Sunday, June 14, 2009

Amazin' Yanks Blow Out Santana, Mets (Postgame Notes 14 June 2009)

If you had asked any Yankee fan before today's match up with AJ Burnett and Johan Santana, they would have probably told you that they were worried.

Johan Santana is Johan Santana, and AJ Burnett has not been what the Yankees had paid him $88 million to be.

Still, any real baseball fan will tell you that you still have to play the game. It happened yesterday, when Fernando Nieve shut down the Yankees despite having only made a few previous starts in his Major League career; it happened again today.

Far from his normal shutdown self, Johan Santana surrendered nine earned runs; four in the second and then five in the fourth to knock him out of the game, and the Yankees wouldn't let the Mets' bullpen off the hook either, scoring six runs off of Mets' relievers.

There is much to be impressed about; the most key moment came in the top of the third, when AJ Burnett loaded the bases with no one out...and then proceeded to get out of the inning without giving up a run. For any starter, being able to do so is important; for Burnett, it may have changed his season, though it's too soon to say for sure.

At any rate, it allowed Burnett to go seven, and thus save most of a much belabored Yankees' bullpen--the off day tomorrow could not have come at a better time.

Also worth mentioning is Francisco Cervelli's excellent day at the plate; he has blossomed in the majors, and you get the feeling the Yankees are telling jose Molina to "take your time, no, really".

If the Phillies hold on to beat the Red Sox, the Yankees will go into tomorrow's off day only two back of Boston and with the likes of the Nationals on the horizon.