PHILADELPHIA — No doubt, no debate, over where the worry can be found within this Yankees paradise.
Even after committing a record sum to an elite starting pitcher last winter, even as that well-compensated, elite starting pitcher has performed well out of the gate to help the Yankees win nine of their first 12 games as the schedule hit the 20 percent milepost, the Yankees’ Achilles’ heel remains their starting rotation.
The defending AL East champions departed Citizens Bank Park late Thursday night, headed for Tampa Bay to face their top challenger, the Rays, as the losers of a 5-4 nail-biter to Joe Girardi’s Phillies. They lost two of three here in Cheesesteak City, after winning the first game of a doubleheader to open the series, thanks primarily to ineffectiveness from their starters.
And they enjoy this cushion, four games over the Rays (5-7), by and large despite their non-Gerrit Cole starters.
“The way our roster is constructed, it does allow us to have obviously a couple more arms in the bullpen. But … nothing beats several outings from your starters that give you length, that really kind of preserve and set everyone up down there in that ’pen,”…