After missing Friday’s game I made certain that I’d be free to watch Saturday’s game. Sadly, it was a debacle. A.J. Burnett struggled, allowing 4 runs in 2+ innings of work. He suffered lacerations on his pitching hand between innings and wound up with no control of his curveball. He was pulled before recording a single out in the third inning. The injury occurred when A.J. slammed his hands against a door in the clubhouse. He may be stupid, but Burnett is not expected to miss a start.
Burnett’s exit left the game in the hands of the Yankee bullpen. Essentially, the recap ends there. A.J. allowed 4 runs, but the Yankees were down only 4-2 when he left. The team managed to put three more runs on the board. Dustin Moseley and Chad Gaudin made sure that wasn’t close to enough, allowing 4 and 2 runs respectively.
Backup second basemen Reid Brignac, who was only in the game because regular Sean Rodriguez‘s house was flooded in Tampa, had a career day. He went 3-5, with 2 homers and 5 RBI. His output alone was enough to tie the Yankees.
The 2010 Yankees have succeeded, despite having no long relief, and shaky setup men. A.J. Burnett and the Rays exposed that yesterday. The bullpen may now be a more pressing matter than the bench or the DH. Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson have been Russian Roulette in the 8th inning at best, while the team essentially needs to concede a game if the starter leaves before the 7th inning. The Yankees have a tough 2nd half schedule that features 11 more games against the Rays, and about 10 versus the Red Sox. Smart teams will be able to exploit so glaring a weakness.
On a related note, the Fox announcers were more terrible than usual yesterday. Listening to them pontificate and spread rumors was torture. According to Tim McCarver, the Yankees really covet (his word, not mine) Adam Dunn and Joakim Soria. Thanks Tim, deep reporting on that one. Brian Cashman thinks highly of Ubaldo Jimenez and Albert Pujols as well. McCarver said this, but he also said that the Yankees probably won’t be able to get either player. Well then.
Regardless of the outcome, the Yankees will retain 1st place in their division today. However, the game is more important than that. The Yankees are 3-4 on the season against the Rays. A win today levels the score, and nets a series victory at home. It would be nice for the Yankees to make a statement as the 2nd half gets underway.
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