The Yankees are not just off to a slow start. Their 8-11 record through Sunday reflects the breakdown of an aging pitching staff. The bullpen is full of spent arms. The rotation is troublesome because 41-year-old lefthander Randy Johnson has lost velocity; righthander Kevin Brown, 40, is incapable of making end-of-career pitching adjustments; righty Mike Mussina, 36, has been in a slow decline for the past two seasons; and righthander Jaret Wright, 29, just went on the disabled list with shoulder pain.
The starters provided only five quality starts (at least six innings with three or fewer earned runs) in those first 19 games, including none in one streak of 11 games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau the 11 outings without a quality start was the worst such streak for the Yankees since earned and unearned runs were officially differentiated in 1917. ‚ñ†