A.J. Burnett has not won a game since August 15th and currently sports a 5.27 ERA. It’s a trend he’ll once again try to change on Tuesday as the Yankees will play the Mariners in the second of three. Seattle will have Dave Furbush (3-8, 4.84) on the mound; Furbush has a 2-1 record but high ERA of 3.91 at Safeco Field; he has never faced the Yankees.
Discussion of the Day: If you were managing the Yankees, would you consider pitching Boone Logan solely against lefties? Consider his splits, and share your thoughts in the comments.
Behind Enemy Lines: Dave Cameron at U.S.S. Mariner argues that Eric Wedge’s approach with his offense, which is an aggressive one, is not working out. Indeed, the free-swinging Mariners offer a stark contrast to the Yankees, who are often known to be a model of patience at the plate.
1) Andrew Marchand writes that as good as Jesus Montero might be, he can’t will the Yankees to win on his own. Brien Jackson likewise writes that poor decision making has been a problem.
Montero’s debut with the Yankees has been impressive, though the small sample size caveat applies. That said, Montero isn’t even guaranteed a spot on the postseason roster – he would likely have to hit even better than he has been to replace Jorge Posada -- so the Yankees can’t expect to be able to lean on Montero. However, as the Yankees’ offense has generally been one of the best in baseball, a temporary slump is certainly less of a problem than the one of poor decision making, such as failing to use a closer in a tie game simply because the game is on the road.
2) Jeff Bradley notes that the Red Sox are giving up ground in the Wild Card Race.
The Yankees can’t be too concerned about who they might face in the postseason right now, but if the Red Sox and Rays end up in a stalemate, the Yankees might have an opportunity to increase their lead in the AL East – and with it secure home field advantage in the playoffs. The Red Sox’s struggles may offer a cautionary tale when one considers that they are an older team, and while injuries can’t be directly attributed to age, it’s not something that should be completely discounted, either.
Indeed, Colon may only be 1-3 in his last four starts, but the 3.62 ERA is perfectly respectable. Colon has been such an integral part of the Yankees this season that him pitching poorly in October would seriously hamper the team. On the other hand, it can (and perhaps should) be argued that the Yankees have gotten far more from Colon – over 150 innings, in fact – than anyone might have expected at the beginning of this season.
4) Short Season Staten Island beat Auburn 9-2 in Game One of the NY Penn League finals. Every other Yankees affiliate either failed to make the postseason or, in the case of the Rookie GCL Yankees, already won their championship.