From Bruce Wigdor:
Well, that wasn't a great game for me to be the guest host here. Coming off a very impressive showing against Halladay, the Yankee bats were mostly silent and the game took on a very lifeless feel. The Yankees didn't even bat with men on base until the walk in the 7th inning, the solo shots by Cano and Posada being the only hits off Moyer before that.
Burnett was horrible today. I must confess, I'm not a big AJ fan. His results and stats have been good as a Yankee, and he has great stuff, but I find it hard to root for a pitcher whose control is so bad. I never have faith when he is in there.
Today, that control was worse than usual. He started out unable to control his curve ball, as seems to be the norm with him, but he got out of the first inning OK. That left hope that he'd settle down and find that control as he sometimes does, but it didn't happen.
The Phillies batters did a good job noting AJ's inability to throw the curve for strikes. and were sitting on the fast ball. Unfortunately, AJ didn't have good command of fast ball either, so they were able to work the counts, wait for the mistakes, and put 6 runs on the board by the end of the 3rd. AJ had already thrown 74 pitches by that time, and the Yankees fans were getting restless, giving sarcastic applause when an out was recorded.
The fans' retlessness turned to anger in the 4th. After walking the leadoff batter Victorino (who stole 2nd on a dropped pitchout) and retiring Polonco on a flyout to right (Victorino should have tagged and gone to 3rd), Texiera made a nice play on Utley's shot that should have robbed him of a hit...except that Burnett didn't cover first base! The fans really let AJ have it at that point, and Girardi decided he had seen enough. Burnett exited the game to a loud chorus of boos, and when I normally don't like when our fans boo our players, in this case Burnett deserved to hear it.
That makes twice in two days that one of our pitchers failed to cover first: CC did it in the series opener.
While I'm piling it on AJ, I'll add that his inability to hold baserunners on is starting to be a real problem. Everybody knows about it now and they're running on him at will. Jorge didn't help matters by dropping a pitchout, but on the other hand it was good to see him make a nice throw on Ibanez's stolen base earlier even though it was just a split second late (the replay showed that Ibanez was actually out due to oversliding the bag).
Meanwhile, when the Yankees were up, it couldn't have been more different with Moyer. His control was impeccable, as it must be when everything's under 85 MPH. He was hitting the mitt on almost every pitch. Jorge and Cano put two of his mistakes into the seats, but there were very few other chances and he kept the Yankees off balance all day. I can't really find fault in the approach of the Yankees--Moyer just pitched a really good game. That's not entirely unexpected: Moyer's ERA is inflated by a one inning 8 run performance against the Mets, but besides that, he's been consistent and has a winning record this year.
It's tough to be an ump when a pitcher like Moyer is testing your strike zone on almost every pitch, but I thought plate umpire Ed Rapuano could have done a lot better of a job today. He was upsetting both teams. Jorge should have been rung up once and maybe twice on his home run at bat. Rapuano called a few Yankees out on low pitches. In general, everyone was shaking their head at calls, both right and wrong.
Finally, we get to the good stuff: Boone Logan and Chad Gaudin! It's too bad the Yankee bats didn't awaken, because these guys came in and kept the game within reach. Both pitchers got ahead early in the counts, and then finished off their batters. All told, it was 5 2/3 innings of no-hit relief, with 1 walk and 6 strikeouts (3 apiece)!
So between yesterday's and today's game, we got great relief performances from David Robertson, Chan Ho Park, Boone Logan and Chad Gaudin. That's huge, I think. The Yankees are going to need at least one or two of those guys to step up and be reliable, and so far none of them has been.
We almost rewarded our mop-up guys in the 9th against Lidge, and got the tying run to the plate in the form of Jorge, but Lidge was able to get Jorge to chase the slider down and in for the strikeout and final out.
So the series is tied, 1-1. Tomorrow, Pettitte (8-1, 2.46 ERA) will be matched up against Kendrick (3-2, 4.80 ERA). Hopefully Andy will be on and we will take the series! See you tomorrow!