Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Game 26: It Hurts Me Too

After the Yankees beat the Orioles 4-1 last night on the back of 8 strong innings from CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett looks to pick up his second win against the Birds in as many starts as well. Like last Thursday, he'll again be facing Brian Matusz.

The young left hander didn't pitch poorly last time against the Yanks but three runs over six innings wasn't nearly good enough against Burnett. Matusz didn't walk anyone but he allowed nine hits and only struck out two. Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Marcus Thames accounted for six of those hits and all three of the runs scored.

On the other side of the ball, Burnett allowed just four baserunners over 8 shutout innings. After the game, he attributed the success he's enjoyed so far this season to being able to pitch to both sides of the plate with movement and trying to "just let them hit the ball". That new approach has paid serious dividends thus far as he's 3-0 in his first 5 starts with a 2.43 ERA. His FIP at 3.37 is higher due to a higher LOB% and a dearth of strikeouts but is still quite good. His xFIP of 4.33 suggests that his faith in his defense has been based on batted balls ending up in the right places, but still is about league average.

A.J. might not be so lucky tonight as he has a depleted defensive outfield with Marcus Thames getting the start in left as Brett Gardner fills in the the injured Curtis Granderson in center.

Burnett won't be pitching to his newfound battery mate Jorge Posada again tonight either. Last time it was because of the fastball that Jeremy Guthrie hit Posada with the night before and this time it's because of the calf straight that might have been caused in part by the lingering effects on that knee from the previous incident.

If the game is tight towards the end, the Yankees might not have their closer available either. The "flank" strain that Mariano Rivera first felt on Saturday has been getting better every day according to he and Joe Girardi but they aren't sure if Mo is ready to come back just yet.

After enjoying an April wherein the only real injury on the team was to Chan Ho Park's hamstring, the Yanks are now battling through a spate of bumps are bruises. It's to be expected for a team that has as many older players as the Yankees do and most of the maladies aren't very serious, but it almost seems as if they are contagious as this point.

The original:

Elmore James' version:

The Dead's:


and Gov't Mule's:

When things go wrong,
Wrong with you,
It hurts me too.
[Song Notes: This tune has been covered far and wide since Tampa Red recorded the first version of it in 1940. Elmore James changed the lyrics somewhat when he put his stamp on it in 1957 and those bear much more resemblance to the other versions posted here than Red's much wordier one. The original also sounds almost like a honky tonk song where are James added the nasty, bluesy slide guitar that countless others including Clapton and Warren Haynes have aimed to duplicate. I personally like the slower pace of the Dead's version but enjoy the tune when almost anyone plays it.]


Yankees: In addition to Granderson and Posada, Nick Johnson has the night off as well. Nick Swisher takes his place in the two hole as Derek Jeter slides into the DH slot and Ramiro Pena plays short and bats ninth. That's a pretty sorry looking bottom four but the last time one of us complained about a punchless line up, the Yanks scored 12 runs. As we mentioned earlier, Greg Golson is up. Mark Melancon drew the short straw and is on his way back to Scranton.
Derek Jeter DH
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Marcus Thames LF
Brett Gardner CF
Francisco Cervelli C
Ramiro Pena SS
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Matt Wieters C
Miguel Tejada 3B
Ty Wigginton 2B
Luke Scott LF
Garrett Atkins DH
Rhyne Hughes 1B
Cesar Izturis SS

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