A.J. Getting On Track

June 3, 2009 – 11:02 am

NYY 12, Texas 3. Other than the brief 3rd inning meltdown, this was a pretty good outing by A.J. Burnett. I’m not sure what happened there — two quick outs and up 0-2 on Michael Young, and then A.J. just lost the plate. He walked Young with four straight balls, then proceeded to miss the plate on the first pitch to the next four batters, who all ended up hitting the ball hard, and all of a sudden a 2-0 lead became a 3-2 deficit. But then in the next inning, Burnett was back to throwing first pitch strikes and never was in much trouble for the rest of the game. He ended up with very respectable numbers — 7 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 8 K. That’s two good starts in a row, both against Texas which is one of the best hitting teams in the league. So A.J. appears to be pitching near to what the expectations were.

One somewhat worrisome aspect of this game was the way that the Rangers pretty much ran at will against Jorge Posada. Granted some of that could have been Burnett’s fault in not holding runners close, but Posada right now has the highest stolen base attempts per game (1.69) in the league, along with a fairly poor caught stealing rate (21.9%). It’s still a pretty small sample size, but between last year’s shoulder injury and the fact that Jorge is getting up there in age, this could be a disturbing trend.

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