For the second straight game, Yankee pitching turned in a turd of a performance. This time though, they didn't have the luxury of twenty runs of offense backing them up.
A.J. Burnett entered the game on a run of 11 quality starts in 12 outings since his clunker at Fenway on June 9th, including 7.2 innings of one hit, shutout ball against the Red Sox 15 days ago. He exited after getting hit early and often, giving up nine runs for the first time in his career and having laid his third egg of a start in as many appearances at Fenway in 2009. His start today ran his 2009 line at Fenway Park to 12.2 IP, 22 H, 22 R, 20 ER, 10 BB, 10 K, and 6 HR allowed. That's a 14.21 ERA and a 2.53 WHIP. Ouch. I don't have the stomach to even calculate his batting line against.
Meanwhile, the Yankee offense went limp after last night's outburst. They had plenty of chances against Junichi Tazawa, putting on 11 base runners in his six innings of work, including two in each of the first, second, fourth, fifth, and sixth. Yet they couldn't push one across until Nick Swisher, who had a 3 for 5 day, hit a solo shot over the Monster in the seventh.
Alfredo Aceves came on for Burnett in the sixth, and continued his recent troubling run by allowing three runs in two innings of work. He's now allowed multiple runs in three consecutive outings and in five of his last eight. David Robertson allowed two runs of his own in the ninth. Despite carrying a nine man bullpen, the Yankees have had a tough time finding any relief over the last two games.
And because of that poor roster management, and because of Johnny Damon's bruised knee, the Yankees were left with a rediculously short two man bench. As such, there was no better option for left field than Eric Hinske, who despite playing 29 games in left for the Red Sox between 2006 and 2007, has spent the last two days stumbling around in front of the Green Monster like a drunken sailor. For the second straight day, Derek Jeter had to bail Hinske out after he grossly misplayed a ball off the wall.
Because of the short bench, Jeter had to play the entirety of Friday's laugher, as the Yankees only had the subs to rest one infielder, and it was Alex Rodriguez. Saturday was Jeter's turn, as Hairston pinch hit for him in the seventh, once the game was well out of hand. But Alex Rodriguez was also given the rest of the day off from that point, as Jose Molina, the last remaining healthy position player on the Yankee bench, pinch hit for A-Rod and then made his first career appearance at third base. What a joke. Sure would have been nice to have Ramiro Pena around to play shortstop Friday night, or third base today, or left field either night. But hey, at least the Yankees had that extra reliever in the pen so that they could pull A.J. Burnett once he dug the a team a seven run hole through two innings, rather than let him go five and make it a nine run hole. Oh wait - nevermind.
I probably shouldn't be complaining this much given the overall state of affairs, but this was a frustrating one. That's what happen when poor roster decisions come back to bite the team in the ass. Or when your Youk touches them up for two dingers, ten total bases, and six RBI. Or when the Yankee pitching staff, much like last Sunday, gives up thirteen runs with two outs. Or when the Yankee offense goes 0 for 9 with RISP and leaves 13 runners on base. Or when I have to listen to Tim McCarver for the entirety of it.
Rubber game tomorrow night. Here's hoping the Yanks bounce back for it.