Rays pound Yanks on Old Timer’s Day


Following yesterday’s touching tribute to George Steinbrenner and Bob Sheppard and Nick Swisher‘s walk-off hit, today’s game felt much more routine. Mickey Rivers got things started off with a walk-off hit of his own in the Old Timer’s Game, but the current Yankees couldn’t carry that momentum into their game against the Rays.

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin)

Brignac’s Career Day

Once upon a time, Rays’ infielder Reid Brignac hit .321/.376/.539 split between High-A and Double-A, putting himself on the prospect map in 2006. Of course, he hasn’t exceeded a .760 OPS since, including this year in the big leagues. He started today’s game hitting .265/.329/.365 with just two homers, so naturally he went 3-for-5 with two long balls in this game. The first was the more damaging of the two homers, a 2nd inning shot off A.J. Burnett that increased Tampa’s lead to three. The second homer was a garbage time three run job off Dustin Moseley.

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

The Rays would push ten runs across against a sorry trio of Yankee pitchers, with Brignac driving in five. It was just his fifth career three hit game and first career multi-homer game, so good for the kid. Hopefully that’s the last time I ever tip my cap to him.

What is this, 2006?

Burnett started Saturday’s game off fine, retiring the first two batters he faced before back-to-back hits gave Tampa the lead. Fine, whatever. It happens. Next inning, more of the same. Two quick outs, hit batter, then Brignac goes deep. Burnett then made an error trying to barehand a dinky little comebacker before escaping the frame, and he was so frustrated that he slammed his pitching hand (his pitching hand!!!) against a clubhouse door and hurt himself. The lacerations took away whatever shaky control he had to begin with, and he was out of the game before recording an out in the 3rd.

So on comes Moseley. He needed 75 freakin’ pitches to put eight men on base in three innings of work, and as you can imagine, his ERA now accurately reflects that performance. Chad Gaudin came in to finish things off, throwing the final four innings while giving up a pair of runs. The Yankees were down 4-2 when Burnett exited the game, but the Rays really mopped the floor with the Yanks mop-up men, washing away any hope of a comeback.

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

As I was watching the game, I thought to myself  “I can’t believe I’m watching Dustin Moseley pitch for the 2010 Yankees, this has a 2006-2008 vibe,” and it really did. Another team’s retread trying to soak up the middle innings after a stinky outing by the starter. Thankfully these kinds of games have been few and far between this season, which is a lot better than what we suffered through a few years ago, but still. When Sergio Mitre returns next week, I assume GM Brian Cashman is just going to flip a coin to determine who gets designated for assignment. Heads it’s Moseley, tails it’s Gaudin.


Rays’ starter Jeff Niemann was very wild in the early going, walking the bases loaded before Brett Gardner singled in a pair of runs in the 2nd. He settled down after that, retiring 15 of the final 20 batters he faced. Jorge Posada and Mark Teixeira each took him deep for solo shots, but they were too little, too late.

The silver lining of this one: Posada’s starting to swing the bat a little better. He went 2-for-5 with a homer today after going 1-for-3 with a walk and a homer yesterday. Posada hit just .215/.348/.336 in 132 plate appearances after coming off the disabled list month, and the obvious possible reason for the improvement is the All Star break. The four days off probably gave the 38-year-old some time to heal up and recharge the battery. Whatever it is, hopefully he keeps it up.

Oh, and in case you missed it, Tim McCarver compared the Yankee front office to Nazi Germany. Ross has the video.

WPA Graph & Box Score

Never had a chance. MLB.com has the box score, FanGraphs the other stuff.

Up Next

Tomorrow’s rubber game matinee features a pair of All Star lefties in Andy Pettitte and David Price. That should be a blast. The Yanks are still up two games on Tampa in the division, 5.5 up on Boston, so they’re guaranteed to start their series against the Angels on Tuesday in sole possession of first place regardless of what happens between now and then.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. pollo says:

    My last 4 yankee games:

    AJ Burnett vs Rays
    Cliff Lee
    Felix Hernandez
    AJ Burnett vs Rays

    I’m getting sick of losing.

  2. Ross in Jersey says:

    To quote FJM, Tim McCarver has said 99 of the 100 dumbest things ever said about baseball. Today’s diatribe and comparing the Yankee FO to Nazi Germany may just have pushed him into perfect 100/100 territory.

    Seriously, how Tim McCarver still has job is beyond me. Then again, this is Fox we’re talking about. May that network someday die a slow, painful death.

  3. Ross in Jersey says:

    Also I’m kind of glad we didn’t get Cliff Lee. Imagine if Hughes was rotting in the bullpen while AJ stunk up the joint every 5th day?

    It’s really aggravating that when he’s bad he’s so bad that it’s non-competitive. At least the other guys can battle when they don’t have their good stuff. Oh well… like I said earlier, the Yankees are probably the only organization that can eat AJ’s contract if they have to. And if he continues pitching like this they may not have much of a choice next year.

    • pat says:

      What about the games where he looks like the best pitcher in baseball? Do those count too?

      • Chris0313 says:

        When is the last time AJ Burnett looked like the best pitcher in baseball?

        • Mister Delaware says:

          When was the last time you did?

          Man up.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          Mid-May? Maybe a little before that? Remember, he was pretty awesome in April.

          • Chris0313 says:

            Ostensibly, AJ Burnett looks like the best pitcher in baseball. In reality, those starts (if they exist) are few and far between.


            7 IP 2 ER – vs Tampa
            8 IP 0 ER – vs Baltimore
            7.1 IP O ER – vs Baltimore
            8 IP 1 ER – vs Cleveland

            Those are his starts this year 7 IP 2 ER or better.

            His only other respectable starts:

            6.2 0 ER – vs Toronto
            6.2 2 ER – vs MIN

            When in the world has he looked like “the best pitcher in baseball”?

            Does he have the ability to pitch well against bad teams? Yes. Does any other mediocre pitcher? Yes.

          • Chris0313 says:


            Last year was more of the same. Can RAB do a post on AJ Burnett and how overrated he really is?

            • Mike Axisa says:

              I’ll do that just for you, since AJ has never demonstrated the ability to be a competent big league starter.

              • Chris0313 says:

                He is definitely competent. I think he is an average major league starter. I wonder if your post can show me otherwise.

                I enjoy your work and I’m looking forward to it! Your blog is fantastic.

            • Esteban says:

              You mean he’s not the best pitcher in baseball and is actually really inconsistent?

              • Chris0313 says:

                I think AJ Burnett is far from inconsistent. I theorize that AJ Burnett is actually consistently mediocre, throughout his career, and in his short stint with the Yankees.

                If I’m correct, he only pitches fantastic against the below average teams in the league, and then average to below average against everyone else (outside of maybe 1 or 2 starts a year).

                I think everyone overrates AJ Burnett and he is nothing more than a 5 starter. His 85 ERA+ entering today shows that.

                • Esteban says:

                  Mediocre or average? For the Yankees, going in to today he had a 98 ERA+ for his career he has a 108 ERA+. Above average

                  • Chris0313 says:

                    ERA+ is only one indicator, obviously, but it is consistent with my theory. An ERA+ of 108 isn’t that far above average.

                    More importantly, his 98 ERA+ as a Yankee backs up my claim. I eagerly await Mike’s post!

                • Dirty Pena says:

                  Booooo! You suck as a lawyer! You should be reading cases or doing some work for a client! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

                  • Chris0313 says:

                    “When you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. When you have the law on your side, pound the law. When you have neither the facts or the law on your side, pound on the table”

                    It seems as if I’ve touched upon a sensitive subject and people who love AJ are feeling a bit hurt by my stance. It’s understandable, it is fandom after all. It’s what makes sports great.

                • Mister Delaware says:

                  Where you watch baseball, do most #5 starters have >100 ERA+ 8 out of 9 years?



                  • Captain Jack says:

                    The “man up” was old before the game wrap…AJ got mad and punched something and fucked up his pitching hand. He needs to deal with his anger in a less destructive way and be an adult (a man) about things.

                • Carlosologist says:

                  If AJ Burnett’s career ERA+ of 108 is mediocre, then what do you call average?

                  • Chris0313 says:

                    I might have been exaggerating regarding his career. Like I said, more importantly, I want to focus on his time with the Yankees. That’s what Mike’s post is going to focus on.

                  • Chris0313 says:

                    Also, ERA+ is only one indicator and it isn’t the end-all-be-all. I’m curious to see Mike’s post.

                    • Dirty Pena says:

                      Why do you keep referencing Mike’s post? He only sarcastically said he would.

                    • Chris0313 says:

                      Really? I actually thought he was serious! My reading comprehension is absolute failure. Oh well, I hope down the line someone looks into AJ Burnett’s tenure with the Yankees.

                      Are our expectations for AJ a bit too high?

                      I think it’s a pretty good question to build off of.

                    • bexarama says:

                      Oh well, I hope down the line someone looks into AJ Burnett’s tenure with the Yankees.

                      Yep. No one’s analyzed this at all, and I’m sure no one’s going to analyze AJ Burnett’s Yankee career once it’s done in however many years.

                      C’mon, man.

  4. Kiko Jones says:

    For McCarver to compare this arguable Yankee faux pas to mid 20th century German and Soviet generals being airbrushed out of their respective histories for not achieving whatever victory was expected of them, is not only grounds for invoking Godwin’s Law, but an incredibly inappropriate and ill-timed statement mere days after the death of GMSIII.

    Is The Boss supposed to be the stand-in for one of those “despotic leaders in WWII” McCarver was talking about? Jesus, man, do you not think before you spew such nonsense? Good grief.

  5. Esteban says:

    What McCarver said is just absurd. Absurd. How did he even think of that analogy.

  6. Esteban says:

    Also, Kenny Albert did not seem to know how to respond to what Timmy was saying.

  7. Carlosologist says:

    Tim McCarver: An example of what taking too many foul tips to the head does to a catcher.

  8. ShuutoHeat (GGBG > Crawford) says:

    Lemme start this off with “I fucking hate McCarver”.

    Now if we fucking hate him now, think what he would be like when he is TRULY senile? Not that he ISN’T senile now, just picture a full blown senile McCarver.

    What annoys me was how quick he was to dismiss any possibility that a bad call was made by the umpires. Or how he lives in his own reality when it comes to certain things, insisting that AJ does indeed throw a split finger.

    Losing a game sucks, I’ll admit it. But losing it while listening to that old piece of useless shit spew commentary out of his ass really fires me up.

    • Mister Delaware says:

      No, not an island surrounded by water, but E-I-L-A-N-D. Surrounded by Yankee pitchers.

      • ShuutoHeat (GGBG > Crawford) says:

        OMG, how could I have forgotten that little nugget of humor(?). I used to be able to laugh at his moronic ass, but as time goes by he just got annoying and the hate started to set in. I feel bad for whoever has to speak to him for more than 1 minute.

  9. sevrox says:

    Enjoy reading the blog, I’m not really a stathead – but I’ve enjoyed RAB immensely and it’s one of my primary stops on the ‘net while catching up on All Things Yankee.

    Just wanted to chime in on McCarver and Burnett – both suck. FOX has some horrid writers. When YES offers Jack Curry and FOX offers Tim McCarver, you realize why the Yanks are the Yanks.

    AJ is simply not built for NY – like other good pitchers the Yanks thought would perform the same for them, he has failed and will continue to fail under the bright lights and big city media pressure. The stats the Yank front office signed him for – his success against both the Sox and Yanks – are useless at this point. Yanks will definitely have to eat some of that contract. I prefer watching Mitre or Gaudin putrify through a start then watch tattoo’d Nuke Laloosh cause cardiac arrests throughout Yankee Universe everytime he takes the mound.

    Heading to SWB Yanks v. Mudhens today and looking forward to seeing Jesus et al.

    Thanks for the ‘site.


    • Pete says:

      uh…what? He has given the team pretty much exactly what they signed him for – inconsistency that winds up being solid over the course of a full season, along with the ability to dominate once or twice during the playoffs. He has been the exact same pitcher in NY as he has been everywhere else, which doesn’t say he can’t handle NY, it says he handles NY the same way he handles everything else.

      And no, you don’t prefer watching Mitre or Gaudin start than AJ. There’s just no way that’s true. At least AJ is good sometimes, which can’t be said about Mitre or Gaudin.

      Honestly, I’m more sick of fans whining about AJ than AJ himself. He is, for all

      • Pete says:

        intents and purposes, our #5 starter. We have a #5 starter who can give us ~200 innings with a 4.00-4.50 ERA, and can dominate in the playoffs. Most teams go through three or four #5 starters who amount to 180 innings of 5.00+ ERA pitching.

    • bexarama says:

      AJ is simply not built for NY – like other good pitchers the Yanks thought would perform the same for them, he has failed and will continue to fail under the bright lights and big city media pressure.

      Yeah someone doesn’t remember Game 2 of the 2009 World Series. Did he suddenly realize he was in NY under the bright lights between that game and this year?

      • Brien Jackson says:

        Apparently very few people remember that game.

        • bexarama says:


          I get being angry at AJ, his June was horrendous and what he did yesterday was really stupid. I don’t get saying silly things like that he can’t handle the bright lights of NY because he handled them just fine last year.

  10. Wil Nieves #1 Fan says:

    My top 5 worst baseball sportscasters and contributors:
    2. Tom Verducci
    3. Steve Phillips
    4. Kruk
    5. Hawk Harrelson

    Special shout out to Ron Darling.

    • Jimmy says:

      Tom Verducci is so bad. The only thing he talks about is Albert Pujols.

      Jon Heyman is up there. The only thing he talks about is how much a player will make.

      So annoying.

    • bexarama says:

      There is no way Verducci is worse than Phillips, Kruk, or Harrelson. Not particularly great, but those guys, and some others, are just in their own class of horrendous.

      • Brien Jackson says:

        The few times I’ve listened to Harrelson, he hasn’t bothered me that much. I can tolerate homerism (although his obnoxiousness stretches the limit a bit) it’s stupidity that gets under my skin.

  11. phil says:

    Hey guys I have 2 extra tickets to the game today, section 431A. My two friends bailed so if you want to go their $20 bucks email me at portuesep2@gmail.com, i can email them to you and you can pay me via paypal

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