The irony, of course, is that when the Yankees signed A.J. Burnett, they couldn’t stop talking about how well he had pitched against the Red Sox in his career.
Two starts against Boston this year: 7.2 innings, 13 hits, 11 earned runs. That’s a 12.91 ERA.
Burnett fell behind 12 of the 18 batters he faced tonight and threw only 40 of 84 pitches for strikes. This is the A.J. Burnett so many people feared, the guy with the great talent and frustrating lack of consistency. The only strike he throws regularly are with those pies.
“It’s embarrassing, it’s very disappointing,” Burnett said. “But obviously I’m not going to kill myself. I’m not going to go and try to figure out what went wrong or this and that. I’m going to get back out there. The confidence is there.”
He’s not going to figure out what is wrong? He has a 4.89 ERA. Figuring out what is wrong might be a good idea. Burnett was asked how he views his 12 starts with the Yankees.
“Terrible,” he said. “Glimpses of greatness but I’m not very consistent right now. I’m not a negative guy, so I’m not going to beat myself up over it. But when I do get on that run, it’s going to be impressive. I promise you that.”
Brave words. But in New York, that sort of talk can get thrown back in your face if you don’t back it up. Presumably he knows that.
Meanwhile, it has been five days short of a year since Chien-Ming Wang last won a game and he drags a 14.46 ERA to the mound tomorrow as the Yankees try and beat the Red Sox for the first time this season.
Can the fans of a team in first place be in a panic?
Didn’t get a chance to update the draft. The Yankees took a catcher in the second round, a young man from Florida named John “J.R.” Murphy. He hit .627 with 56 runs, 17 doubles, six triples, 11 home runs, 66 RBI, 13 stolen bases and only four strikeouts in 2009 as a senior with Pendleton High School in Bradenton, Fla. Baseball America rated him as the fifth-best catcher among the 2009 draft class. The publication also rated him as having the second-best strike-zone judgment among high-schoolers in this year’s draft.
The Yankees sure have a lot of promising catchers in the organization. That is never a bad thing.
Meanwhile, here is what Damon Oppenheimer had to say about Slade Heathcott:
“We’ve been scouting Slade for two years, and we’re excited about selecting him. We really liked his combination of tools, athletic ability, performance and grit on the field. He’s a versatile hitter and has good speed in addition to possessing an above-average arm.”
I’m fairly sure that Slade called me “sir” about a dozen times during the interview we had tonight. If bring polite counts, he’s in good shape. Burnett said he remembered meeting Slade briefly via his agent but didn’t recall any details.