A.J. Hearts Dave Eiland

July 8, 2010 – 10:41 am

Return Of Good A.J.NYY 6, Oakland 2. So maybe there is something to the “A.J. Burnett needs pitching coach Dave Eiland in order to be effective” story. Yeah, small sample size, yada yada — but 0-5 with an 11.35 ERA during Eiland’s absence, and since his return 1-0 with a 1.32 ERA? Whatever, it’s certainly nice to see Good A.J. back — even if we do have to tolerate an occasional appearance by Bad A.J., this certainly beats the A.J. we saw in June. Last night he pitched seven crisp innings, giving up just two runs on five hits while walking two. And as you would figure, it was the two walks that came around to score — but hey, walks just go with the territory when he’s on the mound, regardless of which version happens to show up. Bottom line he only got in real trouble in one inning, the sixth, and he got out of that without imploding, and then retired the side in order in the seventh to finish his night.

On offense, it does appear that Mark Teixeira is indeed heating up, as his three-run homer in the fourth was the big blow of the game. So far in July, Tex is now hitting .360 with a 1.212 OPS and 9 RBIs in 7 games. Actually for the first time in what seems like a long time, the Yankees got hitting all up and down the order, with everyone getting at least one hit except for Alex Rodriguez — and after last night’s performance, we can certainly cut A-Rod some slack here.

This was a good sweep, particularly with the pesky Mariners now coming up with their starting rotation which seems to give the Yankees fits. They’ve managed to open up a 4.5 game lead over Boston, who are obviously struggling right now with all their injuries. The Red Sox are going to get healthy again at some point, so the more distance we can put between them and us now, all the better. And yeah, Tampa Bay is on a roll and only two back, but I still think come September it’s going to be Boston that we are tangling with.

Photo: ESPN

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