Tagged: A.J. Burnett

Streaks, slumps, and stability in the Yankee armada

Streaks

Alex Rodriguez steps to the plate. Queue Katy Perry’s ‘Hot and Cold’. 
With the bad joke out of the way, the point is this; A-Rod is streaky. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, because these streaks paint a clear picture; When he hits, the Yankees win. I mean, it’s not rocket science, considering he’s one of the top three hitters in baseball, it’s just worth mentioning again. And so with his fifth home run in nine games, the Yankees take their eighth out of nine. And no need telling you that the one game lost (yesterday) was the only of the nine Alex went hitless. 
As if to emphasize how streaky our boy here is, even with this recent success, he still hits .235 (as of yesterday), giving you an idea how cold he was prior to June 24th. 
So, it’s easy to get excited over the past week the Yankees have posted, but remember, to make it last, performances will need to be sustained. And that leads us to our next topic…
Slumps (and trades!)

Swisher has really been having a hard time, which is heat breaking considering the show he treated us to in April (you know, carrying the team). But anyone who expected that to be sustained (to any real degree) had to have been kidding themselves. And that’s why you can’t help but contemplate the Hinske deal Cashman and the Yanks pulled off with Pittsburgh this week.
All we can really do is sit and be thankful for that depth of our outfield. With Hideki having trouble fielding, we still have Melky (who has been stellar for us), Gardner, and now Hinske to fill in the Swisher spot. So while he gets straightened out, it’s worth appreciating our options. 
(Another great segway!) And speaking off appreciating;
Stability
So I don’t want to jinx it, but in my last post that spoke of Burnett, I noted that this might be the start of something big. Burnett could be the Yankees summer blockbuster. He has put on a series of 100-million dollar performances in a row, and it’s just glorious. Today, it was especially fantastic considering he didn’t falter like our guy CC did yesterday (he has to have a bad day once in a while.)
Anyway, cheers to AJ, Rodriguez, and the Yankees. I’ll post again when the series is over. 
Extra Note: Cano is also streaking, and poor Frankie Hustle isn’t hitting as well as he should if he wants to edge out our old friend Molina. 
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Francisco Cervelli, and why it’s time for A.J. Burnett to heed the call

Topic: Francisco Cervelli
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From the time of his first hit of his career on May 8th, I’ve really liked the young, energetic catcher the Yankees have found in Francisco Cervelli. With the .370 average he had posted by May 19th, I was convinced that Molina did not deserve the catching spot above this kid, and that we had come across some sort of backstop-Messiah. 
My excitement was spurned on by a slew of headlines; “Cervelli earning respect with Yankees,”  and earlier this season; “Cervelli earns rave reviews from Yanks”. He was a force of the youthful energy, the same vibe that led to the explosive four game, three-walk-off routing of the Twins that marked a turning point in the season. 
When he cooled down, I kept a dogmatic faith in him, but the quieter, rational side of my brain was telling me that he had just debuted hot. We were now going to see the .190 hitter of Trenton. 
In a way, we did. By June 11, his average had dropped to .269, (still hitting better than Alex Rodriguez), and the excitement of May had deserted him so far In June, as Posada had returned to take his spot. So when today he went 3 for 5, I got pumped. Without overreacting, the combination of him in the nine hole, and Jeter in the one hole could turn into something special. They together went 7 for 9. If they did that on occasion, they could win games. 
The Calling of A.J. Burnett

A.J. Burnett has been suffering from a very specific ailing that easily summarizes his career. That is inconsistency. And with today’s seven-inning masterpiece, he continues his volatile up-and-down ride that he’s been on since April 25. 
Without missing the point – that he pitched brilliantly today – we must confront the issue. If A.J. Burnett cannot pull himself out of this roller-coaster performance as we head into late June, he puts the summer that the Yankees look forward to in serious jeopardy. It is apparent that we cannot rely only on C.C. Sabathia for the Yankee’s success. 
Of course he is not the sole inconsistent member of the rotation. Joba could do with some straightening out, and no one wants to talk about Wang. But, if Burnett could pitch like like his stuff suggests he can, the change will be significantly more than just one more good pitcher.
And what better place to start than with the way he pitched against the Mets today.