The best part about baseball is that no matter how bad you team loses one night, they always have a chance for quick redemption. The Yanks will seek that tonight in Game 2 of their series in Tampa. A.J. Burnett takes the mound against Matt Garza, so we’re in for a battle of flame throwers.
Matt Garza hasn’t been the greatest against the Yankees during his young career. He’s 1-2 with a 4.56 ERA over 23.2 innings. His 11/9 K/BB ratio doesn’t help his case, either. He did fare a bit better last year, allowing 7 ER in 17 IP over 3 starts, though his strikeouts are still down (8). A.J. has a bit more significant sample against the Rays, posting a 2.98 ERA in 117.2 innings over 16 starts. His K/BB is absolutely devastating: 123/39. In 20 innings last year A.J. surrendered 7 earned runs while striking out 26 and walking just 8.
It looks like Girardi really doesn’t want to mess with Robinson Cano. He’s in the sixth spot yet again tonight while Brett Gardner, who hasn’t been a bright spot in the Yanks’ offense, hits leadoff. Yes, Gardner’s fast, but he also hasn’t hit much this season. While I’d rather have the better hitters atop the order (Jeter-Cano-Tex-Swish-Jorge-Nady-Pena-Molina-Gardner), Girardi is obviously closer to Cano than I am and is using his judgment on this call.
There were no roster moves made today, which is a bit strange considering the bullpen workload yesterday. But Bruney, Marte, Veras, and Mo had the day off, so they could be primed for action tonight. Hopefully A.J. make it a nonissue. Also, Damon is out with the flu. I don’t know if this is something that just happened, but he’s definitely looked sluggish recently. Hoch notes that he hasn’t been sleeping lately due to an issue involving his mother.
And on the mound, number thirty-four, A.J. Burnett.