Burnett solid again as Yanks complete sweep

Miranda's hot streak continues in SWB win
Hello, Mark. So nice to see you.

This game followed a pleasant arc. It started off frustrating, with the Yankees loading the bases with one out in the first only to squander the situation. They then blew a first and second situation in the second, so it started to feel like one of those games. That the A’s jumped out to a 1-0 lead didn’t help. But from the fourth inning on everything went smoothly. They did strand a few more baserunners, but with the lead already in hand and Good A.J. on the mound it didn’t really matter. The Yanks easily completed the sweep with a 6-2 win.

Biggest Hit: Teixeira caps the rally

Photo credit: Ben Margot/AP

The Yanks had a few chances in the first three innings to put some runs on the board against Gio Gonzalez, but stranded all their runners each time. In the first it was the bases loaded and one out followed by two strikeouts. In the second both Brett Gardner and Ramiro Pena singled with one out, but Jeter killed them with a double play. In the third Swisher led off with a double, took third on a fly ball, and watched as A-Rod and Jorge struck out. Opportunities with runners in scoring position: seven. Yankee runs: zero.

Even in the fourth it seemed like more of the same. Marcus Thames opened the inning with a single, but Francisco grounded one to Mark Ellis and ruined it. But then Brett Gardner drew a six-pitch walk. WIth Pena up he swiped second, and then scored to tie the game when Ramiro Pena singled. A wild pitch and a Derek Jeter single gave the Yankees the lead. Nick Swisher followed that with a walk, putting two on with two out for Teixeira.

It took just one pitch for him to open up the game. Gonzalez dealt a 92 mph fastball that got neither down enough nor away enough. Tex hit it deep to center, clearing the wall and giving the Yankees a 5-1 lead. It’s the second straight game in which a middle of the order bat came through with a game-changing home run.

Biggest Pitch: Crisp gives the A’s a lead

Photo credit: Ben Margot/AP

He looked like Good A.J. right from the beginning. Through two innings A.J. Burnett had retired all six batters he faced, two on swinging strikeouts. With two outs in the third he had thrown just 32 pitches. But then he walked Cliff Pennington and let him steal second. Coco Crisp followed that with a single to give the A’s an early lead. It was no biggie, though. Burnett got Daric Barton to end the frame.

A half inning later the Yanks gave Burnett a big lead, and he never put it in question. He struck out only one more and allowed five more baserunners, but the A’s weren’t making great contact. Of the 13 balls the A’s put in play from the fourth through the seventh, eight were on the ground, and two were pop ups. It would have been nice to see some more strikeouts, but all considered it was a second straight good start for Burnett.

Most surprisingly, Burnett threw nine changeups. He didn’t generate any swinging strikes, but he did throw it six times for a strike. He said he started throwing it more last game. I’m not sure it’s a difference maker, but it sure hasn’t hurt.

Speaking of difference makers, between innings the YES cameras showed Burnett palling around with Dave Eiland. Of course they did. It’s a story. Causation? Maybe. Certainly can’t rule it out. It’s just so odd that a 33-year-old pitcher would completely fall apart without the pitching coach he’s had for just a year and a few months out of a 12-year career.

Swish makes the case

Photo credit: Ben Margot/AP

There’s been plenty of campaigning to Send Swish to the All-Star game. A 3 for 4 night with a walk, a double, and a homer helps his case for sure. Not as much as the ballot stuffers, of course, but it helped nonetheless. He got a chance to do even more damage in his last at-bat, but ended up flying weakly to center on what appeared to be a hittable pitch.

All-Star game or not, Swish has had a hell of a first half. He’s hitting .299 right now, which is significantly above his career average. He’ll need to go 6 for 16 this weekend against Seattle to head into the break with a .300 batting average.

Miscelanny

It was a good idea to get Marcus Thames out of the field when Gonzalez came out of the game, but damn, Curtis Granderson really isn’t doing anything. The Yanks will face three lefties this weekend, and I figure Granderson will play. It’s not like he’s hitting righties much better right now.

After a pair of homers last night A-Rod was the only starter without a hit last night. He did, however, manage to look foolish while falling down on a misjudged foul pop.

The team was just 3 for 13 with runners in scoring position, but when one of those is a three-run home run it’ll do.

That makes it five straight for the Yanks with four left until the break.

Graph and chart

Box and graphs.

Next Up

The Yanks move northward to Seattle, with Andy Pettitte going against Jason Vargas in the fourth of the six straight 10 p.m. starts.

email
Miranda's hot streak continues in SWB win
Hello, Mark. So nice to see you.
  • http://soxandpinstripes.net Angelo

    I wish Teixeira would start hitting already. This has become much more than just some slump. The Yankees will regret the day they signed Tex.

    ..Wait what?

  • forensicnucchem

    It would suck if it led to a lost lead, but you almost wonder if it’s worth staying away from Mo in the Seattle series. That would then give him at least 10 straight days off, almost a full DL stint, to maybe take care of some of his aches and pains.

    • Evan in NYC

      A good way to avoid Mo if that is what Girardi would do, is tack on some serious runnage!

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime-Jesus & Maquinito FTW

    Wow, five strait? It’s amazing that this team has won so many games when half the time it doesn’t feel like it…perception is everything.

    • Evan in NYC

      It seems that both Tex and ARod are finding their strokes. Should made for a pretty serious second half.

  • forensicnucchem

    Beating a dead horse, but facing those lefties in the Seattle series should effectively drop Granderson’s OBP under .300 and SLG under .400.

    There aren’t many other options, but how long can they stick with him in the lineup, especially with no DH still?

    • http://twitter.com/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

      When we can get a better CF based on career levels and not just 2010.

      • RollingWave

        which, if we leave out guys who are really old , really small sampled, and/or fell of a huge cliff or badly hurt. is a very small list

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

    great fuckin win

  • jon g

    I was at the game tonite and we were commenting on how Ajaz would have def caught a ball that landed in front of granderson. Ben, you are going to owe me those shots of Patron…

    Oh, and Joba hit 99 on the gun. Really pulling for him to find his Mojo.

    So does the bullpen swing get going after the break? Sanchez and Alby for Park and Gaudin..?

    • whozat

      Yes, the drunken guess work of your and your buddies from somewhere in the stands is TOTALLY the last word on Curtis Granderson’s fielding abilities.

    • http://twitter.com/AnaMariana42 Ana

      LOL now they’re bitching about his speed? Does it ever stop…

      • Tom Zig

        Thinks for a second…

        No.

    • Brian in NH

      And how do you know Austin Jackson would have definitely caught that ball? Do you watch every single defensive play he’s made in CF while playing in Detroit? or in Scranton last year?

    • AndrewYF

      Guys, guys, he said A-Jaz. Clearly, he meant Al-Jazeera, the far-reaching terriost news network.

      • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

        IETC.

      • Excellent Wellington

        Brilliant.

  • Salty Buggah

    It’s sweet when your pitchers are pitching well and your 3-4 guys are crushing the ball (though I could use some more BA (and OBP, as it’s related) from A-Rod). Simple recipe for wins.

    • Brian in NH

      That, and really great pitching which we’ve had for most of the season up to this point.

  • larryf

    Let’s go with The great Bretsky at leadoff all 3 games in Seattle. He takes tons of pitches and almost always puts the ball in play with 2 strikes and can’t be doubled. Lefties or not-step outside the binder Joe! Let’s give those first pitch groundouts to second or short a break Jetes…

    • Brian in NH

      Its not so much that Brett can’t be doubled-up. Its that Jeter behind him has a tendency to GIDP. Unless Gardner is running everytime Jeter swings he can still be a part of a DP. You could have Gardner hit second to avoid the double play, Or Swisher wasn’t bad there as he doesn’t hit as many double play balls at Jeter tends to.

      • larryf

        good points. Gardner can also get to second quickly to break up double plays. I wish Jetes wasn’t such a ground ball first pitch machine….

  • CS Yankee

    On the path to 100+ wins seems nice, what seems strange though is that…

    in the minus dept…Jeet, Teix, & Granderson bat are way below projections, DH position still needs to be filled, middle-relief, & the bench seems really weak compared to others (Rays, Sox, Rox, etc)

    in the plus dept…Andy & kid Phil are having career type years, Frankie filled in well, Grit has played lights out, & Robbie Cano in de cinco de hole (don’t you know) is MVP-like.

  • Bret

    The Granderson trade is looking worse and worse by the day. You can say what you want about Austin Jackson but I’ve watched the guy a fair amount and he has a good approach and consistently squares balls up. When you consider his age and inexperience the Tigers have to be thrilled so far. If he develops into a star (which is eminently possible) and Granderson tanks (which looks exceedingly likely), this will go down as one of the most lopsided trades in history. Not to mention the 22 million saved over the next three years. 84 games is too many to say it is still early.

    The Yankees pitching continues to impress and surprise me – but they are still 45 runs behind last year’s pace.

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

      this will go down as one of the most lopsided trades in history.

      surely you can’t possibly be that small brained, eh?

      you forget the nolan ryan trade? how about the jeff bagwell trade? Hell, the nick swisher trade was a steal, as were the johan santana, eric bedard and mark teixeira trades

      • Tom Zig

        this will go down as one of the most lopsided trades in history.

        See:

        Colon, Bartolo.
        Slocumb, Heathcliff.
        Pierzynski, Anthony John

        Don’t see:

        Granderson, Curtis

    • Pete

      “84 games is too many to say it is still early.”

      no. no it isn’t.

      • Tom Zig

        Early in the season? No
        Too early to see if this trade is a bust? Yes

        • Pete

          exactly. Two-three seasons down the line our perspectives will be greatly enhanced, and we’ll be able to properly evaluate the trade post-facto, which is still a worse way of evaluating a trade than when it happens, with no hindsight. And with no hindsight, this was a good trade for the Yanks.

          • Bret

            I hated the deal at the time for a variety of reasons but didn’t expect it to be this bad. What if Austin Jackson turns into Torii Hunter? He has all the tools except power but the ball jumps off his bat and I think once he grows that will come also. Then would it be a lopsided deal (6 years of team control for a great player versus a big time bust)? We aren’t there yet but it certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

            • Tom Zig

              AJax’s ultimate ceiling is Curtis Granderson (speedy, good defensive CFer with some power but not as much as Curtis). So I guess that means AJax will turn into a big time bust too then?

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

              What if Austin Jackson turns into Torii Hunter?

              Fun Fact:

              Torii Hunter, career OPS+/wOBA/wRC+: 109/.346/110
              Curtis Granderson, career OPS+/wOBA/wRC+: 112/.355/117

              Your mind: BLOWN.

              • Tom Zig

                Torii Hunter you aren’t as good as Curtis Granderson and you sound like Kermit the Frog

                Boom roasted

              • Excellent Wellington

                Pshh, I’ll be impressed when I see some meaningful counting stats.

              • Bret

                My mind is far from blown. That is similar to me taking Ken Griffey Jr. (Granderson) this year and saying look at his career numbers versus Denard Span (Ajax). But would you want Span or Griffey right now? Granderson had one big year, once decent year and has had a very brief career. Hunter has had an extremely long and productive career and was very subpar his first few years which means he has been much better than Granderson since he turned 25 – Granderson wasn’t an everyday player until age 25, Hunter by 23. And Jackson is outpeforming what Hunter did at age 23 by a solid margin.

                Now Granderson is almost 30 and clearly on the decline. Ajax has 4 years before he even hits his prime.

    • gc

      “84 games is too many to say it is still early.”

      Don’t be thick. Unless you’re really saying that 84 games (of which, Granderson has only played 60) into a three year deal is enough to convince you the trade is a 100% bust. That’s beyond nonsensical.

    • Zack

      Have you seen Jackson play since April?

      .917
      .732
      .614
      .733

      If he was the Yankee CF you’d be bitching that Cashman handed one of his over-hyped prospects the CF job.

      • Tom Zig

        boom roasted

        • jsbrendog (returns)

          KABLAMMO

      • Bret

        I’m not saying that Jackson is Willie Mays at the moment. But a mid .700 OPS with solid defense is very respectable for a guy that is 23 years old. Go look at Torii Hunter’s numbers at the same age.

        Plus it is more than 60 games with Granderson, he has been declining steadily the last few years and turns 30 this offseason. If you are totally discounting the possiblity of Granderson being a bust I think you are blindly optimistic.

        • Zack

          No one said Jackson had to be an all-star caliber player as a rookie- but that’s what people are trying to make him out to be after ONE hot month.

          We all understand most rookies struggle, but most rookies do not have the luxury of a .422 BABIP either.

    • AndrewYF

      Austin Jackson vs LHP: .500 OPS
      Curtis Granderson vs LHP: .528 OPS

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      dare I say….oaktag

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

      Yay, Bret.

      If he develops into a star (which is eminently possible)

      I think Austin Jackson probably has the chance of having a pretty nice career, but stars don’t strike out as much as he does while hitting for so little power.

      • Bret

        I agree with you. But I think the power is going to come. He is still growing into his body and most of his strikeouts were in April when he was learning the level, league, pitchers, etc. Lately he is making a lot of hard contact.

        • I Voted for Kodos

          I’ve seen other people mention this, but it’s really not true.

          April – 32 K’s, 10 BB, 99 AB
          May – 25 K, 5 BB, 101 AB
          June – 21 K, 3 BB, 79 AB
          July – 7 K, 2 BB, 21 AB

          His K rate has fallen a little through the months, but it’s still astronomical and hasn’t improved nearly enough to say that “most of his strikeouts were in April.”

          • Bret

            Again, he is never going to be a guy with tremendous plate discipline but I do think he will cut down on the K’s. I think he can be a Miguel Tejada type who doesn’t walk much but makes consistent hard contact with gap and occasional home run power. From what I’ve seen, his BABIP may go down some but generally the guy makes consistent hard contact, it isn’t completely surprising to me that his BABIP is so high.

            But I do agree with the point that either he needs to K a lot less or develop much more power. I wouldn’t doubt him progressing on either count however given his age and lack of experience.

  • Jake H

    Great win. AJ looks a lot better. Dave Eiland must be a genius right?