When I saw this picture, I couldn’t help thinking of another character altogether.
But the image that sticks in my mind is the one of him walking off the mound after Joe pulled him tonight.
He’s kind of smirking, kind of scowling, kind of nutty – sort of like Tony Perkins in “Psycho.”
But then I lit on the shot from the “It Is High” blog, and that did it. I started cracking up, and tonight’s miserable game became just a bad joke. Their caption is entitled…”A.J. Brunette.”
He’s cute, isn’t he?
OK, enough about the photos and onto AJ’s “performance.” He had nothing. I mean nothing. The Jays can hit the ball, no question, but did every pitch have to be right in their happy zone? What the hell is wrong with Burnett? Is it just a confidence thing at this point? Because I thought he and Dave Eiland had worked it out, talked it out, hugged it out, whatever it is they do, and yet the result has been awful. I get why he needs to stay in the rotation; he did pitch well in the playoffs last year and Ivan Nova isn’t ready for prime time. But his 2010 has been abysmal, and it’s hard to understand why. Yes, I know. The Rays lost. So what? This isn’t about other teams. It’s about the fact that we need starters. Now. When I saw that Roy Halladay clinched tonight for the Phillies, I turned green with envy. He was the one I wanted all along. People said, “Oh, we don’t need him. We already have an ace.” True, but what would have been the problem with having two aces?
I’d better stop now before I explode.
Ring…Moseley…Gaudin…Albaladejo. Thanks, guys. I appreciate it.
Actually, Ring can be forgiven. It was his Yankees debut and he gave up a walk. Not a criminal offense. But the others? Please. All we needed to complete the parade of mediocrity was Mitre, but he must have been busy toweling off after the rain or something.
The rain. I forgot to blame it too. For all we know, A.J. would have had a nice outing and we wouldn’t have had to use our D-list relief corps. On the other hand, the offense was getting no-hit until Berkman went deep. I guess it wasn’t the Yankees’ night, except for the defense; there were some terrific plays by Tex, among others. He can hardly hold a bat but he still shines at first base. Now for the Big Question: Did our friends Peggy, Melissa, YankeeCase/Eddie and Ladyjane/Jane stay through the long rain delay? Did they meet up as planned? Did they get drenched?
I hope they’ll check in and tell all. Meanwhile, I’m counting on CC to wrap up the series tomorrow night with a dominant performance. Like a complete game shutout performance. Like a no-doubter that sends me into the weekend feeling better than I feel right now.
Update: Right after I hit “publish,” an email from Melissa floated into my inbox with a photo of our “core four” at the game tonight. Without further ado, here are (from left to right): Jane, Melissa, Eddie and Peggy.
And take a look at the buttons the gang is sporting. Melissa made them and here’s what they say…
How cool are they? I love them!!!!!
AJ pitched well tonight against the O’s, despite not getting the win. I was so frustrated watching the Yankees continue to waste scoring opportunities and do absolutely nothing against the thoroughly mediocre Kevin Millwood. Well, except for A-Rod, whose solo shot put us on the board. When A-Rod came up again in the ninth, down to his last strike and our last out of the game, I was feeling pretty low. But then….boom!
Did he spank that ball or what? I jumped up from the couch and started dancing around the room, totally elated. I knew Mo would take care of business, and he did. Never has beating the O’s been such a relief. With the Rays’ loss to the Angels, the Yanks are in first place for another few hours anyway. But here’s the other storyline: AJ’s black eye. He wouldn’t discuss it after the game. Neither would Girardi. All we know is that it’s “not baseball related.” So here are my theories for what could have happened:
1) AJ got in a fight in a bar. Except: his hands were fine and there was no police report.
2) Brian Cashman slugged him. Except: Cash is too short to reach AJ’s eye.
3) One of AJ’s teammates punched him on the plane. Except: That’s baseball related.
4) AJ’s wife hit him in the face with a golf club. Except: That’s so Tiger Woods.
5) AJ had a little “work” done on the off day and plastic surgery takes time to heal. Except: Why wouldn’t the other eye be black too?
OK, I give up. Anybody? Ideas? Or do I have to track down David Wells and get his input?
The Yankees dropped their second in a row. Not a big deal, given that Matusz pitched well, that A.J. did a decent job of not imploding, that Brian Roberts has always been a Yankee-killer, that A-Rod notched his 100th RBI for a Major League record 14th time and that there’s no shame in losing to the O’s anymore. But here’s the thing: the clock is ticking.
We’re heading down the stretch now and it’s time to turn up the heat (and every other cliche I can think of). I have no interest in watching the Yankees lose a bunch of games – and their division lead. Instead, I’d like to see them pull away from the Rays so that when we play them, it won’t be cause for a heart attack. In the meantime, I’m turning on the TV so I can watch the Rays-Red Sox game tonight. Which team will I root for? This one. Always.
Dinner, a movie and baseball. Not a bad triple header for me tonight. Started off at a cute Italian place called Lucia in New Milford, CT, where the spaghetti bolognese looked very much like the meal Julia Roberts kept having in “Eat Pray Love.”
Next came the movie itself. I didn’t love it (the book was way better), but the shots of pasta, pizza and Javier Bardem were enough to keep me interested.
I made it out of the theater and back to the house just in time for the last three innings. Very happy we won, naturally, but so relieved that AJ pitched well. Eight strikeouts! Only two walks! Does this mean September is his month? Or was tonight an anomaly? I guess we’ll find out when he makes his next start. Meanwhile, the bullpen continued to roll and Mo was his athletic self, snaring that grounder and making a perfect throw to first. Jorge didn’t need to get tossed, but at least we had Moeller as backup.
Personally, I love when JoPo loses it. No, not in that situation – it was dumb – but I do get a kick out of his fiery personality.
Last night I posted that A.J. would throw a no-hitter. I was trying to be positive. I failed. Instead of a no-hitter, he threw a no-outer, as in he couldn’t last more than the blink of an eye before giving up nine runs. I didn’t see the game. I was enjoying myself at a friend’s house, having dinner and talking about things other than baseball. It was about halfway into the grilled lamb and roasted potatoes that I got up to check my phone and saw the score. I’m lucky I kept my food down.
What is there to say about the state of the Yankees’ starting rotation? It’s a mess. I don’t want to think about it, so I’m going to bed hoping I don’t have nightmares about Cashman going in search of Sidney Ponson, Chase Wright and other rejects.
With way too much time on my hands this off-day, I let my mind drift. That’s what vacations are for, right? Anyhow, I started to imagine all the excellent things that could happen during Friday night’s series opener against the White Sox. Here are a few.
OK, so it was Vernon Wells’ turn to have a big night for the Blue Jays. Fine. Marcus Thames had one for the Yankees. The problem was Huuuughes. He just couldn’t put hitters away. With two strikes they kept fouling off his pitches and driving up his pitch count and necessitating way too many mound conferences with Posada. What a frustrating game, particularly since the Rays lost and we could have gained ground.
The larger issue is our rotation. Who’s in it? Seriously. With Huuuughes nearing his innings limit (whatever the mystery number is) and Vazquez having been banished to the pen and Andy getting his groin healed and not due back until mid-September at the earliest, are we really prepared to move forward with CC, AJ, Moseley and Nova? Is it too late to get him?
Oh, wait. He’s not in Canada anymore. And, fortunately, neither are the Yankees.
I don’t know a whole lot about you, except that you tore it up in AAA and are supposed to be really good. So here’s the deal. You’ve been called up, and you need to make the most of it – for both our sakes. I’m not happy that the Yankees were forced to call you up – not happy you’re taking A-Rod’s spot because he’s on the DL, not happy Vazquez is such a disappointment, not happy that A.J. is so inconsistent, not happy that Huuuughes has an innings limit, not happy that without Andy our rotation is an thin as my pinky finger – but if you can help the team by pitching well on Monday (and maybe beyond) I’ll be forever in your debt.
OK, I have a few more. Words, I mean. Hernandez was so dominant in striking out 11 batters that I almost turned off the TV after the sixth inning. Why bother watching? A.J. wasn’t a lot of laughs. Neither was A-Rod, who appeared for a split second before re-injuring his calf. And I’m tired of watching Cervelli not hit. Can’t Kevin Long work some magic on him? Oh, never mind. I know I’m supposed to just tip my cap to Hernandez and call him the Yankees’ daddy.