Well, this was one sloppy game by the Yankees, four errors and three more plays that should have been errors if there was a way to score them as such, like A.J. Burnett missing first on a possible 3-6-1 double play in the third and not getting over to first in time on another occasion, or even Alex Rodriguez and Eduardo Nunez not getting together on a pop single to the back of the mound in the third. Nunez made two errors, including one that led to the winning run in the 11th.
“Our defense overall has been pretty good,” Joe Girardi said. “But for whatever reason, today it wasn’t. Even when are regulars aren’t in there, it’s been pretty good. I don’t know if it was the conditions. I don’t know if it was fatigue. I don’t know what it was. But it was really what cost us the game.”
A-Rod chalked it up to the conditions, although while mentioning the wind, he also said that popup “has got to be caught.” Those third-inning misadventures were crucial because A.J. Burnett gave up a tw0-run homer to Nolan Reimold with two outs in that inning, sending the Orioles ahead 4-2.
So what about Burnett? He’s now winless in his last 12 starts. He was mediocre, charged with four runs, seven hits, four walks and three wild pitches in six-plus, which went with seven strikeouts. He has tied the Yankees’ all-time single-season record with 23 wild pitches. He likes to waste pitches in the dirt. He lamented one pitch, the one to Reimold.
As I predicted during the game, here was his postgame quote on what he did for the Yankees in this one: “I guess I kept them in as best I could.”
He now has one win in his last 12 starts. Good enough to trust in October? Good enough to stay in the rotation? It doesn’t sound like Girardi wants to cut to five at this point, but we’ll see.
“It’s worked pretty well for us,” Girardi said about the six pack of starters. “It seems to keep our guys pretty fresh, too. We’ll decide what we’re going to do. I’m not going to commit to one way or another what we’re going to do.”
So now the Yankees get to feel the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. They have a makeup this afternoon in Baltimore, the start of a four-city, 10-game, 11-day trip. Then they move on to Anaheim, Seattle and Toronto.
“We’re a team on a mission,” A-Rod said. “Whatever challenges come our way, we’re going to deal with them.”