Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Game 132: Reelin' In The Years

The Yankees are probably sad to see August go. After winning two-thirds of their games in July (18-9), they took three-quarters of their games in August (21-7). If they carried out that .750 winning percentage through the entire season, it would top the 1998 team's record of 114-48 by almost 10 games. It was clearly and by far the Yankees' best month of the year as they expanded their lead in the division from 0.5 games to 6.5 helped greatly by going 6-1 against the Red Sox.

A.J. Burnett wasn't much help though. The Yankees lost 7 games in the month, and Burnett was on the hook for four of them including the 14-1 disaster against the Sox during which he gave up 9 runs.

Despite striking out more than one batter per inning and recording his highest K/BB, August was Burnett's worst month of this season, as he compiled an ERA over 6 and a WHIP of 1.473. Some of that may be explained by the fact that his BABIP was .337, whereas it had been below .300 in every other month this year and is .288 for his career. Nonetheless, his season ERA was 3.53 heading into his start on August 1st and now stands at 4.10.

It sounds pretty bad, but he really only had two poor starts out of six last month, one 7 run shelling against the White Sox on the 1st and the disaster against the Red Sox on the 22nd. Those were also his only two non-quality starts of his last 13 which include his great run through June and July with a 1.68 ERA and 6 wins in 8 outings.

The Orioles will send 24 year old right hander David Hernandez to the mound tonight. No, not this David Hernandez. He probably throws like a chick. According to his Wikipedia page, the David Hernandez the Yanks will be facing only got drafted by the Orioles because of the connections his father had within the organization. Seriously, check it out.

Hernandez is a fastball-slider-change up pitcher, who struck out 10.2 batters per nine innings in the minor leagues, but has only K'd about half that many in his 74 innings in the majors. He's got a bloated WHIP of 1.520, and K/BB of only 1.34 and has given up 14 HRs in 13 starts including 10 in the month of August. Despite those poor peripherals, Hernandez carries a 4.24 ERA. The Yanks have already seen him this year, and he held them to one run over 6 innings back on July 20th.

The Yanks head into September on a four game winning streak, as hot as they've been all year. The 5 call ups will walk into the clubhouse today and become a part of the best team in baseball for what figures to be an interesting month of baseball. Soon postseason berths will be clinched and teams will be officially eliminated. All that's gone on throughout the course of the year solidify and things start to fall into place.

September is a month of transition. August becomes October and the dog days become cool nights. You feel the energy and freedom of summer being inexorably pulled away and replaced with the chill and constraints of fall. No one wants to see summer end, but in baseball, that's what you look forward to all year.

Your everlasting summer,
You can see it fading fast.
So you grab a piece of something,
That you think is gonna last.

Well, you wouldn't know a diamond,
If you held it in your hand.
The things you think are precious,
I can't understand.


  1. Nice video Jay. Jeff "Skunk" Baxter who plays lead guitar on the intro and takes the second solo went to prep school in my hometown.

    Believe it or not, he's now an expert national defense consultant specializing in ballistic missile defense. No lie.

  2. That sentence on Wikipedia about his dad having connections to the Orioles was obvious vandalism and you aren't a very good Wikipedian for leaving it in there.

  3. Point taken, Anon. I'll admit that I'm just a user and have never edited an article, which probably means I'm not a good Wikipedian like you say. Didn't think it was my place since I had no evidence to the contrary.