"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice


Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Yankee offense did it’s best to keep ahead of A.J. Burnett’s advancing vortex of suck Saturday evening. Before Dodger starter Hiroki Kuroda could record an out, the Yankees were up 3-0 thanks to walks to birthday boy Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson and a home run by Mark Teixeira, who extended an eight-game hitting streak during which he has homered as many times as he’s struck out (thrice each). Burnett gave two of those runs back in the bottom of the first, the big hit being an RBI double by Manny Ramirez on a fastball up in the zone, but he worked around a walk in the second and the Yankees got a run back in the third on singles by Jeter and Granderson and a throwing non-error by Blake DeWitt on a would-be double play pivot.

That 4-2 lead lasted all of four batters. Burnett’s bottom of the third started with a five-pitch walk to Matt Kemp, an Andre Ethier single, a wild pitch that moved both runners up, a walk to Ramirez to load the bases, and a game-tying single by James Loney. After a five-pitch walk to Casey Blake to reload the bases, Burnett got Russell Martin to hit into a double play, though the go-ahead run scored in the process. Burnett then walked DeWitt and struck out the pitcher, Kuroda, to end the inning.

Amazingly. Shockingly. Stunningly, after that performance, Joe Girardi let Burnett hit with runners on the corners and one out in the top of the fourth. Burnett sacrificed, but didn’t squeeze, trading an out for putting a second runner into scoring position. Kuroda then struck out Jeter on three pitches to end the threat.

If it wasn’t already clear that Girardi was less than fully committed to trying to win the game at the expense of blowing out his bullpen, after Burnett lasted just two batters in the bottom of the fourth, he brought in Boone Logan, who suddenly seems to be some sort of long man for Girardi despite the fact that righties were hitting .289/.372/.421 against him entering yesterday’s action. Logan swelled the Dodger lead to 7-4, after which Chan Ho Park added on a couple more runs to set the final at 9-4.

Meanwhile, Kuroda quashed a two-out Yankee rally in the fifth, and fireballing lefty Hong-Chih Kuo stranded two runners for Kuroda in the sixth. The Yankees did bounce old frenemy Jeff Weaver before he could complete the eighth, but George Sherrill and Jonathon Broxton shut things down from there.

Burnett is now 0-5 with a 11.35 ERA in June. By way of comparison, Javier Vazquez had a 9.78 ERA in his first five starts of the year in which the Yankees went 1-4. That was enough for the Yankees to skip Javy’s next turn. Ivan Nova, meanwhile, has a 1.34 ERA over his last five starts for Triple-A Scranton. Nova threw three scoreless, walkless innings for the Yankees in mid May. I say it’s time to give him another look and let A.J. work things out in the bullpen for a while. Logan can be optioned to make room for Nova.

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Recap

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1 a.O   ~  Jun 27, 2010 1:26 am

Agreed, Cliff. Time to give Nova a shot. This has gone on more than long enough.

2 Mattpat11   ~  Jun 27, 2010 1:51 am

I'd like to see Logan optioned to make room for the buffet table. He won't be. This bizarre obsession with having two lefties in the bullpen keeps bringing him back like Jason Voorhees.

3 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jun 27, 2010 2:17 am

[2] I don't see that obsession, Matt. They're not using him as a LOOGY, they're using him as a long man (inexplicably, but they are). I think he's just the Triple-A arm they like most, and Melancon hasn't done anything to change their mind in his admittedly way-to-brief opportunities. When they had everyone healthy, Logan was in Scranton and there was just one lefty in the pen and everyone was happy. I look forward to that day returning . . .

4 Mattpat11   ~  Jun 27, 2010 3:08 am

I think he’s just the Triple-A arm they like most

Well that might be the most depressing thing I'll read this week.

But really, the return of Logan has coincided nicely with the starters pitching really well or really poorly, and a trip to NL parks, where you would assume even Joe Girardi wouldn't start burning through relievers in the middle of the early innings for a batter a piece. I think if you follow Girardi's quotes, history (culminating in whatever the hell that was in the ALCS last year) and use of Logan earlier in the year, we're going to see Boone start to come in to pitch to the lefties in the sixth and seventh inning. He might stay in after walking that first lefty, but he is, in fact bad, so I'm not sure that makes me feel any better that he's not a LOOGY by the strict definition

5 RIYank   ~  Jun 27, 2010 6:47 am

Maybe he's a LOOGY in the sense of, "Lefty: Out Of Good Yankees".

I like this sentence:

Logan swelled the Dodger lead to 7-4, after which Chan Ho Park added on a couple more runs to set the final at 9-4.

As if it were our pitchers scoring the runs...

Oh well. Times are tough all over. Dustin Pedroia has broken his My Little Hoof, and although they aren't giving any official timetable the speculation is that it will mean six weeks out of action. Clay Buchholz "heard something pop" as he rounded second base, though they're saying they found no significant problem and expect him to make his next start.

6 ms october   ~  Jun 27, 2010 9:25 am


Dustin Pedroia has broken his My Little Hoof

hahahha, - very nice work riyank.


Burnett is now 0-5 with a 11.35 ERA in June. By way of comparison, Javier Vazquez had a 9.78 ERA in his first five starts of the year in which the Yankees went 1-4.

agreed cliff. i don't understand the long leash for burnett.

7 The Hawk   ~  Jun 27, 2010 9:34 am

Maybe the reason why they haven't skipped Burnett is because he's so all-over-the-place they don't know how to fix him. They're just sort of hoping things will snap back into place. Someone like Vasquez they can probably make some sense of; I wonder if they look at Burnett and just shrug helplessly.

Also, they wanted to skip Hughes.

8 monkeypants   ~  Jun 27, 2010 9:49 am

[6] both AJ and Javy have had about the same length leash, but as has been pointed out, the team had less flexibility this time around with Hughes getting skipped. Now, we'll see what they do the next time through the rotation. Will they skip AJ, or even discover some sort of injury and put him on the DL? i bet the latter.

9 Raf   ~  Jun 27, 2010 10:33 am

[7] It seems that if they want to fix Burnett they need him to rediscover his curve. He has been throwing his fastball more, and his curveball less. Batters have been making more contact, and he has been striking out less batters. He needs to go back to what works.

10 flycaster   ~  Jun 27, 2010 11:19 am

[9] I disagree. He is a fastball-curveball pitcher who succeeds by getting ahead with his fastball, and finishing guys off with his curve. His current problem is total inability to locate the fastball, which gets him behind in the count, and you know where that gets you in major league baseball.

11 The Hawk   ~  Jun 27, 2010 12:00 pm

Let's spilt the difference: His curve has been absent pretty much all season, so his success has been based too much on the fastball. A pitcher with his type of stuff - that is, dynamic but somewhat unpredictable - is bound to struggle mightily when dependent on essentially one pitch.

12 mhoward120   ~  Jun 27, 2010 5:17 pm

Is is just me or did Girardi look positively shell-shocked in his press conference after the game? With every single question about Burnett, his eyes squinted so deeply as if he was staring at hot klieg lights and he seemed to have some difficulty answering each question.

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