Yanks can’t figure out Moyer, fall 6-3

Heathcott & Murphy lead Charleston's offensive explosion
When A.J. goes bad

With their heads held high after topping arch-nemesis Roy Halladay on Tuesday night, the Yankees showed up to the park on Wednesday with another reason to feel good about themselves: cleanup hitter Alex Rodriguez would be back in the lineup. Turns out that Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig could have been in the lineup for all Jamie Moyer cared, he was that damn good. Thankfully Tampa Bay fell to Atlanta, so the Yanks are still tied atop the AL East with the game’s best run differential.

Victorino Pulls A Gardner

Photo Credit: Seth Wenig, AP

The key to the Yanks drubbing of Halladay on Tuesday night was a Brett Gardner bases loaded triple that split the outfielders and rolled to the right-centerfield wall, pushing three runs across and giving the Yankees a lead they would never relinquish. That seemed like a pretty good blueprint for victory, so the Phillies’ speedy outfielder went ahead and did the same thing in this game.

We’ll talk more about A.J. Burnett in a bit, but all you need to know right now is that he loaded the bases with one out in the 2nd inning by walking Raul Ibanez (on five pitches), allowing Greg Dobbs to single to right (scoring Ibanez), walking Brian Schneider (four pitches!!!), and taking a Wilson Valdez shot up the middle off his feet for a single. The Phightin’s had the bases loaded with one out, so Burnett did the smart thing and ran the count full to Shane Victorino.

Victorino had been hitless since last Thursday, but he didn’t a miss a sinker left letters high and out over the plate, rocketing it into the same right-centerfield spot as Gardner the night before. The bases cleared, the Flyin’ Hawaiian was standing on third, and the Yankees were down four runs before they even sent four men to the plate.

Jamie Moyer, Yankee Killer

Untouchable. (Photo Credit: Seth Wenig, AP)

Following arguably the worst start of his career, 47-year-old Jamie Moyer took to the mound on Wednesday and did the exact opposite of what we all expected him to do: he dominated the Yankees. The only blemishes in his eight stellar innings of work were solo homers by Robbie Cano and Jorge Posada, but otherwise the Yankees didn’t put him in the stretch until the 7th inning, when A-Rod drew a one out walk. That baserunner was quickly erased with a 5-4-3 double play. It was one of those kinds of nights.

Moyer’s slow, slower, slowest approach simply befuddled the Yanks, who didn’t really hit anything hard beyond the homers. He got just two swings and misses out of his 107 pitches, and became the oldest pitcher to ever beat the Yankees. Not exactly how we drew it up.

Photo Credit: Seth Wenig, AP

Game Five A.J.

With a chance to clinch the World Series last November, the Yanks sent Burnett to the mound in Game Five against the Phillies, and he promptly made a mess in the bed, to be candid. In that game he allowed six runs and eight baserunners in just two innings of work, which really isn’t much better than the six runs and 11 baserunners he allowed in 3.1 IP on Wednesday. Beyond the Victorino triple, Burnett also allowed back-to-back solo homers to Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth, the first time all year the Phillies turned that trick despite their … ahem … American League lineup.

Burnett simply didn’t give the Yankees a chance to win in this one, needing 87 pitches to record ten outs. Nothing quite boils the blood like a Bad A.J. start.

Logan & Gaudin … Really?

Yeah, I can't figure it out either, Swish. (Photo Credit: Seth Wenig, AP)

One good thing came out of Burnett’s horrific and short outing … well, I think it’s a good thing. If nothing else, it was fun to watch. Anyway, Boone Logan and Chad Gaudin, the two lowest members of the Yanks’ bullpen totem pole absolutely dominated the Phils for close to six innings tonight. I know, who saw that coming?

Logan faced nine batters, and got seven of them to either strikeout or ground out. Gaudin replaced him and sat down all nine men he faced without incident. It was Yeoman’s work out of the bullpen (/The Show‘d), with Logan and Gaudin keeping the Yanks in the game when Burnett couldn’t. Without them, the tying run doesn’t come to the plate in the bottom of the 9th.

WPA Graph & Box Score

Boy, that little rally off Brad Lidge wasn’t as big as we thought, eh? MLB.com has the box score, FanGraphs all the other stuff.


Up Next

Rubber match is set for tomorrow evening at 7:05pm, and just like last November Andy Pettitte will get the ball to try and pick up the series win Burnett couldn’t. He’ll be opposed by Kyle Kendrick, who has turned all non-pitchers he’s faced into the 2009 version of Hideki Matsui due to a .289-.341-.510 batting line against. That has to be a trap, no?

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Heathcott & Murphy lead Charleston's offensive explosion
When A.J. goes bad
  • http://www.soxandpinstripes.net JGS

    We see any estimates on how far Cano’s home run went? Because that was a monster shot

    • bonestock94

      ESPN box score says 451 feet. I didn’t catch this one, but “bad aj” seems to sum it up.

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

      Yeah, it was an absolute bomb. Legitimately halfway up the bleachers.

  • Pete

    To be fair to the yankees, Moyer’s fastball is the only pitch in baseball that actually moves backwards. You can’t fault them for not being able to hit it.

  • Salty Buggah

    I know it’s mostly insignificant in the big picture but that Jeter BS called strike 3 on a 3-2 count in the bottom of the ninth really pissed me off. That’s would’ve given the Yanks one more run and one more out to work with (I know, I know, fallacy of the predetermined outcome, etc.), which could’ve turned the game around. Also, is it me or does every umpire hate Swisher? He’s been getting screwed by them a lot lately. Robot umps please.

    I’d just like to forget this game with a series win tomorrow.

    • j

      I thought the home plate ump was calling a fairly large strike zone the whole night. Of course, that just made AJ’s struggles even more annoying

      • Salty Buggah

        I thought the ump was bad right after Burnett exited the game. I checked the strikezone plot and Moyer only had 3 or so gift strikes up until that point, which isn’t terrible I suppose. However, I just checked it again, and holy shit, you’re right. The Phillies were awarded 11 gift strikes by my count.

        http://www.brooksbaseball.net/.....type=7.gif

  • Bryan
  • Bobby’s World

    Was it me or did Posada look like he never caught a game before,he was terrible back there.The Yankees are going to have a big dilemma soon,Posada either DH’S or see ya when his contract is up.He was always an okay catcher his whole career but now forget it.

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

      The only problem I noticed was the dropped pitch out. Burnett’s curve has a mind of it’s own once it hits the dirt, I don’t blame the wild pitch on Posada.

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

      Also, this was his second start behind the plate in a month. I’m sure there’s a rust factor.

    • Salty Buggah

      Really? I actually thought he did well. He even blocked a couple of very tough pitches that normally would have gotten away from him (to be fair, with AJ’s wildness, those are probably wild pitches no matter who the catcher is).

      • whozat

        betcha a dollar that Bobby’s World has always thought little of Posada’s catching abilities. People see what they want to see.

        • Salty Buggah

          I believe that is known as confirmation bias. Right?

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

            This comment is full of humorous juxtaposition.

            • Salty Buggah

              I don’t get it. How so?

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

                You’re asking for confirmation of your suspicion that the phrase “people see what they want to see” is an example of confirmation bias.

                • Salty Buggah

                  Ah, I see. Thanks.

      • deuce bag poster

        This.

        (For info on the temporary name change, here are two links:

        http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....ent-925314

        http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....ent-925668)

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

          I say make the name change permanent. It’s more fun to wear the commentary as a badge of pride.

          Being called a douchebag by a moron means you’re doing something right.

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

            Sorry, I missed the important detail:

            “Being called a douchebag “deuce bag” by a moron means you’re doing something right.”

            My bad.

            • deuce bag poster

              I thought of pointing that out, but I figured it was a typo. Or a non-typo that should’ve been a typo. Or something.

          • deuce bag poster

            If you haven’t noticed, I’m actually pretty cuttingly mean to perceived morons. I find it to be one of my better qualities.

            Permanent name change is an interesting idea (though I do like the name poster). I’ll keep the new handle for a couple of days. Maybe I’ll go with a compromise and change to “deuce bag poster” every game thread or something, as my sort of “I don’t suffer fools gladly” symbol.

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

              I’m telling you, “Deuce Bag Poster” is a great name. And I know great names.

              Just ask “King of Fruitless Hypotheticals”. Or “Mystique and Aura”.

              • deuce bag poster

                I’ll sit on it for a couple of days.

                As an aside: I would be the perfect first defense against the terriosts. They’d never recognize that I wasn’t one of them.

    • Brian in NH

      If you are blaming Posada for the steals its not entirely his fault either. Yes his arm isn’t that good anymore, but Burnett is usually pretty slow to the plate and doesn’t do a great job at keeping runners in check.

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

    Losing to Jamie Moyer: UNACCEPTABLE!!!!

    /thatonethread’d

    • deuce bag poster

      On the ohter hand, beating Roy Halladay was utterly unpossible.

      You know what this proves?

      That theories about future events in the game that we know as baseball are very often innaccurate and that theorizing about such possible events is a fruitless endeavor.

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

        That theories about future events in the game that we know as baseball are very often innaccurate and that theorizing about such possible events is a fruitless endeavor.

        That’s just a fancy way of saying this:

        http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/

        /buildingthebrand’d

        • deuce bag poster

          Well gawrsh. That’s one way to put it.

        • http://www.twitter.com/stophamm3rtime Dela G

          good god i’m so happy you’re back

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

            It’s the large sample size. It’s intoxicating.

            Mind-bottling, even.

      • Brian in NH

        me fail english? thats unpossible!

        /ralph wiggum’d

  • RichYF

    The key to the Yanks drubbing of Halladay on Tuesday night was a Brett Gardner bases loaded triple that split the outfielders and rolled to the right-centerfield wall, pushing three runs across and giving the Yankees a lead they would never relinquish.

    It was a 1st and 2nd triple. Posada was on first IIRC.

  • Mondoas

    I am sick of Allen James and his good AJ bad AJ thing! The Yankees are stuck with this guy and they have to deal with this because he is a total enigma to this team. Everytime he goes to the mound, you never know who is going to show up so why are the Yankees settling with this and paying him all that money? Also, why didn’t he cover first on the ball hit to Teixeira? Again, I am sick of him!

    • Brian in NH

      They signed him with all that money because more often than not Good AJ shows up. His career WAR is 30.6, and his career FIP and xFIP are 3.87 and 3.73 respectively. Those are all damn good numbers. He started out very strong this season, and when he’s on he dominates. I’m willing to bet his recent troubles are a hiccup and a bit of a regression. His FIP and xFIP are both above his career averages so its possible he regresses back down to his career numbers and absolutely dazzles us with his stuff.

      And this whole ” you never know who is going to show up” deal…you can say that with almost any pitcher. This is baseball. Even guys like Roy Halladay, arguably one of the best pitchers to come around in a while will get knocked around for 6 runs.

  • http://riveravenueblues Jethro

    Curtis Granderson–.241 BA. 18 rbi’s. Strikeout King extraordinaire. Nary a word of criticism about him–ever.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      Batting average, truly the greatest stat. If he was doing something that seriously warranted criticism, I don’t think RAB would hold back.

    • Brian in NH

      He started slow and arguably ver poorly…missed a month with a groin injury…and has been slowly building up is average since he came back. He’s only been back for a couple weeks now, and he’s been pretty good.

    • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

      With stats like that, Granderson would never get a big $$$ contract with the Phillies.

      Because RBIs are ~everything~!

  • dalelama

    I brought up trading Burnett for Cliff Lee last night and was pooh poohed by someone I consider an astute fan. I was wondering if it was a ridiculous idea because Seattle would never go for it or because the Yankees would never do it? From my perspective as a Yankee fan I would do it in a heart beat and was thinking that Seattle isn’t getting rid of Lee as a salary dump per se as they would like to re-sign him. I think their organization is pitching centric and would consider it. One might see more AJ in a less magnified, pressurized market as I am convinced alot of his trouble is caused more by what is in his head rather than his arm. Can anyone estimate how much of AJ’s contract we would have to cover to get the deal done, if any at all? Thanks

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      a. Seriously, dalelama? Even you’re smarter than this. I don’t know if AJ Burnett has a no-trade clause, he probably does, but more importantly, why would Seattle do this? AJ Burnett is a fine pitcher (really!), but Cliff Lee is better.

      b. He was always like this, even in Florida and Toronto. Doesn’t have to do with his head or TEH PRESSURE OF A BIG MARKET (and he already has a WS ring with the Yankees, so why would he still be stressed out?)!!!!!!! It’s the pitcher he is. He’s basically a two-pitch pitcher, and though they are two very good pitches when he is on, when he’s off, it’s disaster.

      • Brian in NH

        Guess i’m not the only one in the business of ripping up stupid comments the morning after a game!

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          I had to wake up early because someone has to fix some stuff in my house and I was greeted by a bunch of dumb articles/comments about how AJ Burnett is ZOMG TEH MENTAL CASE WHY HAVEN’T WE TRADED HIM FOR PUJOLS YET?!?!?!?!?. Therefore, I am cranky.

          • Brian in NH

            You gotta love those knee-jerk reactions and confirmation bias!

          • cecala

            STOP READING LOHUD! DO IT FOR YOUR HEALTH!

            /concerned commenter’d

    • Brian in NH

      there will be no straight up AJ for Cliff Lee trade. Its fantasy to think otherwise. You would have to at least include a top prospect like Montero or Romine and I don’t believe trading away those guys is in Cashman’s mind at all..not in the near future anyways. why don’t you suggest a Chad Gaudin for Felix Hernandez trade while your at it. Makes perfect sense for the Yankees!

      As much as we want..its hard to get a staff full of 5 aces. Burnett is on a good day a #2, on a bad day a #3-4. And I think thats what the Yanks expect from him.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        Well, on a good day he’s a #1, easy. And on a really bad day he’s not even a #5. See: 2009 World Series. But he can clearly be the #2 on a WS-winning team, like last year.

      • dalelama

        Seattle might do it because they are going to lose Cliff Lee anyway. So having a “fine” pitcher is better than having no pitcher. He would give up fewer homers in a bigger park and he has done better in smaller market. The five ace comment is ridiculous because we would be getting rid of one of the “aces”. So really so far despite all the hot air the only reason I have heard why it isn’t possible is because AJ might have a no trade clause in his contract. Cost considerations can be addressed by the Yanks covering some of AJ’s salary and considering we went 9 years without a WS ring I would give up a good prospect to get a pitcher in his prime who increases our chances to get another 1 to 3. Especially with Arod’s future in doubt (as far as being super dominant in the regular season) I think it would be an excellent out of the box move. Naturally a no trade clause would probably make this discussion a moot point so thanks for that feedback.

        • Tom Zig

          No, Seattle is not going to do that. They are well aware they are going to lose Cliff Lee, they are fine with that. They will either trade him for prospects or just let him walk and collect the two draft picks. To Seattle that is worth more than getting AJ Burnett at a cheaper rate + a prospect. Sorry if this comes out as a reply-fail, my phone is dumb like that.

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

          Dalelama, in full seriousness:

          Your “Let’s trade AJ Burnett for Cliff Lee” idea is not the dumbest idea you’ve ever had around here.

          /damningwithfaintpraise’d

          • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

            I’ve said this before but I missed you terribly.

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

              BABY, PLEASE, I AM NOT FROM HAVANA!!!!