Below me, Steve has a nice writeup out detailing the struggles between A.J. Burnett and Jorge Posada, struggles which were on display in yesterday’s game against Boston. In terms of Burnett’s pitch selection, Posada and Burnett found it difficult to get on the same page, and the issue seemed to be a contributing factor to Burnett’s 9 ER outing. However, after the game, Burnett stated that Posada “calls fine back there” and that it was a matter of individual execution rather than game-calling. While that’s certainly debatable (with Posada behind the dish, batters have a .751 OPS against Burnett), especially after yesterday’s performance, I think the central problem here is not Posada. He and Burnett are going to experience their share of bumps and bruises as they get to know each other better—that’s a given. Instead, we must look at A.J. Burnett as the main reason A.J. Burnett has failed this season against Boston.
Prior to 2009, Burnett had been dominant against the Red Sox, posting a 2.55 ERA against them. However, this season, Burnett has been awful against the Sawx, allowing 20 ER over 20 1/3 IP as Boston has hit .291 against him. That’s good for an 8.85 ERA and 1.92 WHIP. Burnett’s career ERA against the Sox has ballooned dramatically and now sits at 4.23. At the end of the day, you can’t blame Posada for the shift in fortunes against the Sox, not when Burnett had been so dominant against them beforehand. He should be able to get by and pitch well enough to keep the Yankees in the ballgame, regardless of who the catcher is, however, what we’ve seen in 3 of his 4 BoSox starts has been absolutely dreadful (even in his one good start, he had 6 BB). He looks lost on the mound, which is perplexing.
Why has this happened? Why hasn’t Burnett executed against Boston this season? It’s hard to tell, really, but, instead of blaming Posada, which many may argue that I’ve done before, I think we have to remember that A.J. Burnett is getting his first taste of the Red Sox rivalry. He’s feeling the pressure of pitching at Fenway against our hated opponents and, based on the subsequent results, I would argue that it—the pressure—has ultimately gotten to him.
Before signing with the Yankees, it was rumored that Burnett did not seriously consider offers from Atlanta because he did not wish to be seen as their “ace.” The title seemed to scare him away. Instead, pitching for the Yankees and being just another piece of the pitching puzzle—a puzzle led by CC Sabathia—was thought of as a more attractive option. Last December, I questioned whether or not this was the type of player the Yankees needed—a guy who didn’t want to be the team’s ace and go-to-guy. And, while I think the Yankees have gotten what they paid for from Burnett this season, I think we’re witnessing a pitcher who may not be the same against the Red Sox now that he’s wearing a New York uniform. If you’re not a fan of the spotlight, it’s not the best position to be in and Burnett seems rattled.
Let’s just hope it gets better with time, because, whether he likes it or not, Burnett needs to be “the guy” whenever he faces Boston.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- many dresses are especially for wedding or for other events2 on Chuck Johnson on Chase Whitley
- Brand bc on Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- http://2804lasela.wordpress.com/ on TYA Predictions: Bold predictions for 2012
- the tao of badass pdf on What about Austin Romine?
- Joey Parkhill on Dante Bichette Jr’s Swing
- lululemon factory outlet on Contact Us
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees