The answer is, “The quote from the movie that most represents the 2009 Yankees so far.” Ooh, ooh, I know this! What is, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” Mama always said it about life, and now I am saying it about these Yankees.
From the lineup, to the bullpen, to the starters, I don’t know if I’m getting butter cream, peanut butter, or coconut filling. I hate coconut filling by the way. And, lately, the Yankees are giving me plenty of coconut.
The losing streak is now at four. Chien-Ming Wang is on the DL with a hip flexor issue, (hip flexor issue in this case means he’s out of options, couldn’t send him down to Triple A) and has an ERA over 34. CC Sabathia was supposed to come in here and be a shut-down ace, injecting CC’s of 0’s and K’s into opposing lineups. Still waiting for that to happen. Yes, I’m aware of what he did last year with the Indians and the Brewers. He was 12-0 over 18 starts last June 10th through September 10th. But, CC, “What have you done for me lately? Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, yeah.” Janet Jackson Disease (JJD) is very catchy and I think I am coming down with it. Everyone is worried about Swine Flu now, but JJD is what I am worried about catching.
Sabathia pitched well enough to win last night, but either Justin Verlander miraculously remembered how to pitch, or the Yankees forgot how to hit.
A.J. Burnett has been OK, but, in his last start, the Yankees had a 6-0 lead on Josh Beckett, and they couldn’t hold on. Unfortunately, that’s what sticks in your head. Big time symptom of JJD. You’re only as good as your last start or your last at-bat.
Joba Chamberlain’s days as a starter should be numbered. I’m Maverick here and I am calling the ball — especially if Phil Hughes can make an instant impact. Hughes has been lights out at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (three wins, 19.1 IP, 1.86 ERA 19K, 3 BB), and tonight he gets the start against the Tigers.
I may be getting ahead of myself with Mark Melancon, but with Brian Bruney being on the shelf, the bridge to Mariano would be a lot sturdier if it went Melancon, Chamberlain, Rivera. John Flaherty told me in Flash Forward this week that the Yankees were forced to bring Melancon up a little early, but to be put in at Fenway Park in front of a national television audience, and to do what he was able to do was impressive. (You can catch the entire Flash Forward in the video section of YESnetwork.com.)
As far as the hitting goes, Robinson Cano has really been the only consistent plate performer. The Yankees second baseman is the only one hitting over .300. Nick Swisher has cooled off, and Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira are both hitting .220. There is some good news, though. Alex Rodriguez took live batting practice down in Tampa today, and you will see the video on Yankees Batting Practice Today at 6 p.m. ET on YES.
I know its “still early” in this 2009 season, but when does it start to get late? Yogi Berra said it the best, “It gets late awfully early around here.” He was commenting on the adverse sun conditions in left field at the old stadium. His quote, however, will stand the test of time to the spreading disease that is Janet Jackson. Nineteen games in, I’m already suffering from the symptoms. However, I promise … no, I guarantee … no wardrobe malfunctions will occur on the set.
A.J. Burnett was absolutely lights out picking up Chien-Ming Wang once again. Burnett had a 2-0 lead and a no-hitter into the seventh. Then gave up his first hit, the shutout and the lead, all in the Rays’ half of the seventh.
He didn’t crumble after he gave up two runs. Joe Girardi didn’t even get anyone up in the bullpen. Burnett got out of the jam and the Yankees rewarded their starter with a run in their half of the eighth to go back out in front, 3-2. Burnett then worked a perfect eighth inning and his night was over. Eight innings, three hits, two runs, one walk, and nine strike outs. He is now 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA.
Ladies and gentleman, children of all ages, so far in Yankeeland 2009, I give you your cure for Janet Jackson Disease: Mr. A.J. Burnett.
Brett Gardner exploded Tuesday in St. Petersburg, Fla., (3-for-5, 2 2B, RBI). I’d like to reiterate my comfort level from my Homegrown Gardner blog from March 30:
“Gardner will be the Opening Day center fielder for Joe Girardi and the Yankees, and even though some “experts” aren’t comfortable with him being there, I am in a lazy boy with the fridge and a case of beer, and comfortable.”
Do they still make the recliners with the refrigerators?
The top two guys in the lineup, Derek Jeter and Gardner, went 6-for-10 with four RBIs. How about Swish at the dish? Nick Swisher was in the four hole and went 2-4 with a solo home run, his fourth of the year. Oh by the way, Swish is hitting .458. He thought it was heady to be hitting in the three hole with Mark Teixeira out of the lineup. I wonder how he felt hitting clean up? I’ll ask him Thursday when I am at the new Yankee Stadium for Opening Day.
Sleep well Yankee fans. See you for the Sprint at 1p.m. ET, then for Yankees Batting Practice today at 3 p.m.