When is Number 2 quite acceptable?…
It’s not the Boston Red Sox who move closer to clinching at least a Wild Card berth. It’s not the Yankees who lead the American League East by 6 games. Finally, the Yankees number 2 starter, A.J. Burnett, has successfully righted the ship…
After struggling in August, A.J. turned in his second consecutive solid start by pitching into the sixth inning, giving up 7 hits but only 2 runs. He struck out 11 batters (just one shy of his season high). The Yankees need an effective Burnett as they move into October, and his recent performances have shown that he is up to the task. The Yankees made a 3-run 4th inning hold up today as they defeated the Angels, 3-2.
Following Burnett were a bevy of relievers, but the most notable was Ian Kennedy. Kennedy entered in the 8th inning to make his 2009 season debut. Kennedy had surgery for an aneurysm in his right armpit in May. I am not so sure that I would have gone to Kennedy in a tight situation, with the Yankees leading by 1. However, manager Joe Girardi must have felt that he had no choice due to a depleted pen. Kennedy made it interesting with 2 walks and a hit batter to load the bases, but he avoided any damage by getting Erick Aybar to fly out ending the inning. Congrats to Ian for a successful return. I have been critical of Kennedy in the past, but he has the talent to succeed.
Mariano Rivera came on in the 9th to close it out for his 42nd save. With the victory, the Yankees took 2 of 3 games in Anaheim, and proved that they can win in the Angels backyard. I was very worried about this road trip going in since the Mariners had a winning record and have historically played the Yankees very tough at Safeco Field and prior to this series, the Yankees had not won a game in Anaheim this year. The Yankees did struggle in Seattle after Friday night’s walk-off homer by Ichiro, but the two wins in Anaheim salvaged a 3-3 record on the road trip. All things considered, I am very happy with the result.
After losing ground over the weekend to the Red Sox, the Yankees were able to pick up one game during the Angel series. Therefore, they head back to the Bronx for a weekend series against the Red Sox and a 6 game lead. Mathematically, the Red Sox still have a chance to win the AL East, however, the odds are against them. At some point, Red Sox manager Terry Francona will begin resting his regulars to get ready for, as Julia puts it, Soxtober. It obviously won’t happen this weekend, but so long as the Yankees don’t get swept, I think they’ll take the AL East crown.
The Yankees have possibly lost supersub Jerry Hairston, Jr. Batting in the 7th inning, he felt something pop in his wrist and left the game. He will be undergoing a MRI but it doesn’t sound good. Ramiro Pena has quite possibly landed in the very high profile position as October approaches. Maybe a call should be placed to Brian Doyle to be Ramiro’s private coach…
The Yankees have pushed CC Sabathia back by one day so that he properly aligns with the start of the play-offs. Joba Chamberlain will take CC’s place as Friday night’s starter against the Red Sox and Jon Lester. CC will pitch on Saturday.
I have to say that I get excited every time Brett Gardner gets on base. He is simply the most exciting Yankee to watch on the base paths. In Tuesday night’s game, he stole a base (on a pitch out) in the 9th inning and scored the winning run on Alex Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly. Gardner, with a dirt stained jersey, is becoming common place, and he is always instrumental in making things happen. He may not be a starter, but he is invaluable to the 2009 Yankees. As A-Rod said, Gardner is a pain in the butt, and we wouldn’t want it any other way…
As the Boston Red Sox head for the Bronx, this weekend will pit…
I’m A Headline Guy
We are ready to engage in our final match of the regular season. After early season success, Julia has found the last couple of months to be very Yankee-oriented. Let’s hope that trend continues. Plus, Julia is just so good at writing about the Yankees. We need to see more of the same! J Hey Julia, the time has arrived, Game On!
For Julia, I am glad to see that one of her personal favorites, Tim Wakefield, will be starting next Tuesday night. Wake has had a great season, but he has had some unfortunate setbacks health-wise that prevented this from being one of his most successful seasons. He is a good guy, even if he plays for THAT team, and I do wish him the best for his next start. This is a guy who was once cut by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but has carved out a tremendous career for the Red Sox.
So, now it’s time for the resumption of THE series. Bring on the Red Sox. We’re ready…