The Quick Hook

ALDS Game Thread: Rangers @ Rays
Burnett is not alone

Bartolo Colon should probably be starting Game Four tonight. He outperformed A.J. Burnett all season long, but his stuff clearly faded down the stretch. The Yankees were concerned enough about Bart’s declining stuff that they left him off their ALDS roster entirely, so now the season is in Burnett’s hands. It wasn’t supposed to be, he’s only getting the ball because the weather didn’t cooperate on Friday, but it is what it is. No sense in complaining about it.

“I could have a very short leash,” said Joe Girardi after last night’s game, an indication of how important the game is more than his lack of faith in Burnett. It’s the first true must win of the season, either win or go home. Girardi needs to have a quick hook not because it’s A.J., but because of the magnitude of the game. He can’t afford to let any one of his pitchers let the game get out of hand, not just his starter.

Burnett has typically done his best work the first time through the order this year, part of the reason why he was in the bullpen to start the postseason. He pitched well against the Tigers in Detroit earlier this season, limiting them to two earned runs in seven innings of work (there were three unearned runs in there due to some Eduardo Scissorhands defensive funny business). That’s the best case scenario. I’ll take two runs over four innings and call it a win. Two runs in five would be a godsend.

Rafael Soriano threw 22 pitches last night, David Robertson just 14. Those two are good to go, for more than one inning if needed. Robertson especially is in six out territory; we saw Girardi use Kerry Wood as a two-inning setup man is Game Five of the ALCS last year (also an elimination game) and that’s exactly what he needs to do with his top setup arm tonight. Mariano Rivera has thrown three pitches since last Tuesday, so he’s good for more than just one inning of work now as well. It truly is an all hands on deck game.

“People are entitled to their opinion, and obviously I give them reasons here and there to doubt,” said Burnett after Game Three. “But the bottom line is I have confidence in myself. I’m not going to go out and try to prove anything. I’m going to go try and win a ballgame.” It doesn’t matter how he does it, just that he does it. Burnett has to be viewed as just one of many tonight, the first link in a pitching staff chain that will have to carry the Yankees back to the Bronx for Game Five.

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ALDS Game Thread: Rangers @ Rays
Burnett is not alone
  • http://twitter.com/#!/EricDKoch Eric

    Can we sign Molina for tonight?

  • daniel

    aj’s long’s day journey into night, his non story book season. Dusted and disgusted, forgotten and left for dead, tonight Allan James steps on the mound with the Yankee’s season on his back but more importantly, a chance at redemption.

    /michael kay’d

    • AJ

      Pumped me up.

  • jsbrendog

    rafael soriano sucks and i want him nowhere near this game. if he comes in i am willing to bet he is the one who blows it. and if he comes in while they are losing i’m calling lock to let them extend the lead. i hate him so much and have all year.

    • Kostas

      The Steinbrenners will now revoke your Yankee privileges. They do not over pay for injury proned players who provide less than substantial help to their team to be reminded how much the fan base hates that choice. That is all. Keep calm and carry on.

      • jsbrendog

        it was levine. i hope he gets hit by a bus.

      • Rainbow Connection

        What privileges? Paying too much for tickets? Paying too much for dried out bad food and shitty beer? Paying too much for parking? Paying more through taxes?

        • MannyGeee

          enjoy following the Mets from here on through. They’ll be glad to have ya. heard the food is alright.

  • Bartolo’s Colon

    i hope he can get five innings and only give up 2 or 3 runs, then depending on the score 2 innings for drob and two for mo. you figure the yanks have to be good for at least 5 runs tonight. the thing that always scares me about aj (actually there are many things) is just how quickly things go wrong for him. unless the yanks have a huge lead, i would be very hesitant in putting him out in the 6th no matter how well he does. nonetheless, i will be consuming more alcohol than normal tonight

  • Max

    Valverde has continued to whet my appetite by pitching like a lunatic and then just barely avoiding a BS.

    Let’s make it happen.

    Also, go AJ. 5 IP, 3 ER is all I ask. Then 1 inning of Soriano/Wade, 1-1.2 innings of DRob, 1-1.1 innings of Mo. Let’s do this thing.

    • Max

      Lol math is hard when you’re at work.

      2 innings from one of DRob or Mo + 1 inning from the other.

  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

    How about this?
    A.J Burnett 4 innings- 2 runs
    Wade 1 inning
    Soriano 1 inning
    Robertson 2 innings
    Rivera 1 inning

    The offense should hit Porello around, but it’s obviously not a guarantee, but that right there should be a formula for success.

    • nsalem

      I agree with Jesse

    • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

      I prefer:

      AJ: 9 innings – 0 runs

      *Jim wakes up*

      Your scenario ensues.

      • JAG

        Let’s just go for it:

        Burnett: 9 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 17 K, 0 BB

        Ok, 4BB. It is AJ after all.

        • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

          Everyone on board the AJ Shutout train!

        • Adam B

          honestly, while the walks are a big problem, AJ’s biggest flaw is how many pitches he leaves over the middle of the plate, thagt is where his crappy command fails him most

        • Sarah

          8 BB in his no-hitter. Anything less than that is considered a success!

    • Adam B

      Honestly, while AJ Burnett is an important part of this game, Girardi won’t let this become a 6-0 game in the 2nd inning… as soon as he shows signs of suckiness, the bullpen is warming up and rothschild is walking out very slowly

    • Adam B

      Honestly, while AJ Burnett is an important part of this game, Girardi won’t let this become a 6-0 game in the 2nd inning… as soon as he shows signs of suckiness, the bullpen is warming up and rothschild is walking out very slowly…

      This game is on the offense.

  • CMP

    You gotta figure Mo, Soriano and Robertson can give you 5 innings tonight if needed. If AJ can get through 4-5 with the game tied or the Yankees in the lead, they should be OK.

  • Kostas

    Said it before and will repost again.

    6.2IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB 1HR, 7K

    Will you take it? Is it good enough to win?

    Depends on whether Tex, ARod, Swish, Jeter(late AB’s)Granderson show up. If not, the entire line up become Russell Martin and Jorge Posada.

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

      Granderson’s been the second best hitter in the series behind Posada. On base six times in the three games, and he hit another ball to the warning track last night.

      • Kostas

        Ya, I know that… the parenthesis didn’t show up that said (needs to carry the team). The blog screen jumps around because of work still using internet Explorer 6. Pure dominance, that microsoft.

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      Tex and A-Rod really need to show up.

      • Foghorn Leghorn

        yeah, no kidding. they need to realize that they don’t need tickets to be a part of this game.

        swing the effing bat. if arod keeps standing there then put Jesus in..

      • FIPster Doofus

        At least A-Rod drew two walks last night. Teixeira’s a total no-show.

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      I just don’t see Burnett pitching into the seventh inning. But if he does I think that may be enough to win, but who knows.

      • Bartolo’s Colon

        unless he is 100% lights out and the yanks have a big lead, no way is girardi letting aj pitch into the 7th. at least i hope he doesn’t. that would be playing with fire. i just hope drob and mariano come into the game tonight with leads

  • First Time Commenter

    Long Time Reader

    AJ will be good tonight. He is the type that eats this spot up. Relax and enjoy.

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      so you would be “Long Time, First Time”?

      • MannyGeee

        But the AJ love here is not nearly irrational enough to fit.

  • mt

    Everyone is assuming we will bomb Porcello since he has a high ERA and high batting average against. I also hope they bomb Porcello tonight but Porcello can easily shut down Yanks. He did it earlier this year.

    Unfortunately, in postseason, it seems that there is a much higher likelihood that an opposing pitcher like Porcello (or Colby Lewis, remember him?) will shut us down for 7 innings and keep us to 1-2 runs then our pitcher do that to the other side. And that it is more of a comment on the fact that our prolific offense tends to disappear (when we are supposed to be the top two or three offenses).

    What we need to do is lay a 4 or 5 spot on Porcello in first inning – even with Fister, Yanks did little damage until sixth. Not sure that waiting to score works with AJ on mound. AJ needs a run cushion for his confidence

    • Bill

      To be fair, Colby Lewis has proven to be a very good postseason starter with the Rangers. I don’t remember what the exact numbers are but they’re very good. Comparing him and Porcello is wrong. Porcello is making his first postseason start, and I’m not sure he inspires lots of confidence from Tigers fans for this game.

      • mt

        Scherzer’s first postseason start did not seem to help Yankee bats.
        I hope Porcello let’s it get to him.

        • Bill

          Scherzer also has been a significantly better pitcher than Porcello. I was implying that Porcello’s poor regular season plus the fact that he’s making his first post season start could point to a bad performance tonight.

    • CP

      Everyone is assuming we will bomb Porcello since he has a high ERA and high batting average against. I also hope they bomb Porcello tonight but Porcello can easily shut down Yanks. He did it earlier this year.

      Replace every “Porcello” with “Burnett” and you have a post on a Tigers blog.

  • JohnC

    Just think. Tonight could be the last time we hea Sterling and Waldman together.

    • Darren

      Of all the dramatic things.

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      are you predicting that?

      • MannyGeee

        Try as you might, Foghorn….

    • Mike M

      Oh my goodness gracious…

    • Jimmy

      Just this once, I hope that’s not true.

      If anyone at CBS is following this thread though, I’m open to switching the broadcast team for tonight’s game and for the rest of the post season.

  • Bill

    My Mom just said that we should sign Andy Pettitte out of retirement to pitch this game when she found out Burnett was pitching LOL. It was somewhat exciting to watch that video. Burnett was great that night. Let’s hope he comes at least close to that tonight. I have some faith in him. It’s going to be paramount to score early like the Yankees did last night, this way AJ can relax.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Let’s trade for Bruce Chen.

      • vin

        Too soon. The Nation’s body isn’t even cold yet.

  • Tiny Tim

    To me Girardi is managing for his job tonight. Two straight years without a WS apperance is unacceptable in NY. Torre had built up a lot of goodwill with 4 rings so he got some extra rope. Girardi only has one. Questionable moves are exemplified in the postseason and Girardi has made a few of them this series.

    • Kostas

      Yanks lose he will go to the Cubs. Cash will then sign Francona.

    • FIPster Doofus

      They’re not going to fire Girardi…

      • Kostas

        What did I do to you for you to ruin my dreams?

    • CP

      It would be stupid to fire him because he ‘only’ managed to win 1 WS in 4 years.

    • JohnC

      Girardi is NOT going to be fired. Get that through your head. And he doesnt deserve to be either.

      • Jorge (needs a new name)

        +1000

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

      They’re not going to fire Girardi (he was handpicked for the job by Cashman and the Steinbrenners), nor should they.

      • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

        Only because there aren’t any “great” managers. I love Girardi the regular season manager, can not STAND Girardi the postseason manager.

        • Bill

          I’m not particularly fond of either, at least this season. He’s made numerous bad moves the whole season. However, I don’t think he should be fired after the season, regardless of the outcome.

          • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

            I agree, obviously. The past 2 games have just driven me up a wall.

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      why do they call you tiny?

  • bonestock94

    Short leash + Rick Porcello = no scare

  • DERP

    AJ got this. He has simply been playing us season long. This one is in the bag.

    Have some faith.

    • g

      Would be awesome to see a 2008 version of AJ to show up tonight in Detroit throwing 96 on the corners with movement and his filthy spike curve

  • Bill

    Mike Francesa’s nickname for AJ Burnett is “The Million Dollar Pie Clown” LOL

    • The Big City of Dreams

      Good stuff from Mike.

      • The Lazzeri Scooter

        And after tonight’s victorious performance by mister Aleen James Burnett, the only clown is Fatcessa the ignorant dope.

        Pathetic anaylsis like always by the WFAN’s afternoon shameful blowhard.

        Congrats to AJ!!

  • PhillyMatt

    How about a lineup of: gardner, jeter, granderson, cano, rodriguez, teixeira, posada, swisher, martin? Or does a change reek of desperation?

    • Bill

      That’s a good lineup, and we’ve seen a similar one when A-Rod was out. I would be in favor of that lineup, but I doubt we see it because it seems Girardi seems more concerned about massaging egos than putting together the best lineup he can. Look how long it took him to put Cano in the 3 hole and move Teixeira down to 5.

    • Jorge (needs a new name)

      Desperation only happens when you start saying that the team is only down 2-1 because Montero’s not in the lineup.

  • Filppula51

    AJ will prevail tonight I think he’s gonna show up with his A game…..GO GET EM AJ….

  • Filppula51

    AJ will prevail tonight I think he’s gonna show up with his A game…..GO GET EM AJ…

  • jon

    so AJ needs to go how many innings? 4 innings?

    AJ for 4
    Soriano for 1
    robertson for 2
    mo for 2

  • Dave

    AJ 21/3
    Hughes 11/3
    Logan 1/3
    Wade 17/8
    Garcia 1/4
    Ayala .19
    Soriano 2/3 or 4 HRs, whichever comes first
    Swish .81
    Sabathia IBB
    Rob bases loaded + 1 out
    Mo 14 innings
    Nunez 5/8

    That should take care of it.

  • thaaaaaaaaaaaayankeeswin

    why is no one talking about the fact that Porcello is a chump and very beatable. The offense shows up tonight and this goes back to the Bronx for Nova to close it out

    • MannyGeee

      because Scherzer was very beatable too. and there was an entire “Porcello is Beatable” post before noon

  • Yank The Frank

    I have a good feeling about tonight’s game. AJ will give 5 servicable innings, the bullpen will shutdown the Tiger’s the rest of the way. Alex & Tex will show up to lead the charge. We bring it back and win it in the Bronx.

  • Rey22

    Who’s the pitcher in the video? We could use someone like him for tonight’s start.

  • thaaaaaaaaaaaayankeeswin

    everyone wants to say this team is unable to win in big situations. You dont win 97 games in a season without some of them being big games. This is the mother effing Yankees, they will exercise the Detroit demons tonight like they did against the Angels in 09. Have faith…sit back and watch this team click on all cylinders the next two games. Remember…they had the AL BEST pitcher last night, with CC getting squeezed on close calls, wild on other pitches…Scrub players getting big hits and they still only WON BY ONE RUN. Its go time

  • NEPA Yankee

    AJ will have a big outing tonight, and in 2 years when he’s 6-14 with a 6+ ERA, Mike will post the video of tonights Game 4 to give us all hope. GOOD LUCK AJ, bring it back home for us!

    • Graig not Craig

      That will be the final year of his poorly earned contract.

      • NEPA Yankee

        And we’ll all look back and wonder how those 5 years went by so quick. That’ll also be the second year of CC’s new 35 year deal, with the opt out clause every leap year.

    • g

      I sure hope AJ from game 2 of 2009 world series shows up tonight or AJ with the stuff of 2008

  • Graig not Craig

    Long time ago – May 5th – Burnett vs. Porcello at Comerica. Burnett entered the bottom of the 7th tied 2-2.

    I think we all would take this – as long as Joe removes Burnett rather than letting him load the bases (Single,BB,HBP) and give up 3 runs in the bottom of the seventh.

    Cano and Nunez both had 2 hits off Porcello. Chavez had a nice triple.

  • MannyGeee

    i am actually slightly teary eyed looking at that video of AJ when he was good. he was FCKING amazing that game!

    I need a drink

  • Rearrange the Package

    I’ve got a good feeling about AJ tonight. His last two starts were decent and a strong performance tonight would make a better made for tv movie.

  • coolerking101

    It’s a not a question of whether AJ has a meltdown…it’s merely a question of when, and if Giradi will yank him fast enough. My money is on AJ’s meltdown occurring in the bottom of whatever inning the Yankees take the lead.

    • LiterallyFigurative

      Shut-down inning!

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    AJ was so sick that night. That game 2 was awesome.

  • JT

    On any given Tuesday night….