Back-To-Back Sweeps!

July 23, 2009 – 2:00 pm

Yanks CelebrateNYY 6, Baltimore 4. The Yankees jumped all over Jason Berken in the first inning, scoring 4 runs on 5 hits. And then immediately went to sleep for the next 6 innings, only getting 1 run off three hits. But that’s all A.J. Burnett would need as he pretty much plowed through the Oriole lineup for 6 innings before finally giving up two runs in the 7th. And one of those was on a strike three wild pitch that should have gotten him out of the inning with just the one run. Regardless, that’s seven straight games A.J. has gone 6+ innings while allowing 3 or fewer runs (aka “quality starts”), so he’s at least convinced me he’s the real deal. So we’ve got two very solid starters, two big question marks, plus good old Andy Pettitte. If I were Brian Cashman and crew, I would certainly like to eliminate one of those question marks before the trade deadline.

And speaking of question marks, Brian Bruney continues to be a big one. Since returning from the disabled list he just has not looked anything like the old Bruney. The 4-run lead in the 9th enabled Girardi to take yet another look at him, and the results were clearly disappointing with the back-to-back home runs he gave up. The good news is that right now the bullpen looks rock solid with Coke-Hughes-Rivera handling the 7th inning on, and Aceves and Robertson for everything else. So quite frankly, Bruney really isn’t needed at this point. If he were to get back to his old form, that would give the Yankees the option of moving Phil Hughes in to the starting rotation to remedy one of those question mark slots mentioned above. But at this point, I really don’t see that happening. Hughes looks very comfortable in the setup role, and he’s obviously doing an outstanding job — so it doesn’t make much sense to mess with that spot. You have to figure he’s staying there for the rest of the season.

Photo: Yahoo! Sports

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