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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Postgame notes: “I gotta catch that ball”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes, Podcast on Jul 04, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

A.J. Burnett said he didn’t even remember the play, but Alex Rodriguez and Brett Gardner remembered it in great detail. Before Shelley Duncan even got to the plate in the seventh inning, and certainly before Austin Kearns went deep, the Yankees had a chance to catch a foul popup along the left-field line.

It would have been the final out. It dropped between Gardner and Rodriguez.

“I didn’t remember it until you said it,” Burnett said. “It’s on me. I’ve got to stay aggressive. Walks kill you. That’s the bottom line.”

Fair enough. Walks were a significant problem in that seventh inning, and Burnett said the walks bothered him even more than the three-run homer. But Gardner and Rodriguez were still reliving the play they both nearly made, but didn’t.

Gardner: “I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get to it. I wasn’t sure if Alex was going to be able to get to it. It was kind of one of those right in between us, and I called for it at the very last minute when I realized I could probably dive for it and catch it, but it was too late for him to get out of the way and give me room to be able to completely lay out for it. I kind of went in sideways instead of laying out headfirst for it. I didn’t want to lay out into his knees or ankles or wherever I was going to hit him. Short-armed it a little bit and just didn’t get to it.”

Rodriguez: “Maybe if I get a better jump on that ball, maybe I make that play. Maybe make it a little easier on him. Bottom line, I gotta catch that ball or get a better jump next time. For him to lose a game in that type of situation, it’s not good.”

Gardner did a good job of going into detail about the play, so here’s his audio.

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And here’s Burnett.

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• Derek Jeter said he felt fine after tonight’s. He’s expecting to play tomorrow, but Joe Girardi said he’ll have to wait until tomorrow to decide. “I was nervous at the beginning,” Jeter said. “It was almost like Opening Day again when you haven’t played in a while. As the game went on, I felt a lot better.”

• Jeter went 0-for-4 in his first game back. “If you don’t get hits, then it’s (bad) timing,” Jeter said. “If you do, they say you’re well-rested. I felt better as the game went on. I felt good in my last at-bat, a pretty good slider that I hit up the middle. I didn’t feel that bad. Obviously you play every day for a reason, but I felt better as the game went on.”

• No tests are scheduled for Mariano Rivera. He doesn’t remember ever feeling this sort of soreness, and he said it wasn’t bothering him during Sunday’s blown save. “When I’m pitching I don’t feel anything,” he said. “It’s after.”

• Burnett said he’s trying to stay positive after each of his starts this season, but it’s obvious that the two seventh-inning walks really bothered him. “I don’t have to worry about that (home run),” he said. “The two walks, when you put guys on, that allowed the inning to happen… They were both 3-2 heaters and they were up a little bit. I’m not going to be nitpicking. I went out there with my best stuff and I can walk away with that.”

• Burnett was amused to find out that Gameday listed his fastballs as cutters tonight. He said he was going to start bragging to Rivera about throwing 94-mph cutters deep into the game.

• Kind of a strange moment early when Burnett got into it a little bit with home plate umpire Mike Estabrook. It started with Burnett asking where a called ball missed the zone, but Estabrook though Burnett was trying to show him up. “I think my hands going up kind of did that,” Burnett said. “I just asked him where it was, but I can do that without throwing my hands up. The first-base umpire helped me out a little bit there and calmed me down, but that’s baseball. Hands stay down and I ask and maybe it doesn’t draw the attention that it drew.”

• Wouldn’t be a Burnett start without him finding a way to speak highly of Russell Martin. “I was able to find my hook here and there and mix in my changeup to lefties,” he said. “That was still a big pitch for me tonight, and I think I kept them off balance with that. (Martin)’s getting to where he knows what I want to do on every pitch.”

• How much was Girardi counting on Burnett tonight? “My bullpen was short tonight,” Girardi said. “I needed him to get through the seventh, and I was going to let him possibly go into the eighth.”

• With Rivera out of the mix, Dave Robertson was the closer for the night.

• Sounds like the shadows were a bit of an issue in the early innings. A few players said they were an issue, but Girardi said he didn’t hear anyone talking about the shadows after at-bats. Everyone seemed to be giving more credit to Josh Tomlin and Burnett rather than placing blame on the shadows.

• Girardi on the decision to option Dickerson: “Just because we were short on pitching. We were trying to give Nuney a couple days, another 48 hours, so we felt like we had to send Dickerson down. Dickerson has played extremely well for us.”

• Nick Swisher’s seventh-inning double seemed huge at the time. He’s hitting .305 with 18 runs, nine doubles, eight homers and 28 RBI in his past 35 games.

• Curtis Granderson hit his 23rd home run… Robinson Cano has an eight-game hitting streak… Mark Teixeira has a five-game hitting streak after breaking up Tomlin’s no-hitter with a leadoff single in the seventh.

• Cano on whether he can win the Home Run Derby: “Why not? Of course. The best thing is to be there, so once you’re there, you never know.”

Associated Press photos

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37 Responses to “Postgame notes: “I gotta catch that ball””

  1. LGY July 4th, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    How much was Girardi counting on Burnett tonight? “My bullpen was short tonight,” Girardi said. “I needed him to get through the seventh, and I was going to let him possibly go into the eighth.”

    ————————

    Why was Boone Logan warming up in the 7th if he needed AJ to get through 7?

    Kearns has basically neutral splits in his career vs RHP and LHP. He had already hit the ball hard off AJ two times in this game and was lucky nothing came of it.

    You bring Logan in to face Kearns and then Logan starts the next inning with Brantley on deck who is really bad against LHP.

  2. Against All Odds July 4th, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    # Vineyard Yankee July 4th, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Against All Odds July 4th, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Yeah, I know sometimes the old past crap from TDN gets the better of me. Sometimes I just have to stand up for myself because of the nonsensical finger pointing and accusations. A lot of times after the fact it feels better to vent, but then I say to myself, this is a Baseball Blog for goodness sake. Thanks for listening.

    ———————————

    Yea we all go a little overboard at times….it’s ok. We all get wrapped up in the game we love.

    You’re welcome. I enjoyed the conversation. It was worth getting to know the person behind the screen name. Take care

  3. Vineyard Yankee July 4th, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    AAO:

    You too. We will talk again, I enjoyed it as well.

  4. -Matt- July 4th, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Gardner’s 6th in the AL in steals

    sneaking up there

  5. Rich in NJ July 5th, 2011 at 12:35 am

    To me, AJ looked spent after the Duncan AB.

  6. Rich in NJ July 5th, 2011 at 12:51 am

    It also sucks that the Yankees can’t play Nunez, who may be their hottest hitter, but I don’t mean at SS, I mean anywhere. When he’s healthy and if he’s still hitting, I would rest someone every day until he cools off.

  7. Captain Clutch July 5th, 2011 at 12:58 am

    It’s nice to know that Girardi “needed” 7 innings out of him but when a guys out of gas…he’s out of gas. Duncan definitely should of been his last batter. It was obvious that he ran out of gas during that at bat. After seeing the swings that Kearns had against him I was shocked that Girardi let AJ face him. Wade and Noesi were available but Girardi didn’t use them for some odd reason.

  8. J. Alfred Prufrock July 5th, 2011 at 1:00 am

    MONTERO/NUNEZ

    UPDATE, 5:22: No Jesus Montero tonight. He was in the starting lineup, but Dave Miley said he was experiencing some tightness and pointed to his lower back/side area. “Better safe than sorry,” Miley said.

    Funny story, though: As I was talking to Miley, Montero walked out from the back area, looked at me, smiled and said, “I’m still here!” So, for all the conspiracy theorists out there:

    UPDATE, 6:34: Several reports out of Cleveland indicate the Yankees have optioned Chris Dickerson to Triple-A. Strange move, to me. I guess they think they’re going to keep Eduardo Nunez in the lineup a bit more often by playing him in the outfield. I think he’ll be a fantastic outfielder, really. But Dickerson seemed to give them a lot of options as a fifth outfielder.

    http://blogs.thetimes-tribune.com/yankees/

  9. m July 5th, 2011 at 1:00 am

    I was wrong about Gardner calling for the ball, he didn’t know he could get there (even though we knew). I think Gardner had further to run, but he had the better chance of making the play because Alex had a tough angle. It’s still why we lost.

    Jeter looks very mischievous in that picture.

  10. m July 5th, 2011 at 1:01 am

    It’s still NOT why we lost. :oops:

  11. J. Alfred Prufrock July 5th, 2011 at 1:04 am

    on following the conspiracy theorist comment, SWB blog posted a video clip of Naked Gun with actor shooing away a crowd and yelling: “Alright, nothing to see here!”

    I guess the writer clued Montero in that every time he’s scratched people assume he’s being dealt so they have their little joke about it, thus Montero’s comment.

    Sorry, too tired to be more coherent.

  12. Rich in NJ July 5th, 2011 at 1:05 am

    It’s an indication of how stupid a world we live in when Montero is even talked about in trades.

  13. J. Alfred Prufrock July 5th, 2011 at 1:06 am

    t was obvious that he ran out of gas during that at bat.
    ///

    yea I thought so.

    g’nite Lohyd

  14. Rich in NJ July 5th, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Girardi is prone to managing very mechanistically.

  15. J. Alfred Prufrock July 5th, 2011 at 1:08 am

    I doubt he’s being traded unless they completely misunderstand their own issues. If that’s the case then those of us who have given Cashman credit for anything are without it ourselves.

    Don’t think they can be so blind.

    Night all. Maybe Nuney will play some OF as per the article.

  16. Rich in NJ July 5th, 2011 at 1:11 am

    If Montero is traded, I suspect the decision will be made above Cashman. I refuse to believe that after every thing Cash has done to rebuild the farm that he was willing to sacrifice him for two months of Lee.

  17. pft2 July 5th, 2011 at 1:56 am

    That was a great AB by Duncan and AJ was obviously spent after walking whats his name, and with a guy coming up who had hit the ball hard twice against him. Someone other than AJ should have faced Kearns, even if that someone was Robertson. No point in saving your designated closer for a save opportunity that never comes. That was probably the highest leveraged AB of the game, and the best reliever is Robertson.

  18. GreenBeret7 July 5th, 2011 at 1:59 am

    Burnette made two mistakes tonight. The first one was getting that deep into the count on Chisenhall and walking him. The second mistake was on Kearnes. It wasn’t the pitch to Duncan. The next one hundred times Duncan sees that pitch in that location, he never touches it. It was 6-8 inches off of the plate outside. Against which right handed batter was Logan supposed to come in and get out?

    Jesus…does the second guessing ever stop with you people? The answer is no.

  19. stuart a July 5th, 2011 at 2:31 am

    did not see the game but burnett does what the hillbilly always does… loses games.. not many guys pitch as long as he has with that stuff and have such a medicore career. you need to have sand between the ears and no clue to tease half your fan base basically for your whole career.

    the great aj having a suppose much better year then last is 8 and 7 with a over 4 era. the guy is a 4th or 5th starter end the story. girardi gives him respect like he is an ace.

    he is an ace of stupidity and underachievement…..

  20. stuart a July 5th, 2011 at 2:35 am

    michael kay get all hot and bothered with jeter back!!!

    good news jeter got the ball out of the infield once…

    3 more years of this………….the guy has like 2 more extra base hits then nunez in 150 more ab’s………

    again do not move jeter down in the order do not want to upset the ghost of a great player………………

  21. Gary July 5th, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Morning, kind of ugly the way they lost the last two. Was listening to game on the radio on the way back from traveling and heard the 7th inning just fall apart. I saw the highlights later so I can understand why the announcers comments on the key aspects of the foul pop and it was a esay catch for Gardner. Chuckled a bit at Burnetts comments about I didn’t remember that play, right. Well it’s only two losses, but it does make your stomach turn the way they lost these two. You have to hold those leads in the late innings and can’t just give it back to the other team.

  22. upstate kate July 5th, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Gary
    It is discouraging when they finally break thru and score, only to have the pitcher give it right back the same inning.
    I am sure AJ remembered that play, but I like that he didn’t throw his teammates under the bus and blame them for the loss.
    CC will get them today!

  23. MaineYankee July 5th, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I don’t know why anyone is upset that Gardner didn’t catch that.

    According to many he’s only a 4th OF so you shouldn’t expect so much.

    For anyone to think that was an easy catch they don’t know what they’re talking about.

  24. MaineYankee July 5th, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Good morning kate.

    Looks like a nice sunny day.

    These games tend to balance out.

    They lose some they should win and win some(Castillo,Mets) they should lose.

  25. Erin July 5th, 2011 at 8:33 am

    jimbaumbach Today in the Clemens case, judge will rule on all pretrial motions. Tomorrow starts jury selection, which is expected to run into next week.

    jimbaumbach When jury selection begins tomorrow, lawyers from both sides will, for the first time, reveal their witness lists. #clemens

  26. MTU July 5th, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Morning all.

    Just didn’t work out.

    We’ll get ‘em tonight.

    I think Cashman is gonna try to take out some more BP insurance.

  27. upstate kate July 5th, 2011 at 8:33 am

    It is beautiful here too MY!

    Well here we are half way thru the season, and the Yankees are in first place, w/ the best record in the AL. The Captain has returned, w/ Phil coming back as well. Lots to be happy about :)

  28. Erin July 5th, 2011 at 8:33 am

    upstate kate July 5th, 2011 at 8:22 am
    I am sure AJ remembered that play, but I like that he didn?t throw his teammates under the bus and blame them for the loss.

    ************************

    kate-agreed. I liked that too.

  29. pat July 5th, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Pujols went from people speculating that he would never be the same hitter because of a broken wrist bone to possibly back on the field tonight 2 weeks after being injured?

    Either he had a bad diagnosis or he really is a machine.

  30. JCPD July 5th, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Jeter did not help my cause of hopefully seeing him reach 3000 hits on Wednesday night. Well, unless he has a really, really good game tonight. Oh well, I’ll get to see Phil pitch.

  31. MaineYankee July 5th, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Fans place to much stock in what is said in the post game and what’s written in the paper.

    They then make their judgement about a player or the team based on that small sample.

    Talk about being misinformed.

    Both Gardner and Arod took responsibility for that foul ball.

    Fact is it was just a very difficult play and would’ve been a very good catch if it was made.

  32. Benny Blanco July 5th, 2011 at 8:47 am

    The yankees easily could have been on a 10 winning streak. :(

  33. MTU July 5th, 2011 at 8:48 am

    JCPD-

    Hope things are going well and you had a good 4th ?

    Should be a very interesting game Weds. Are you going to be there ?

  34. JCPD July 5th, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Have the day off MTU and going to drive over to Cleveland. It’s about a three hour drive. I’ll be in the lower level just beyond the Yankee dugout.

  35. MTU July 5th, 2011 at 9:02 am

    JCPD-

    Al was asking about you the other day.

  36. Erin July 5th, 2011 at 9:02 am

    New Post- Jeter: “I don’t try to prove anything to anyone”

    :arrow:

  37. MTU July 5th, 2011 at 9:03 am

    New thread ==>

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