Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Burnett Throw Seattle A Curve

Admit it, you do it too. You see A.J. Burnett is scheduled to pitch for the Yankees and you start making alternate plans. Those plans can kick in before the game starts or some time after the first pitch. You're not alone though. Last night my wife and I watched the season premiere of Parenthood on NBC. That's a show that comes on at 10 PM EDT...the same time as the Yankees first pitch for their west coast road game in Seattle.
I checked out what was going on during the commercials and put the game on after the show since it was a still a reasonable game. In fact the Yankees were up 2-1. But Burnett was struggling and then he appeared to be hurting. Flinching, flexing his shoulder until final Joe Girard,i accompanied by trainer Gene Monahan, made a trip to the mound. I fully expected Burnett to be pulled, but the trip was brief. Burnett said he was ok and Girardi and Geno departed.

Then something funny happened. Burnett beared down and started throwing a nasty hook that fooled one Mariner after another until Burnett had struck out a season high 11 hitters. At the end of the night the Yankees had a 3-2 win and a three game winning streak. The icing on the cake came when Mariano Rivera earned his 600th career save with a scoreless 9th inning. Rivera joins Trevor Hoffman as the only two pitchers to reach the 600 mark and Rivera is now just one save behind Hoffman for the all-time record.

The Yankees gave Burnett an early lead with a pair of runs in the 2nd inning. Robinson Cano got the Yankees on the board with his 26th home run of the season off of Mariners starter Charlie Furbush. Jesus Montero followed with a single and Andruw Jones moved him to third base with a double. One out later Furbush wild pitched Montero home for the 2-0 advantage. The Mariners immediately got one back on a 2-out Brendan Ryan single in the bottom of the 2nd.

Seattle tied the game in Burnett's flinching, troublesome 4th inning after they loaded the bases with a double, walk, a hit batsman. But Burnett held Seattle to just a run on a Miguel Olivo sacrifice fly and then, after a wild pitch moved both base runners into scoring position, struck out Adam Kennedy to keep the game tied.

The Yankees took the lead in the 6th when Nick Swisher doubled and Mark Teixeira singled to put runners on the corners with no one out. Cano then hit a potential double play grounder, but Seattle was only able to get one out as Swisher scored for a 3-2 lead.


It was an up and down night for Jesus Montero; he had two hits, but after a double, was doubled off second base on a line drive hit in front of him. Chalk it up to a rookie mistake, which makes you wonder what Robinson Cano was thinking when he got doubled off first base after forgetting how many outs there were.

A.J. Burnett has a 4.15 ERA in September after posting an ERA over 11 in August.

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