September 29th 2009
Yankees Vs Kansas City Royals
@ Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
The Yankees are paying AJ Burnett an awful lot of money. After this game he was giving a rousing round of applause for 6 and a 1/3 innings during which he only gave up one earned run. The problem is that from where I was sitting he looked lucky. I kept waiting for the moment when there would be a series of hits and Kansas would then take him apart but it never came. I don’t know why. The problem is that I don’t think it was because Burnett was overpowering so much as that Kansas are a weak hitting side.
The post-season is at hand and the Yankees biggest flaw is their starting pitching – the one thing they spent most of last off-season trying to fix. Sabathia has been consistent (although I wasn’t know to know at this point he was only a couple of days away from one of his worst starts of the season). Burnett has had a poor second half after a solid opening to the season. Pettitte has been good for one good performance in every two. Chamberlain has spent half the time looking like a starter who would make a good reliever which is ironic since he is a good reliever who we are trying to make into a good starter. It is good that we don’t need a fifth starter in the playoffs.
We’ll see what comes. We could be brilliant, we could be embarrassing.
Tonight, we got away with it.
In relief, Phil Coke pitched reasonably well but made some bizarre decisions in fielding and dealing with runners on base – leading to the unearned run that was credited to Burnett. David Robertson looked as good as anyone coming back from injury at this point of season could have done. Brian Bruney removed 4 of the last 6 batters (1 hit, 1 walk) and has been busy playing himself back into contention for a playoff roster spot.
Offensively, we didn’t have much to offer. Teixeira carried us and fan-favourite Nick Swisher added a home run which was just enough for a 4-3 win.
Before the game I visited the Yankees museum (which is excellent) and Monument Park (which, ironically, in this more spacious ballpark is a little too compact). I really must do this more often.