[Photo Credit: N.Y. Daily News]
Robinson Cano hit the first pitch he saw into the seats tonight. A misplaced fastball was good for a two-run home run, and with it went any dream of consecutive no-hitters from Johan Santana. The next inning, Cano hit the second pitch he saw, a hanging slider, into the right field seats and the Yanks were out to a 4-0 lead. Nick Swisher followed and he ripped a home run to left, and not wanting to be left out of the festivities, Andruw Jones followed that with a bomb of his own.
It was enough to get the Yankee dugout fired up–especially Mr. Swisher (jeez, settle down, Francis)–not to mention the Yankee fans in the seats. It sure was more than enough for Hiroki Kuroda, who was terrific, throwing seven shutout innings. He allowed just a single base hit and that didn’t come until two out in the sixth.
Kuroda’s night ended on a strange play. Daniel Murphy hit a line drive that caught Kuroda’s foot and shot up in the air to Alex Rodriguez who made the catch to end the seventh. Kuroda had the foot wrapped and was sporting crutches after the game. Perhaps he could miss a start. He had x-rays and they were negative.
Just about everything else for the home team was positive.
Yanks take it, 9-1.
[Photo Credit: Aimeri]
Trying to maintain low expectations about the Yu Darvish bidding, I wondered what the Yankees could do with all that money when they don’t get him. It would be nice to get both Cespedes and Soler in the system as the Yankee outfield gets very thin very fast after this year.
Perhaps because I’m in the process of finding presents for the extended family and because there’s a lot of talk around the coffee machine this morning about the Mets terrible
financial situation, I thought about how the Yankees could help their fellow New Yorkers.
The Mets need money. How much? More. When? Yesterday. So here is a Christmas gift to the Mets: $22,000,000.00. The Yankees trade A.J. Burnett straight up for Johan Santana.
The Yankees rid themselves of the annual Burnett headache. By ERA, Burnett was the second worst starting pitcher in baseball since 2010. But ERA can be misleading. Don’t worry though, by FIP, he was the third worst.
Johan Santana from one point of view, was even worse than Burnett. Santana broke down in 2009 and then again in 2010 and didn’t pitch at all in 2011. And he’s coming off surgery to repair the anterior capsule of his left shoulder – one of the nastiest surgeries a pitcher can undergo. His level of performance for the rest of his contract, the same gauranteed length as Burnett, is a total mystery.
In this deal, the Yankees would give the Mets the gift of 22 million dollars (Santana’s gauranteed $55 million over the next two year and while A.J. Burnett will get $33 million over the same time span) and a reliable innings eater (reliably bad, but hey, count that money again) for the gamble that Johan Santana can bounce back into something special, or at least into a shadow of something special.
I have no idea if Santana will be any good as he tries to come back. But if he gets on the mound and he’s among the worst pitchers in baseball next year, he can only be two or three rungs below where A.J. Burnett has taken up residence.
I know there are better ways to spend $22 million than on a roll of the dice on Johan Santana’s recovery. If you can’t believe in a little magic during the holiday season though, when can you?