This was the question asked of Joe Girardi after tonight’s game: I know you don’t have a lot of options, but are you still committed to (A.J. Burnett) as a starting pitcher?
This was the answer: “I’ve said we’ll evaluate after this weekend where we are and what we need to do.”
Girardi said more or less the same thing earlier this week, but those comments seemed directed at the rookie Ivan Nova and the recently demoted Javier Vazquez. They might have been directed at Phil Hughes and his innings limit, but they certainly didn’t seem to be aimed at Burnett. This time, Burnett was the question and that was the answer.
“Take it the way you want to take it,” Girardi said.
Burnett has been wildly inconsistent. He’s now gone yet another month without a win. He did it in June, and now he’s done it in August. There were some good starts mixed in there — the complete game in Kansas City, a solid three-run no-decision in Texas — but when he’s been bad, Burnett has been awful.
“It’s Groundhog Day again,” Burnett said. “It’s the same situation. You come in the first game (of the series) and take your team out of it in the first two or three innings. It weighs on these guys. It’s got to be frustrating not knowing what you’re going to get every five days.”
Here’s the Girardi postgame audio. Sorry, there’s a lot of music in the background.
• Asked if he would be surprised to skip his next start, Burnett said: “It would surprise me, (but) he makes the decisions.”
• Asked what’s caused the bad outings, Burnett said: “I’m just not getting swings on pitches I’m used to getting swings on, and the balls I’m throwing that they’re hitting are just getting too much of the plate, I guess… Some of those curveballs, they’re good 0-2 curveballs, but what good are they when you’re 0-0.”
• In the fourth inning, the final two runs scored on an error and a wild pitch. That combined with the Burnett struggles and the 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position made for an ugly night. “We just didn’t play well,” Girardi said. “You’re going to have games when you don’t play well. We don’t have a whole lot of those, but every team goes through those. We need to bounce back tomorrow.”
• The one bright spot was an obvious one: Sergio Mitre gave the Yankees 4.2 innings with only one hit allowed. It’s the second straight game in which a Yankees long reliever has pitched longer and better than the starter.
• Mitre has a 2.45 ERA as a reliever this season.
• Nick Swisher hit his first home run since August 2 and now has nine hits in his past 28 at-bats.
• Francisco Cervelli snapped an 0-for-16 streak with a single in the fifth.
• Not sure what, if anything, could come from it, but the New York Post is reporting that Ivan Nova and Wilkin De La Rosa are being investigated for possibly giving one another B-12 shots last year. B-12 is not a banned substance.
• Tonight’s rehab pitching line on Alfredo Aceves: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. He threw 42 pitches, 22 for strikes. Donnie Collins said he just didn’t look quite right.
Associated Press photos of the Yankees bench and Derek Jeter