Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Picture if you will A.J. Burnett wandering through the desert. Down on his hands and knees, crawling, gasping for...COMMAND. Burnett couldn't find any last night in the air conditioned confines of Chase Field as the Arizona Diamondbacks pounded him and the Yankees 10-4.
The multi-tattooed right-hander got tattooed in the first inning after retiring the first two batters with ease. Justin Upton started the fireworks with a tape measure solo home run to center field. The next two hitters reached safely and came home on a 3-run blast by Andy LaRoche. Mark Reynolds then went back to back with LaRoche with a solo shot to left off Burnett. Two batters later Burnett finally struck out his counterpart, Rodrigo Lopez, on a 3-2 pitch to end the frame. In a matter of moments, the Yankees found themselves in a 6-0 hole that they wouldn't be able to climb out of.
Burnett gave up another run in the 2nd and has now allowed 23 earned runs in his last 20 innings (0-4, 10-35). He was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the top of the 5th inning.
The best the Yankees offense could do was the cut the lead to 7-3 in the 6th on RBI from Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada. But Upton put the game out of reach when he took Chan Ho Park deep with two aboard in the 8th. It was the sixth home run allowed by Park this season, one more than he surrendered all of last year.
Colin Curtis made his major league debut last night and lined out to center pinch-hitting for Burnett. With Jorge Posada ready to catch a regular or semi-regular rate, Chad Moeller became expendable and Curtis was added to the roster. His family flew in time for the game.
Andy Pettitte returns to Chase Field for the first time as a member of the Yankees since his disastrous 2001 World Series game 6 performance. The Yankees held a 3-2 lead in games, but Pettitte, who later found out he was tipping his pitches, got torched for six runs in two innings. He did face Arizona a number of times while with the Houston Astros.