So there seems to be a formula to the Yankees’ wins in this young season: a whole big juicy bunch of runs. Yes, yes, April, I know – but thus far the Yankees have only won when they’ve scored 4 or more runs, and it’s usually more. Not that there’s anything wrong with scoring lots of runs, of course. And on the plus side, tonight those runs were paired with a nice, solid, hope-giving start by A.J. Burnett, as New York won 7-4.
It didn’t look so hot at the beginning, as the first two innings took more than an hour; and although A.J. Burnett didn’t allow a run in that span, he did burn through about 50 pitches and labored in and out of trouble. In the meantime, though, the Yankees went to town on Baltimore’s struggling starter Chris Tillman. The most damage came from Alex Rodriguez, who hit a three-run homer in the first, apparently being over his head cold, and then Robinson Cano in the second, with a two-run double. Jeter picked up a couple of infield singles, which if not exactly awe-inspiring at least got him on base and nudged his average towards respectability. And later, Jorge Posada broke an 0-for-19 streak with a booming solo homer.
Better yet, Burnett settled down after those first innings and came back to pitch a strong, encouraging game right into the 7th inning – which in retrospect may have been a bridge too far, as he promptly gave up two two-run homers. But as the Yankees had seven runs on the board by that time, there was no real harm done, and the trio of Robertson, Soriano, and of course Rivera ushered the team safely to a win. Which, weirdly, means that A.J. Burnett now has more wins by himself than the Red Sox. That’ll last a day or two max, but might as well enjoy these early season flukes where you can.
A much as I’ve been mistrustful of the Yankee rotation, a solid Burnett makes it merely short as opposed to horrendously short. Well – depending on what you think is going on with Phil Hughes.