when he enters the game.
Pete Abraham listed Bruney as a borderline candidate for a postseason spot. If Girardi isn't willing to use him in tight situations....how can he help in the postseason?
I'd like to see Bruney be used in close games this month. If he pitches poorly: no playoff spot, if he pitches well: postseason spot. That simple.