And Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Get Any Uglier

August 2, 2009 – 11:03 am

Chicago 14, NYY 4. This was the perfect setup for the guy who is supposed to be your ace pitcher. The Yankees had lost the first two games of a critical 4-game series and needed a win here to at least have a shot at splitting the series. But instead of stepping up to the situation, A.J. Burnett threw an absolute stinker. It’s hard to recall when last a Yankee pitcher looked this bad. How bad was it? Well, it’s bad enough when you walk the No. 9 hitter under any circumstance. But with the bases loaded to walk in a run? And to do it TWICE in the same game???? Wow, how can it get any uglier than that? A.J. has been pitching great of late — you have to go all the way back to May 22 for the last time he gave up more than 3 runs. So you pretty much have to chalk this one up as one huge anomaly and move on. But still….. this was as ugly as it gets.

The more disturbing part of this game, though, was Phil Coke getting roughed up once again. That’s three straight outings where Coke has done poorly. Which just reinforces what I was saying yesterday about relievers in general. Like Aceves, Coke is just being exposed for what he is at this point in his career — an average pitcher. We really are down now to just two guys,  Hughes and Rivera, in the bullpen that can really be counted on. The trading priorities are certainly still for a starter first — but it sure would be nice to bring in another reliever that can be counted on in the stretch drive.

So now pretty much all the momentum that got built up after the All-Star break is about to be flushed right down the toilet. Somehow the Yankees have to come up with a way of beating Mark Buehrle tomorrow or else get swept by the Chisox four-straight. Not exactly what you want to have hanging around your head with a 4-game series against Boston coming up soon.

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