Two days, two clunkers for the Yankees and their starting pitchers. While the team is scoring runs, the starting pitchers are doing everything but preventing them, and they’re doing so in dubious record-setting fashion.
For the first time in Yankee team history, the team’s starting pitchers have failed to strike anybody out in back-to-back games to start the season. While Chien-Ming Wang isn’t known for his K’s, this achievement speaks volumes of the lack of command exhibited by Wang and Sabathia this week.
On the season, Yanks’ starters have thrown 8 innings and have allowed 13 runs on 17 hits and eight walks. A.J. Burnett can’t really do much worse, right?
Anyway, as Burnett prepares to make his Yankee debut at 1:35 p.m. this afternoon, there have been some good signs early on this season. Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano have been on base a combined 16 times, but the trio have scored just 4 runs among them. It will all click soon enough.
So for the Yankees, A.J. Burnett will take the mound this afternoon. The Yanks signed Burnett to a five-year, $82.5 million deal in December, and at the time, Joe didn’t like it. Burnett was impressive this spring, but after watching the Yanks the last two days though, that’s a pretty useless evaluation. He throws a high-90s fastball, an excellent change-up and a great curveball. When he’s on, he’s as tough a pitcher as anyone in the AL, and he led the league in strike outs last year.
Offensively, the Yanks are shaking things up today. Nick Swisher is making his first start in pinstripes. He bats sixth and plays right field. Jose Molina is spelling Jorge Posada, and Hideki Matsui is the odd man out as Xavier Nady will be the DH and, oddly enough, the clean-up hitter. The Yanks facing Alfredo Simon, another pitcher against whom they have never hit.