Burnett glides as Yanks take Blue Jays 4-2

Montero fails to homer in fifth straight game, is immediately released for shaming the organization
A sportsnation ranks the Yanks poorly

A day after the Yankees disappointed by losing the finale of the Mariners series, they came back to impress by taking the series opener from the Blue Jays, 4-2. The Yanks had it working from both sides of the ball, riding solid pitching for all nine innings and getting a few key offensive contributions along the way.

Robinson Cano staked the Yanks to an early lead, taking a first pitch from Brian Tallet deep for a 1-0 lead. That would last A.J. Burnett for a few innings. He had a slip-up when Lyle Overbay doubled to open the fourth. While Burnett quelled a threat when Marco Scutaro doubled to lead off the previous frame, he ran into some bad luck with a wild pitch, and then Alex Rios took advantage with an RBI single. It was the closest the Jays would get for the rest of the game.

Tallet seemingly lost it in the fifth, walking Brett Gardner and then Derek Jeter to put two runners on with none out. Johnny Damon wanted to make that second and third with one out for Teixeira by bunting, but Tallet rolled his underhand throw to Overbay and everyone was safe. Tex drew a walk to take the lead back, and a passed ball gave the Yanks a 2-1 lead. Vernon Wells would get one back with a no-doubt-about-it shot in the sixth, but Burnett would easily finish that inning and the next.

Girardi continued his love affair with match-ups, trotting out Phil Coke to start the eighth and then calling on Phil Hughes once Coke retired Adam Lind. Hughes started off rocky with a single to Scott Rolen, but he retired the next two batters to hand the ball to Mo. A-Rod would tack on an insurance run with an opposite-field homer off Jeremy Accardo in the eighth to ice the Yankees 4-2 win.

The Yankees face two games straight which they should have one, and it’s a bit disappointing that they only took one of them. Yeah, it happens. Teams lose games they’re supposed to win. But tomorrow they not only face Roy Halladay, but have a handicap on the mound with Chien-Ming Wang. Who knows. Maybe Wang works some July Fourth magic. He’d better. We don’t want our team losing to a bunch of Canadians on Independence Day.

(I say that in drunken jest. Please take it as such.)

Montero fails to homer in fifth straight game, is immediately released for shaming the organization
A sportsnation ranks the Yanks poorly
  • Salty Buggah

    Cano: “[The home run] feels good, but I’ve still got to get better with men on base. That’s something I don’t want to go through, but this is the game.”

    Hey, he admits he’s struggling at least.

    • Tank Foster

      Exaaaaaaaaaactly! People either trash him unmercifully for this, or they jump to his defense and say ‘oh he’s fine, it’s just bad luck,” etc.

      He’s not good with men on base. If we don’t believe it when he tells us it’s a problem, then we’re stupid.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    I’m gonna try to get a USA! chant going at the Stadium tomorrow.

    Maybe.

    Probably not.

    • Jon

      Do u n salty compete to see who’s 1st?

      • Salty Buggah

        Nope…and I’m almost never the first one.

    • Manimal

      Tell us when so we know if its you or not

  • Salty Buggah

    In the beginning of the year, he was prone to the big inning after being dominant. Now, he is getting out of the jams, which is a really good thing obviously.

  • Little Bill

    AJ Burnett was a brilliant signing. He has proved all of his naysayers wrong and he’s just bound to get better as the season goes on. I’m so glad Cashman went out and got AJ instead of the old and overrated Derek Lowe who would struggle mightily in the AL East.

    Tomorrow will be another test for Wang. Pettitte pitched well his last outing and now Wang has to do the same or Hughes will be in the rotation. Phil Hughes should be a starter. Hughes is a starting pitcher.

    • Spaceman.Spiff

      Andy Pettitte is a STARTING PITTTCHAAA

      • Charlie2

        This is getting really played out. Someone asked Mike about his pet peeves regarding the Yankees, and he said when people say “we.” I agree with that, and the runner up is this whole “STARTING PITTCHAAA” or the !!!1!!11! thing. Ughhh!!!!

        *Nothing personal Spaceman… just wish they would do away with the same old boring stupid joke

    • Zach

      You said this in the other thread and you’re going to get the answers here.
      You cannot prove ‘naysayers’ wrong after half of one season of a FIVE year contract, no one said he didnt have great stuff, it was about committing 80m to someone with his history of injuries, I wanted AJ but I also understodd the concern.

    • Ed

      Ah this again… clearly half a season of pitching well has proven wrong everyone who questioned his ability to both stay healthy and pitch well for 5 years.

      • Zach

        and where was Little Bill when AJ was putting up 7.2 IP, 12.91 ERA over 2 starts against Boston

      • Tank Foster

        Pitchers do change, guys. Some pitchers get injured when young, and then as their bodies mature they become more stable and durabe.

        I’m not saying AJ will never have another injury, but it’s not a given that he’s going to get injured again. It’s not fair to knock him for his injury history, either.

        He’s a cool customer on the mound and has just dynamite stuff and looks like he’s hardly trying. I think it was a fantastic signing by Cashman.

        • Zach

          “It’s not fair to knock him for his injury history, either.”

          That’s not true. There’s nothing wrong with talking about his injuries, but you also have to state he hasnt had elbow issues in 3 years

    • Salty Buggah

      Cmon man. You argued the same thing after Burnett’s last start with me and several others like Ed. We’ve said the same thing as everyone has already said here before me (read Zach’s post but you won’t listen to our points. No need to start this everytime Burnett starts.

    • The Fallen Phoenix

      At around this time in 2004, this same post could have applied to Javier Vazquez.

      …for what it’s worth.

      • steve (different one)

        and in 2009, it wouldn’t look so crazy either.

        since 2004, JV has pitched 1153 innings of 105 ERA+ with 1069 K’s. not an ace, but incredibly valuable.

  • Johnnyboy

    Is anyone confident that Wang will perform well tomorrow(well later today)? Although I don’t think Wang will be our biggest concern. The main problem would be getting some damn runs against Halladay.

    • Jon

      Please

    • Manimal

      Wang has done well his last couple of starts and Doc struggled when he came off the DL and could still be feeling some pain

      • BigBlueAL

        Halladay gave up 2 runs in 6 innings vs the Rays in his only start since coming off the D.L (5 hits, 2 bb’s and 7 K’s). Not exactly struggling and something Wang hasnt done all season.

        • Salty Buggah

          But he lost so I won’t mind if he no-hits us or gives up 7 ER as long as we win (if he no-hits us, we win due to some timely sac flies, bunts, stolen bases, errors, or walks).

  • Ed

    The good – Girardi is treating Hughes as a regular reliever instead of holding back in case Wang gets in trouble.

    The bad – Hughes deserves more than this. He can face lefties, and he can go more than one inning. Using him like this means he won’t come close to innings cap and won’t improve his game. While it does help the team, it’s a waste of a guy who could be doing so much more.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      And that “more” is when Joba gets shut down by his innings cap. Joba gets shut down and Hughes can come in to take his spot. Hughes does deserve more but he will start and next year he will probably take Pettitte’s spot. I’m not too worried about Hughes since I know he’ll be a starter again.

      • Zach

        ‘Joba gets shut down by his innings cap’ = Joba going to bullpen for Sept/Oct?

        If that’s so at what point do you send Phil down to stretch him back out? Do you have to give him 4-5 starts?

        • JobaWockeeZ

          I thought we should ship Hughes to AAA but apparently to the word of David Cone it doesn’t take much time to stretch him out. So I’ll assume they will put him on pitch limits like they did with Wang this year. He’ll gradually get higher pitch counts until he is 100 percent again.

          As for Joba I really have no idea if they will use him for bullpen duty. Preferably no for September but if we reach the playoffs then I wouldn’t throw a fit if he did. But of course that is dependent on how the bullpen is by then. If any or more of the following happens such as Robertson and Melancon pitching well in high leverage situations, Bruney being awesome and not wild, Marte getting it together, Albie and Edwar not walking people then I wouldn’t want to use Joba.

          • Zach

            So then Joba’s off the postseason roster?

            • Little Bill

              No. Joba will be starting the whole year, playoffs included.

              • Zach

                I find it impossible for him to go the whole season and playoffs without hitting his innings limit, unless they let him go 5 innings max

          • The Fallen Phoenix

            I would probably throw a fit if Joba’s in the bullpen come October, unless it’s strictly because of his innings limit. I would be very, very surprised if Joba’s not one of the Yankees four best starters by the end of the year (I mean, he is right now), and the Yankees’ four best starters should be starting come October.

            It’s probably not possible, but the best-case scenario would be the Yankees managing Joba’s innings well enough that he can start in October, since that probably gives the Yankees their best chance to win in the postseason (CC-Burnett-Joba would be NASTY). I don’t see how the Yankees could do that, though, since you’re really taking a gamble that (a) you make the postseason, (b) you go deep enough into the postseason that Joba gets the innings he needs.

        • Tank Foster

          “If that’s so at what point do you send Phil down to stretch him back out? Do you have to give him 4-5 starts?”

          I think it’s pretty clear the Yankees have no intention of sending him down, at least not right now. He has something like 70 innings now, counting his AAA innings before he was called up this season. So if you want him to get to his max, he needs 110 more. He’s probably going to get 5-6 starts for the Yankees this season, near the end when Joba reaches his max. That’s at the least, because obviously if any of the other guys get injured, Phil would probably be a spot starter. Anyhow, he’ll get maybe 40 more innings from Yankee starts this season. Add in maybe 20 innings from relief appearances this season and in the playoffs. 70 + 40 + 20 = 130. That means he’d need about 50 innings in winter ball. He can get close to that magic 180 without too much difficulty. Like Ben said, I’m sure the Yankees have a plan for him and aren’t just dangling him in the breeze.

          • Zach

            “probably going to get 5-6 starts for the Yankees this season, near the end when Joba reaches his max. That’s at the least, because obviously if any of the other guys get injured, Phil would probably be a spot starter.”

            so he’s going from 1-2 innings to 5-6 innings as a starter just like that when Joba hits his limit? that was my point, is he going down to stretch out or do that stupid thing with Joba where they stretch him out in the bigs mid season

      • Ed

        You can’t simply pencil him in to take Pettitte’s spot next year if he doesn’t get his innings in this year. Joba will still have an innings limit next year. Relying on two pitchers with innings caps is asking for trouble.

        Also, Joba’s at 81 innings in 15 games. He’s on pace to hit his limit around the beginning of September, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for Hughes to start.

        • Andrae

          didn’t Phil pitch winterball last year, cant they do that again this year?

          • V

            He has too many ML innings to play in the Arizona Fall League this year. He’d have to play winter ball in the Dominican or some such. I imagine they’d rather he just shut it down for the winter.

        • Tank Foster

          Hughes can pitch up to 180 innings next season. The usage guidelines are based on your previous high in innings not last year’s number. Hughes had 150 innings in 2007 I think. That’s what’s so silly about all the gnashing of teeth about his innings limit. He’s a young pitcher, and even if he gets his 180 this year, it’s not like they’re going to say “ok, he’s uncapped, let’s milk him for 240 this year!” As a young pitcher, I doubt they’re going to let him pitch more than 200 or so anyway. And to get that 200, he has to pitch well enough to make it deep enough into games to accumulate that many innings. If he makes every start in the rotation, he gets about 33 starts. You’d need to average 6/start to get 200, and there’s no guarantee he’ll get that many starts or average 6 per start next year. So all of this is alot of worrying over nothing. He’ll be fine. Lots of young pitchers tend to have injury issues anyway. There isn’t anything magic about him getting 180 this season that’s going to make him immune from having an injury next year, or the year after.

  • Shdwrptr

    I still think Hughes is a better starter than Wang at this point, but I understand that Wang needs to start to continue to get better and if they want to trade him anytime soon (and there are lots of rumors going around) they need to show that he is the same pitcher he was the last two years so they can actually get a good bounty.
    I highly doubt Wang gets moved this season but if he does they do not want to sell low.

    I don’t expect a win tomorrow with Wang vs. Halladay but considering Wang has given up 3 ER or less in his last 4 starts makes me think that he might be able to go around 6 innings at about 2-4 ER tomorrow and I can cross my fingers and hope the Yankees can get something going against Halladay.

  • RollingWave

    Well if anyone’s due for a bad game againts the Yankees, it’s Roy Halladay! THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A GUY THAT WON MORE GAMES AGAINST THIS TEAM AT HOME THAN ROY HALLADAY! .

    Ok, we’re so getting crushed today.

    As for Cano, we know it’s ugly. but wow. it’s ugly this year.

    Bases empty : 347/.380/.541
    men on : 259/.294/.427
    RISP : .213/.248/.340 <———

    HOLY SHIT. can we bat him leadoff?

    • Matt M.

      but but but…sliding jeter back into the 2 hole will undo all the potential good of putting cano 1 because of the ensuing double play ;-)

      • RollingWave

        well, he is slugging .540 with no one on, so he’ll probably be on second or already scored on a HR anyway.

  • steve (different one)

    Girardi does have a “love affair” with matchups, but shouldn’t we at least acknowledge that Coke has been death on lefties?

    at least it’s a legitimate weapon. we might not like it from an aethestic perspective, but it’s not “dumb”…

    • Tank Foster

      I agree. Coke is so good right now he can get righties out, too, if they want to use him that way. He’s throwing mid-90s and has control. He was a starter his whole career, and it’s as if he’s finally transitioned to a relief pitcher mentality, and he’s a freaking beast.

  • Tripp

    “We don’t want our team losing to a bunch of Canadians on Independence Day.” Haha. I’m going to a Rugby game tonight in Charleston, SC. Canada’s national team vs. the US national team. Hopefully, the US can pull out a victory, but it’s pretty unlikely.

    • RollingWave

      It’s Rugby, the chances of the US winning in that is kinda like the chances of TEAM USA beating Brazil in soccer.