"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

I feel it in the air, the summer’s out of reach…

On the last Monday of the summer, so long as you’re not being technical about it, the Yankees dropped a ho-hum matinée to Buck Showalter and the Baltimore Orioles. A.J. Burnett was on the mound for the Yanks, and if we can all agree that CC Sabathia is the Sure Thing, Burnett is pretty much the opposite. He’s kind of like that hottie who sat next to you in history class. Most days she’d ignore you completely, but other days, for no apparent reason, she’d look in your direction and flash a smile that would make Galileo wonder if the sun really might not be the center of the universe.

To be fair to Mr. Burnett, he was decent last week against the A’s, and there was hope that he might be able to string a few good starts together to build some momentum for the playoffs.  What’s baseball, afterall, without the hope?

Burnett pitched fairly well, but just well-enough to lose.  The O’s scrapped together a few hits to take a 1-0 lead in the third, but Alex Rodríguez erased that deficit with a monster shot off the back of the bullpen wall in left.  It was his 100th RBI, which is historic.  This is A-Rod’s thirteenth straight season with a hundred RBIs, a streak matched only by Lou Gehrig and Ol’ Double-X, Jimmy Foxx.  It’s also is fourteenth time overall that he’s reached the century mark, something no one else in the history of the game has ever done.  Not bad.

But back to Burnett.  The Baltimore bats rang a bit louder in the fifth, but Burnett again escaped with just a single run allowed when Brian Roberts was nailed at second attempting to stretch his RBI-single into a double.  Things unravelled a bit more in the sixth when Burnett started the frame by allowing a single to Felix Pie and a walk to Nick Markakis.  Things like this happen, but Burnett compounded the problem by wild-pitching the runners to second and third.  He struck out Luke Scott, which was nice, but Matt Wieters followed with a sacrifice fly and it was 3-1.

The Yankees scored twice in the bottom half of the inning to level the score, but the tie didn’t last long.  In a virtual replay of the fifth inning, Brian Roberts delivered a two-out RBI-single (this time to right) and was thrown out at second.  The inning was over, but it didn’t really matter.  The Orioles had a 4-3 lead, and they’d bring it home from there.

Two quick notes before I go.  First, Derek Jeter is looking a bit better.  His final at-bat last night was a line drive out to right field, and he built on that by stroking a double off the wall in right center to lead off the game this afternoon.  Baby steps.

Second, Joe Girardi is, at least, consistent.  But as Ben Franklin once said, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.  A-Rod walked with two outs in the eighth inning, and Girardi reflexively sent in a pinch runner.  I know I’ve complained about this before, but it still makes me absolutely crazy to see him take his best hitter out of a one-run game.

Okay, that’s all from here.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some aïoli to make and some burgers to grill.

Categories:  Bronx Banter  Game Recap  Yankees

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1 RIYank   ~  Sep 6, 2010 6:45 pm

Aioli. Tell me where you live, I'm coming over immediately.

Yeah, I would have left Alex in the game too, except there's a significant chance he might have hurt himself running all out on the base paths. I dunno. If the game were important, then I'd leave him in.

The 'hobgoblin of little minds' thing is Emerson, by the way. From "Self-Reliance".

2 cult of basebaal   ~  Sep 6, 2010 6:51 pm

I know I’ve complained about this before, but it still makes me absolutely crazy to see him take his best hitter out of a one-run game.

You mean "his best hitter" who just came off the DL after missing 3 weeks with a groin problem and who has already acknowledged he'll be consciously avoiding going all-out for a while?

Regardless of whether it may be a sub-optimal decision in other situations, I have absolutely NO problem with Girardi's decision to pinch run for Alex today.

3 Hank Waddles   ~  Sep 6, 2010 6:57 pm

[1] There was a voice in my head (probably Emerson's) telling me to look up the hobgoblin quote. Guess I should've listened. Thanks for the correction -- I owe you some aïoli.
[2] I agree that Girardi might have been right today, but I don't think he was thinking the way you were. He always makes that move, whether he's protecting an injured player or not.

4 Mattpat11   ~  Sep 6, 2010 7:24 pm

I remember either early this year or last year Suzyn Waldman was telling a story about how AJ Burnett learned to accept his wildness because he's "a power pitcher."

The guy that's going tomorrow throws pretty damned hard to and he seems to have a clue where the ball is going.

5 RIYank   ~  Sep 6, 2010 7:46 pm

Oh my gawd I cheering for a Big Papi Homah!

6 RIYank   ~  Sep 6, 2010 8:18 pm

The disaster area they call the Red Sox Bullpen had better not blow this game.

7 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Sep 6, 2010 9:13 pm

[6] I'd take Bard in a second on my team. He has the stuff and will only get better with experience.

Bases loaded, let's go Lowrie

Sonnastine walks in a run on four pitches, 7-2 Sox

Let's go Kalish,

Grand Slam by Kalish, Sox up 11-2.

If Joba did that, we would be calling for Harlan's buggy to pick up the pieces. I've had enough, I can be confident that the Yanks will be up 2.5 games tonight.

8 monkeypants   ~  Sep 6, 2010 11:19 pm

From LoHud:

Brett Gardner’s bunt attempt in the seventh inning came from the bench. Girardi gave the sac bunt signal.

Aha...so they DO have signals for calling plays from the bench!!

9 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 7, 2010 12:55 am

[8] Well, that one must have been from Off-Off Broadway...

10 The Hawk   ~  Sep 7, 2010 8:15 am

One thing I'll say for AJ - he didn't melt down, and he had a couple chances. Sort of a sad commentary that that's comment-worthy but there it is.

11 TheDeadender   ~  Sep 7, 2010 1:01 pm

Hey Hank, might be nit-picking a bit, but i think the A-Rod homer in the 3rd was his 99th RBI, and the sac fly to right later in the game was number 100.

12 Hank Waddles   ~  Sep 8, 2010 2:46 am

[11] Thanks for the nit-picking. I noticed that, too, when I was watching the highlights on SportsCenter. I guess that's what I get for rushing off to barbecue.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver