Burnett struggles, Yanks still beat Pirates

Alan Horne returns to the mound
Fan Confidence Poll: March 30th, 2009

As good as he’s been this preseason, AJ Burnett finally gave us a look at his ugly side today. Facing what should pretty much be the Pirates’ Opening Day lineup, Burnett allowed seven runs (six earned) on ten hits and three walks in just four and a third innings. He allowed three homers (to Eric Hinske, Ryan Doumit and Adam LaRoche) and struck out just one batter. Scheduled to throw 90 pitches, Burnett left after throwing just 83, 53 for strikes. He said his mechanics were “out of whack all day,” but the good news is that his arm feels fine. Eh, it happens, no matter what time of year. Burnett’s next start will be Saturday, the second exhibition game against the Cubs in the New Stadium. Ben and I will be there.

Damaso Marte relieved Burnett, allowing two of the three baserunners he inherited to score on a pair of hits before closing out the fifth inning. Mariano Rivera actually allowed a hit in the sixth inning, only the second baserunner he’s allowed this preseason. He struck out the side and threw 10 of his 16 pitches for strikes, pushing his Spring Training pitching line to 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K. Phil Coke was dominant in two innings of work, striking out four and inducing a pair of groundball outs against just one hit. He’s a lock for the big league bullpen at this point. Jose Veras allowed two hits in a scoreless ninth.

As bad as Burnett was, Bucs’ starter Zach Duke was even worse. The Yanks hung a seven spot off Duke (3.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, 1 K) in the fourth thanks to a pair of bunt singles by Ramiro Pena and starting centerfielder Brett Gardner. Robbie Cano sent a ball into the people as did Nick Swisher, although Swish’s hit the field of play first. Swish is now hitting  .262-.463-.405 with a 7-12 K/BB ratio (54 PA) this spring while Nady’s put up .304-.323-.500 line with a 12-2 K/BB ratio (58 PA). Johnny Damon went 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI out of the two-hole, while Cap’n Jetes went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored while leading off. Jorge Posada drew a walk and went hitless in two at-bats, also committing a throwing error. I have no idea the nature of the error, so don’t ask. Yankee baserunners reached base twenty times against Pirate pitching today, walking away with a 9-8 win thanks to a Carmen Angelini run scoring bloop single in the eighth.

The Yanks will be at Dunedin to take on the Blue Jays tomorrow afternoon, and I’m presuming Andy Pettitte will make the start (rather than throw in a minor league game) since the long reliever trio pitched yesterday. The Yankees only have three more games to play down in Florida, and will be back home for the two-game series with the Cubbies at the end of the week. They open the season in Baltimore a week from tomorrow.

Also, just following up on yesterday’s post – the Yanks officially took Rule 5 Draftee Ivan Nova back from the Padres today and assigned him to Double-A Trenton. Nove only worked one inning stints with the Pads, so he might not step directly into the Thunder rotation to start the year.

Alan Horne returns to the mound
Fan Confidence Poll: March 30th, 2009
  • A.D.

    So what you’re telling me is Angelini is already clutch in his young career

    • Joey

      and gritty!

      • John

        Gardy is both too, and he did it at the Major League level. (remember the 2 GW hits last year, one against them Sox)

    • http://www.bronxbaseballdaily.com Bronx Baseball Daily

      Maybe he can pinch hit for Arod this October.

  • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

    Robbie Cano sent a ball into the people…

    I have to say, that’s a pretty awesome way to describe a dinger.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I agree. Nice turn of phrase, Mike. This one will get repeated.

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        I agree. Nice turn of phrase, Mike. This one will get repeated.

  • Mike R.

    Carmen Angelini is the next Honus Wagner.

    • anonymous

      Agreed. Lets package him with Melky and get Braun.

      • RollingWave

        Nah, Pujols

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          Nah, Hanley.

  • John

    Im surprised Hinske didn’t hit another homerun…he’s just oozing grit after playing for the Sox AND Rays.

    • Joey

      you can’t get any scraptastically gritty with that kind of tutelage

      • Joey

        **any more

  • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

    Just to show the importance the Yankees have nationwide. Since the announcement of the CF job Gardener has already landed his own cosmetics deal!

    http://tinyurl.com/cegl4r

    • John

      They should spell Gardener like Gardner in honor of the Yankees CFer.

    • La Costco Nostra
      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        +1

        Do they sell this at La Costco Nostra?

  • Johnny

    This doesn’t need to be said but I’m going to anyway.

    I REALLY

  • Johnny

    This doesn’t really need to be said but I’m gonna.

    I REALLY hope Mo is gonna pitch this way all year.

  • rsam

    yankees will win number 27 this year

  • Mike Pop

    None of you better ever sAy anything bad about Burnett, you big meanies.

    • jsbrendog

      man crush alert haha

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Urge to kill… rising…

  • steve (different one)

    Robbie Cano sent a ball into the people as did Nick Swisher, although Swish’s hit the field of play first.

    what does this mean?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Cano homered, Swish hit a ground rule double.

      • steve (different one)

        oh, duh. i thought you were saying he hit some sort of controversial HR or something.

        • A.D.

          my first thought was some type of Canseco off the head HR…but they figured a ground rule double was both more likely and also fit the description

  • A.D.

    Is there a chance Mo could somehow be better this year? Obviously this is just ST, but after the surgery potentially throwing freer and easier than last year.

    • steve (different one)

      hard to be better than last year…i’ll settle for any typical Mariano season…

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        He should be better, as long as MLB doesn’t catch him using steroids, which CLEARLY he must be doing.

  • steve (different one)

    any news on Reegie Corona?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      No, but Generalissimo Fransisco Franco is still dead.

      • LiveFromNY

        Very old school SNL.

        Nice.