When the hitters hit, the pitchers can’t pitch. When the pitchers pitch, the hitters can’t hit. This time the starting pitcher pitched, but the bullpen and the lineup couldn’t do their jobs. After Burnett turned in a stellar performance, the bullpen blew a slim 1-0 lead, and the Yanks lost 6-1 in 11 innings.
First and Foremost, Sir A.J.
I told you not to freak out. A.J. does this every year. He sets bad records (I think he led the Majors in walks or wild pitches or something last year), he makes you pull your hair out, and then he carries the team for a month. Maybe it was the return of pitching coach Dave Eiland. Maybe it was the calendar turning to July. Who knows, but A.J. quieted the bridge-jumpers for at least a day. No runs, good stuff, I’m happy.
What’s with the Yankees lineup going quiet over the last couple weeks? They should be the best offense in baseball, but they’ve been quieted by some mediocre pitchers of late. Am I concerned? No. Frustrated? Certainly. They, like A.J., will get back on track, but it would sure be nice if they could do it tomorrow.
One difference between last year’s team and this year’s team is the bullpen. Last season, Hughes and Mo combined for a shutdown 8-9, and other guys like Robertson and Aceves really did help the bridge. This year, injuries (to Aceves and Mitre) and flat out ineffectiveness (Park, Joba, Robertson) have led to a shaky ‘pen. When I was at the Cashman interview, he said he’s confident in the pen and isn’t looking to make any trade deadline moves to bolster it, but I really do think that’s a mistake. If this team is going to play deep into October (November?), a deep bullpen is a necessity. Time and time again, teams with weak bullpens are exposed in the late months of the baseball season, and the Yankees have a very fragile pen. It doesn’t make me happy at all. Not really sure who besides Mo and maybe Marte I have faith in.
Tomorrow the Yanks go at it again with ANOTHER day game (oy for the blog). It’ll be two solid lefties, Ricky Romero (6-4, 2.83) vs. Pettitte (9-2, 2.72). I fully expect the Yanks to come out firing tomorrow, and hopefully they can tie up the series going into the July 4th matinee. Sorry for the lack of updates lately, but keep checking back, and I’ll do my best. After the holiday weekend, regular blogging will resume. Promise.