Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bombers Bounce Back Behind Burnett, Blast Birds 11-2

It figures that the first Yankee win of the season comes on a game I don't watch. Day games are always rough for me as it falls right during my least favorite activity, work. Thankfully, I can listen to the games on XM Radio. I'd be lost without my XM. I don't know how any baseball fan can go without one. It's always tough to listen to games at work. Between meetings, questions from the staff and whatnot, it's tough to pay attention to every pitch. Today was a good day though as I had no meetings and my underlings, save a few questions here and there, pretty much left me alone. I caught a pretty good portion of the game and loved what I heard.

A.J. Burnett pretty much cruised and gave the Yankees what they desperately needed. He ran into a little bit of trouble but was able to get out of trouble when it mattered. I'm really high on Burnett. I think he has the potential to win 20+ games while leading the league in Ks. I think he'll be that good for the Yanks, assuming of course the days of him being injury prone are behind him. I would have liked to have seen him gone a little deeper in the game, but his pitch count ran up, which often happens with strikeout pitchers. I was impressed that he kept the free passes to a minimum and was able to consistently throw strikes, something Wang and Sabathia couldn't do in their outings. Way to man up. Fingers crossed that the rest of the guys in the rotation follow suit.

How great was the bullpen today? Phil Coke, Brian Bruney, Jose Veras, and the legendary Mariano Rivera combined for 3.2 perfect innings. Now that's what I expected from these guys. In my 2009 predictions, I predicted that Mo would have a perfect season. He won't blow any saves and will have an ERA under 1.00. Today's game wasn't a save situation but Mo was typical Mo, 3 up 3 down, ball game over, Yankees win, the Yankees win. The offense made sure of that.

The offense busted out in a big way today, scoring 11 runs on 13 hits. Every starter reached base safely except for Jeter and Damon. What are the odds that the Yankees would score 11 runs and neither of those 2 reach base to set the table? Weird, I know. It was nice to see Mark Teixeira have a good game at the plate. On my way home from work I was listening to the Michael Kay show. They were talking about Teixeira's 9th inning double in yesterday's game and how it was great for him to get that first hit/RBI out of the way. They discussed how that hit was, and I'm paraphrasing, a catalyst for better things. I couldn't agree with that more. I know the season is young and Teixiera is historically a slow starter. I'm not necessarily thinking that his 2-5 game today means he's going to go 2-for-5 everyday, but it's a start, something to build on. I think things for Mark will be easier now that he's gotten his crappy 2 starts out of the way. Knock on wood.

I also have to knock on wood that Robbie Cano stays hot. He is off to a great start which is so uncharacteristically Robbie. I know it's 3 games and I shouldn't get excited, but he's 6 for 11 thru the first 3 games and what I like the most is that he's walked 3 times. One of the things I like least about Cano is that he doesn't draw enough walks. 3 walks in 3 games. Works for me.

All in favor of starting Nick Swisher over Xavier Nady raise your hand? Nicky Swish had a huge game today. Don't get me wrong, he's not the answer. I still don't think he should be the everyday outfielder, but I'd take him over Nady everyday. I think Nady is highly overrated. I've been especially sour on Nady since he gave up and allowed himself to get tagged out without even attempting to get in a rundown the other day. I don't want to see that from any of these guys. I hope somebody got on him about that. It's unacceptable in my book. The radio call of Swisher's HR today made it sound like he had some help from a fan. They made it sound like the ball was an easy catch and was pretty much in the fielder's glove until the fan made a barehanded snag. Nice. I wrote the other day after it happened to Damon that things like that are part of baseball and that the Yankees would get that break someday. Who knew it would be two games later?

So the 1st win of the season is under their belts and we can all breathe a little sigh of relief. It's weird to say that the 3rd game of the season is a big game but today's game was big. Getting swept by the Orioles would not have been good. It wouldn't have been the end of the world. The '98 Yankees started out 0-3 and we all know how that season ended. Regardless, the first win is out of the way and that takes a little pressure off the team. The Yanks are off to KC and it's Andy Pettitte's turn to take the mound. Sidney Ponson gets the ball for the Royals and that kind of makes me laugh. I think the Yanks are going to light him up. I'll be very disappointed if they don't get him for at least 6 runs. If they don't hit him, and hit him hard, I'll be shocked. It's Sidney Ponson for crying out loud.

R.I.P. Nick Adenhart,