Posted by: Jeremy | October 20, 2010

A.J.!


Once again, Burnett's awesome tattoos were the highlight of his performance

Well, that went as expected. Joe Girardi’s hilariously brutal decision to start a 15-game loser of 15 days rest has run its course, and as a result the Yankees are down to their last loss. Girardi stuck to his original plan of going with A.J. Burnett last night with New York down 2-1 in the ALCS to Texas, then watched his team’s season draw one step closer to going up in flames when Burnett coughed up a two-out, two-run homer in the sixth to Benjie Molina to blow open a tight game that the Rangers eventually won 10-3. Molina’s shot erased a 3-2 Yankees lead and was the first of four homers for Texas, which has outscored the Yankees 25-5 since New York took Game 1 in Arlington.

Burnett didn’t pitch horribly leading up to the homer, but did let an early 1-0 lead get away in the third by coughing up two runs after hitting David Murphy and walking Molina to start the inning. After runs in the third and fourth gave New York the lead, Burnett gave up a leadoff single to Vladimir Guerrero to begin the sixth, and after a fielder’s choice and deep fly ball to move the runner to second, he intentionally walked Murphy to set up Molina’s shot. Josh Hamilton followed with a solo homer off David Robertson an inning later and Ian Kinsler pitched in with an RBI single off Joba Chamberlain, then Hamilton and Nelson Cruz homered off Sergio Mitre in the ninth to make the final.

As for Girardi’s decision, here’s where I stand: He needed to use Burnett at some point in the series, since Phil Hughes on short rest when he’s already over his inning limit isn’t exactly the recipe for a long career. But still, when you’re down 2-1 and a game away from the brink of elimination? CC Sabathia would’ve been ready to go on three days rest last night and would’ve given the Yanks a much better shot to pull even, which would’ve been a much better situation to toss Burnett into than down 2-1. Sure, if Sabathia were to win Game 4, a Burnett loss in Game 5 would still leave them on the brink, but it’s much easier to come back from 3-2 than 3-1. Not that it matters, though, because I love the way it’s shaped up. That’s why I refer to it as “Girardi’s hilariously brutal decision”, though.

Amidst the excitement of Texas turning the tables on the Yankees the past few days, the Giants have been quietly working on their own little upset of the Phillies out in the National League. San Francisco picked up seven innings of two-hit ball from Matt Cain yesterday in Game 3, which it took 3-0 to grab a 2-1 series lead in the NLCS. Cain, who has a hard luck loser in the Giants’ only loss to Atlanta in the opening round, out-pitched Cole Hamels, who gave up RBI singles to Cody Ross and Aubrey Huff in the fourth and saw another come around on Chase Utley’s error an inning later.

If yesterday’s baseball didn’t wear you out, you’ll be glad to know there’s another doubleheader on tap today: Texas and New York get to do the early honours from Yankee Stadium, with C.J. Wilson (15-8, 3.35 and 0-0, 2.02 in the postseason) facing the aforementioned Sabathia (21-7, 3.18 and 1-0, 7.20) at 4:07. The Phillies and Giants follow at 7:57 from Pac Bell Park SBC Park AT&T Park, with Joe Blanton (9-6, 4.82) and Madison Bumgarner (7-6, 3.00 and 1-0, 3.00) matching up.

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Responses

  1. It’s awesome how everyone knew this was a terrible idea and turned out exactly as most people thought it would. Hopefully the Rangers finish them off.

  2. “Girardi’s hilariously brutal decision”

    Pithy

  3. I love how everyone assumed a Burnett start would be a loss before it even happened. Whether it was Game 4 or 5, you knew the Yankees were gonna lose it. I guess if you look at it that way, this series was pretty much over after Lee won Game 3.

  4. We’re gonna need some video of that Lance Berkman wipeout.

  5. Done and done, my man:

    http://jeremyvisser.com/2010/10/20/berkman-takes-dive-yankees-fight-off-elimination/

  6. The question is why did they intentionally walk in the 6th inning and then STILL leave AJ in the game???

  7. ghost ride that whip


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