ATLANTA -- In the two weeks since the Yankees dropped two out of three to the resurgent Angels in Anaheim, New York's ERA has risen from 18th in Major League Baseball to 10th, heading into Tuesday's game against the Braves at Turner Field. The Yankees' 3.79 ERA was also good for fifth in the American League behind the Rays, Angels, Rangers and A's. Yanks manager Joe Girardi said the improved pitching is the prominent reason the Yanks had won nine of their last 11 and with a 35-25 record had tied Tampa Bay for first in the AL East and the top record in the Junior Circuit.
"Who would have thought it?" Girardi said. "I think there's a lot of parity in our league this year. There are a lot of good teams that are going to beat up on each other. Our guys have done a good job of enduring some things. We've had some key injuries. It all has to do with our starting pitching. Our starting pitching has been really good. That's how you put good streaks together." The bullpen, even sans injured righties Mariano Rivera and David Robertson, has been among the best in the league all year, while up until the re-emergence of Andy Pettitte, the starters had dragged those numbers down. Going into Tuesday's games, the bullpen was second in the AL behind the Orioles with a 2.79 ERA, and their 16 saves were tied for fourth with Boston. The starters also led the league with 29 wins and were seventh with a 4.23 ERA.