Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A.J.'s Meltdown, Mets' Surrender & Jabba the Guv

The Yankees lost last night to the Toronto Blue Jays. They went up 2-0 on a Derek Jeter single and a Nick Swisher home run in the 1st inning, but A.J. Burnett imploded in the 5th, allowing 7 runs. The Yanks nearly came back from an 8-2 deficit, and Swisher hit another homer in the 9th (and nearly had one in the 3rd as well), but the final score was 8-6. Shades of Game 5 of last year's World Series.

John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman commented during last night's game on WCBS that when CC Sabathia gets in trouble (and you can say the same for Andy Pettitte, although they didn't say it), you get the feeling that he's going to work out of it and limit the damage; but when A.J. gets into trouble, you get the feeling he's not going to get out of it.

When A.J. Burnett gets into trouble, you have to invoke Gibbs Rule Number 44: First thing's first, hide the women and children. (That's Leroy Jethro Gibbs of NCIS, not the old Yankee catcher and Ole Miss quarterback Jake Gibbs. Or Arsenal left back Kieran Gibbs)

Burnett is now 9-9, which is not what the Yankees are paying him the big bucks for. And Dave Eiland has returned as pitching coach after an absence "for personal reasons," whatever those were, so maybe his absence wasn't the cause of Burnett's earlier struggles.

Since Tampa Bay also won, they and the Yankees are now in a flat-footed tie for first place in the American League East.

Tonight, game 2 of this Yanks-Jays series, as Dustin Moseley goes against J.C. Romero.


The Mets did no better, going on the road (rarely a good sign for them) to Atlanta (almost never a good sign for them), and losing 4-1 to the Braves.

The Braves put 3 on the board in the bottom of the 1st. After the 1st, the Mets' starter pitched like The Great Johan Santana. Of course, the Mets' starter was Santana, who is now a very un-ace-like 8-6.

The Mets are now 7 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves. Amazingly, (or should that be "Amazin'ly"?), if the Mets gain 1 game on the Braves every week -- and if the Phillies don't pass the Braves first -- the Mets, as awful as they've been this season, can still win the Division.

Of course, such an occurrence would be on the same level as Chris Christie, alias Jabba the Guv, losing 50 pounds and admitting that conservatism doesn't work, the millionaires' tax needs to come back, and labor unions are not the enemy. In other words, don't bet your pension on it.

Especially since tonight's scheduled starters are knuckleballer R.A. Dickey against Derek Lowe (who always seems to pitch well against both New York teams), and Wednesday's game is supposed to be started by Mike Pelfrey, who got off to a great first half but has been dreadful lately.

And the Mets made no trade-deadline deals. Basically, management is telling Met fans, "We give up on the present. We're building for the future."

That would be fine... if they weren't still committing to David Wright, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, and not willing to quickly jettison John Maine and Oliver Perez, and to hell with their contracts: You're a New York sports team, eat those contracts, it's worth the expense to get rid of the dead wood.

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