I once wrote a post about how terrifyingly sociopathic AJ Burnett is. Like how the expression on his face is just the epitome of "I may go insane, I may not. But what I'm NOT gonna do is tell you which one I'm leaning towards."
From August 12, 2009:
Cano got a whipped cream pie in the face. Seriously, AJ looks more and more intense and aggressive every time he rolls out this little ritual. And not in a Will Ferrell in Old School locker room kind of way. Like a Mama Fratelli chasing after the Goonies kind of way.
So when I see he's the one taking the mound, following a loss to our rivals that was basically a Boston exercise in "How far can we push this? How many buttons can we press til the Yanks snap?"..I'm really expecting someone to die. Or, at the very least, get carted off the field.
Not hoping, per se. Just...expecting.
What played out was far from this prediction.
Here's another way I think of it. In terms of music, I imagine AJ coming out to Rage Against the Machine's Fistful of Steel. And in fact, that's what I listened to up til when I walked over to O'Neill's with my sister to watch the first part of the game.
But last night, AJ was holding nothing but a fistful of pudding.
(Which reminds me of when I was younger and I had creme brulee at a restaurant for the first time. And it was delicious. So I asked my dad, "What IS this? It's SO GOOD!" And he said, "Um it's like vanilla pudding but they burned the top part."
So in my youthful resourcefulness, I decided to make creme brulee myself. My parents came home to find me standing above the kitchen stove with a giant serving spoon filled with SnackPack pudding.
Only to them, they saw their 11 year old daughter standing over an open flame with some white substance in a spoon. Only years later did I learn why exactly they were so worked up about it.)
So, yeah. Fistful of pudding. Not steel. The Yanks lost 11-6. And this time, they have none of the assholery theatrics from the night prior to point at and whine about.
Like Tuesday night, the game opens up 3-0 within a matter of seconds, thanks to a 2-run bomb from Ortiz (no bat flip this time) and a bunch of errors that maybe we can chalk up to the heat, but, I mean, I get hot in 60 degree weather and frankly I didn't think it was THAT asphyxiatingly hot out last night.
The game got away from the Yanks pretty f'n fast. It's 7-0 before I even leave O'Neill's, until Arod hits a moon shot to left and puts the Yanks on the board. You know, for all the crap he gets, he's pulling his weight just as much as anyone else on the team. Which brings me to someone who is NOT doing his share right now:
Yeah, I love Jeter. Who doesn't? And like everyone else, I give him a ton of latitude because in reality the Yanks would not be the Yanks without him. No dynasty, no evil empire, none of it. But last night pissed me off big time.
With the bases loaded, and the fastest runner in the game on 3rd, Wakefield throws wild pitch #2910 of the day and instead of waving GGBG home like a human windmill, Jeter holds him up. I said to my sister, in uncharacteristic CYC-pessimism, "He's just holding him up so he has the golden opportunity to ground out into an inning-ending double play."
Which is exactly what he did. And then I hated myself for having said it out loud. Everyone loses.
In the 5th inning, the Yanks staged a bit of a rally, closing the gap to 7-4. Not bad, not bad. It had all the earmarks of a Yankees classic. And it's sad, remembering the 2009 boys who would eat deficits like this up for breakfast. (You eat deficits for breakfast? Eww.)
But the 2011 Yanks...eh, not as forthcoming with the comebacks, per se.
Some other thoughts on the game (I love how bulleted lists exempt me from cohesive thought and transitional phrases):
- I'm confused about errors are being recorded here. First I see Cervelli throw a ridiculously errant throw that manages to slip by 23 fielders in some crazy Frogger like agility. Then he does the same thing again. Like, EXACTLY the same thing. So that would be 2 errors, yeah?
- Then our 3B who is very much NOT Arod bobbles a ball and that would be the 3rd, no?
- THEN, Youkilis does something at 3rd that is too contorted and inane to even be considered "bobbling." It was more like some bizarro contortionist, Cirque de Soleil kind of manuveuring that somehow escapes the E column.
- By my count, there should have been at least 4 errors. Maybe 5 if you consider Cano's mishandling of the ball at 2nd that got the runner out at 1st but allowed the runner on 3rd to score. But no. Only 2 were recorded. So maybe the score keeper just got too hot to function. Like everyone else.
- Something bizarre happened at 3rd that no one seemed to pick up on except for my sister. Ortiz makes it to third on one of said Cervelli faux paus, and it looks like he's winding up his arm about to ass-slap Eduardo Nunez. But then it was almost like, upon seeing the camera on him, he immediately retracts his arm. Wtf is going on?? Seriously, it's like Boston is just treating the Yanks like how I treated my poor youngest sister when we were growing up. Just teasing them and annoying them to the point where they have no other recourse but the whine, and then when they DO whine, everyone rolls their eyes. (Sorry, Amanda!!!)
- Eduardo Nunez looks like this creepy bad guy in this Care Bears Movie I remember seeing when I was younger.
Compare that cucumber thing to Nunez. Uncanny, no?
Anyways, so there's that.
- Moving on, GGBG made a gutsy play for first in the 4th, sliding headfirst into the bag, but Wakefield made the play. And I swear it almost looked like he kicked him in the head.
- I wouldn't be surprised really.
- They showed a stat that AJ and Wakefield lead the league in wild pitches, which explains why the camera man was obsessively fixated on showing the bucket of balls before the game started. Ahhh, I get it. So many wild pitches between the 2, need extra balls, etc. I said to Laur, "I mean, Wakefield's a knuckleballer. What's AJ's excuse?"
- Her response: "Insanity."
- That's cool. AJ pleads insanity.
- Insanity or stupidity, not sure which, was the motivation behind intentionally walking Ortiz. I can't wrap my mind around this. If you're going to walk him anyway, WHY NOT F&^%ING DRILL HIM IN THE HEAD???
- I know, I've clearly lost all of my usual, "Our first responsibility is to be a good person" niceties. Cost of war.
- Jeter's now 11 shy of the 3000th hit, which is obviously clouding anything bad he does. Hmpf.
- Speaking of clouding anything bad done, Super Mario hat 3 hits and 2 ribbies for the Yanks, but also gave the Sux a free pass to sour around the basepaths like a star-induced Luigi. I don't know if they even out, I'd rather he had played normal defense than freebasing defense.
- Can someone explain to me why Noesi was sent to triple A?? After what he did on Tuesday, you'd think they'd give him a little more grace. Geez. Tough crowd in that clubhouse.
And here are some fun stats from ESPN on how our Red Sux killer has fare since being a Yank:
A.J. Burnett has now allowed 7+ ER to the Red Sox 4 times has a Yankee. That's the 2nd-most such starts by a Yankee vs the Red Sox in the Live Ball Era (since 1920). Only Red Ruffing, who had 5 such starts, has more. Ruffing made 51 career starts vs the Red Sox as a Yankee. Burnett has made 8.
A.J. Burnett is now 0-4 in 8 starts with a 8.71 ERA vs the Red Sox as a member of the Yankees. He was 5-0 with a 2.56 ERA in 8 starts vs Boston with the Blue Jays.
Ok, if you're going to be that ineffective, please be ineffective while inflicting some kind of damage. I don't necessarily mean physical damage, but you definitely can't dispute the effect a hit batter has on the dynamic of the team. It riles people up, etc. Girardi should have insisted on getting tossed, just to appease us rabid fans who are foaming at the mouth for some retaliation. A la Norman Dale-style.
The last Sux game I went to, I saw a dude wearing a shirt that said "I'm a Yankee fan. Fight me." And then I saw him disappear for a few innings and return all sweaty and disheveled. I like that guy. I want that guy on the field.
And I want to win tonight.
I may be realllly upping the stakes here, but there's a possibility me and my beer pong partner may venture into the lion's den (aka a Sux bar). I figure, even if the Yanks can't beat the Sux, I know at the very least, there aren't any Sux fans that can beat us at pong.
One last thought. The Yanks couldn't beat the Sux til August in 2009. And that worked out ok. That's what I'm gonna keep telling myself anyway. Tonight would be a great night to show Boston we're still in charge. Take back first place. And more importantly, take back our cajones.