Where You Been, Good A.J.? Nice To See You.

September 2, 2011 – 11:50 am

NYY 4, Boston 2.

  • Russell MartinSo at long last Good A.J. finally shows up. It’s going to be interesting to see what Girardi does with the rotation now. One good start hardly makes up for two straight months of stinkers — but then again, the A.J. we saw last night was certainly better than the Phil Hughes we saw in the previous game. Other than one bad pitch to Pedroia in the fourth, Burnett certainly looked like the number two starter that he’s being paid to be. And unlike what we’ve seen from him lately, after giving up the two-run homer and the lead in the fourth, A.J. didn’t self-destruct, but instead turned around and easily retired Ortiz, Crawford, and Lowrie in order to end the inning. Was this just a fluke, or has Burnett turned a corner? Guess we will see soon enough.
  • Nick Swisher bunting in the fifth was obviously just a case of Swish thinking there were no outs when in fact there was one out. Hey, sh*t happens — during the course of 162 games, 1400+ innings, and 8000+ outs, everyone is going to make a mental mistake or two like that. But what I have never understood is why a manager gives players free rein to decide when and when not to sacrifice. Seems to me that’s part of the overall strategy for a given game, and that’s something that only the manager should be doing because he’s the only one in charge of the “big picture”. But that’s the way most teams operate these days. Weird.
  • Earlier in the season I was a bit mystified about all the praise being heaped on Russell Martin, and particularly could not understand his selection to the All-Star game. But man has he ever come on strong over the last month. Since August 1 his numbers are .293/.326/.610/.936, and his defense has also improved remarkably it seems to me. So I take back anything I said earlier — right now he’s playing like an All-Star and then some!

Photo: Yahoo! Sports

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