Game 47: A.J. for the series winBy
The last thing the Yankees want after ending their nine-game winning streak is to lose two straight series. They had a chance to take the second game last night, but once again failed with runners in scoring position. Tonight they’ll have to prove that it was just a blip on the radar. A win before an off-day would be great, especially considering they’re headed to last-place Cleveland over the weekend for a four-game set.
Standing in their way is a form of kryptonite: a young lefty they’ve yet to see. This isn’t the typical mediocre variety which normally gives the Yanks fits. Instead, it’s the Rangers’ No. 2 prospect heading into the season. Derek Holland will make the second start of his major league career tonight. He fared decently in his starting debut against Houston over the weekend, allowing three runs while striking out four and walking none in 5.2 innings. He had some ups and downs pitching in relief prior to that.
Taking the hill for the Yanks is A.J. Burnett, who was roughed up in his last outing against the Phillies. After the game, Dave Eiland talked about how close A.J. is to dominating, and that he tends to get lazy with pitches here and there, which lead to big hits. The number of the Phillies’ home runs speaks to that. He’ll have to maintain his focus tonight, as the Yanks need him to come through in a big way.
Ideally the Yanks offense can stake them to a comfortable lead, allowing Chien-Ming Wang to get some garbage time work out of the pen. As mentioned before, it’s not going to be easy getting him innings, making the Yanks’ decision to activate him last week seem worse and worse.
Regarding the lineup, I will say this: The Kevin Cash lunacy must stop. Why does this guy start every third day? He’s terrible. He was the fourth option at catcher. He’s horribly, just horrible at throwing out runners, he’s not deft on defense in general, and aside from his three-hit day Monday he’s positively putrid behind the plate. Cervelli’s a young dude. He can handle catching four, five, even six days in a row. Please, will someone who is in the clubhouse please, please ask Girardi about this?
Quick injury hits: Melky’s headed back to NY for further tests. The initial diagnosis is that he’s out 5-7 days. Any longer and they could pull from Scranton. Since they have to add someone to the 40-man in any case, I wonder if they even consider Jackson…Dr. Andrews found nothing on Bruney, which can only be good news. He’ll begin a rehab program at some point, though it’s unknown how quickly they’ll start working him back…Looks like Jorge will be ready for Friday. Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.
And on the mound, number thirty-four, A.J. Burnett.