Based on the tenor of the questions asked after the game, a lot will be made in the papers tomorrow and on ESPN tonight about the relationship between Jorge Posada and A.J. Burnett.
Burnett looked awful today and Posada admitted after the game that they had trouble getting on the same page. But here are some facts:
Burnett was 9-3 with a 2.59 ERA and a .220 opponents batting average in his 12 starts prior to today. Posada caught 10 of those games including 7.1 scoreless innings against the Red Sox at Yankees Stadium on Aug. 7. Do those games not count?
Burnett is 0-2 with a 14.21 ERA in three starts at Fenway Park and Posada caught all three of those games. But I think that says more about the Boston lineup and the tendencies of Fenway Park than it does about the relationship between a pitcher and catcher.
But a rift between teammates — even imagined — makes for good copy. When the teammates are Yankees, even better.
By no means do I think Posada and Burnett work particularly well together because they don’t. But when asked about pitch selection, Posada put it well.
“I just make suggestions,” he said. “It’s up to the pitcher to throw the pitch he wants. He’s the guy in charge.”
Look at Burnett’s history. This is a stubborn guy who tends to blow up at times and let games get away from him. That is who he is. He kept saying after the game how good he thought his curveball was. From what I saw, the Red Sox were hammering that pitch, just like they have all season.
Burnett’s a two-pitch guy with an occasional change-up. It’s not like any catcher has a lot to pick from.
UPDATE, 8:50 p.m.: Here is what Burnett had to say:
“There were a couple of heaters (when) I felt that I should have thrown a hook. I step off and re-gather and that’s when the non-executed pitch came. (Posada) calls fine back there. It’s just a matter of me throwing what I want to throw.
“There’s no pattern there. I’ve had a great run now with Jorge. So there’s no fingers to point but at me.”