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Yankees-Orioles Pitching Preview: AJ Burnett Needs To Step It Up Tonight

New York Yankees need to turn around this horrid road trip and start winning right now.

The usually easy wins are a thing of the past for the Baltimore Orioles, as the Bombers visit the most-improved team at Camden Yard this weekend for three games.

New York Yankees starting pitcher AJ Burnett, been a mess this season will take the mound that could be a turning point for the team.

Burnett’s usual seesawing has not been even in a bad way and as of now he is deemed unreliable. This season, Burnett is 10-13, with a 5.13 ERA, giving-up 20 home-runs, walking 72 and striking out 132 over 29 starts.

Burnett’s strikeouts have dropped significantly, as in 08’ he fanned 231 batters and last season he posted 195 total in regular season. Watching him pitch loses control much sooner that in the past, as he has hit a career high of 14 batters in 2010 and season is not over yet.

In his career, Burnett’s held batters to a .241 average, but this season it has jumped to .284 when he is on the mound.

Tonight, Burnett has a chance to take the minor improvements he has made since going win-less in August and show us the ace he is capable of being.

Burnett has made three starts in September going 1-1, with an ERA of 4.76, striking out 19 over 17 innings pitched.  His last start was cut after four innings due to rain, but he had already struck-out six and looked a lot better.

The Yankees bats need to cushion Burnett. Even when Burnett is on, he can have one bad inning and it helps take the pressure off a mentally struggling teammate.

Striking-out has been the theme too much lately at the plate. This needs to change ASAP and with Kevin Millwood on the mound for the Orioles there is absolutely no excuse for anything but a marked improvement.

Millwood is 1-7 in 14 starts, with an ERA of 5.38 at Camden Yard this season.

Overall in 2010, Millwood’s totals over 28 starts read 101 earned runs, 27 home-runs, walking 57 and striking-out 114. Opposing batters have a .301 average against the O’s veteran and a Yankees win is almost mandatory.

Coach Rex Ryan and the New York Jets’ Road to the Super Bowl, Week 2

New York Jets fans can’t get enough of head coach Rex Ryan, but everyone else just wants him to shut up.

Ryan was the star of HBO’s Hard Knocks, but the minute the cameras left, Ryan kept stirring the pot to keep them coming back.

Everyone knows deep down Ryan is dying to kiss Bill Belichick’s Super Bowl rings. Guess Ryan forgot his Jets are winning the Super Bowl this season.

Ryan must have lost the team’s 2010 season itinerary that mapped the schedule, which includes the Super Bowl and a ticker-tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes.

Someone might want to remind Ryan that in order to get to the Super Bowl a team has to win games.

The Baltimore RavensRay Lewis made this pretty clear to his old coach, both on and off the field:

“You still got to play the game. The game ain’t played through tongues. The game is played when you buckle up your chinstraps. So all this pressure he wants to put on this team, I hope they can cash the check he writes.”—Ray Lewis’ response to Rex Ryan before the Ravens beat the Jets.

Ryan can throw punches via his mouth with the best of them. Problem is the Jets can’t back up all the F-bomb quotes Coach Ryan is tossing at other teams.

Ryan’s approach is so far, not so good.

The “F this” and “we are the team to beat” attitude that Ryan displays with the Jets players has already flowed over into the locker room.

The team displays a sense of entitlement. This was inevitably going to happen because the line is too thin regarding how you are expected to behave and conduct yourself.

Sexually harassing a hot reporter in the locker room is about as ill-mannered as it gets.

The example to follow starts with the coach, and Ryan is sending one perplexing message.

Is Ryan the Jets players’ buddy or their leader?

It is almost impossible to be both, especially as a new head coach who’s trying to change such an atrocious team.

My bet is that the Patriots will lay a can of whup ass on the Jets on Sunday.

Than just maybe Rex Ryan will stick a sock in it and start teaching instead of talking.

Yankees-Rays Pitching Preview: Phil Hughes Is Fighting For First

It was another nail-biting, extra innings game for the New York Yankees who needed to win and did.

Now, the Bombers are back in first place after losing it for 24 hours to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Only a half-game separates the two ball-clubs making Wednesday night’s outcome a declaration for who ever wins. That is until next week when the Rays come to the Bronx for four games.

Pitching has dictated this series, as the Yankees look to Phil Hughes to keep the Rays bats quiet. Hughes will face Rays James Shields, which is not Sabathia vs. Price but it looks to be a fair fight.

Hughes-Shields Preview:

Phil Hughes innings limit has him coming off a skipped start, but threw a solid inning out of the bullpen in Texas.

It will be Hughes first start since September 5.

Hughes has the stuff, as the first-half of the season proved by earning a trip to the All-Star game.

Hughes’ development is being monitored, but Joe Girardi has no other options. Pettitte has been on the DL for two months; add that to Vazquez and Burnett who remain unreliable.

Otherwise this situation would be different.

In his last 10 starts, Hughes has 5-4 record, with a 4.83 ERA, striking-out 36, walking 17 in just shy of 51 innings.

Hughes has allowed 37 earned runs in his last 10 starts and looks to improve against the heavy Rays lineup. Hughes has to settle down early, locate his pitches and throw his curve-ball confidently for strikes.

Even with the recent decline, Hughes’ excuse is legit. His young arm has never thrown this many innings, as well as his inexperience pitching a full season.

Hughes needs to be extra careful with Rays Carlos Pena who has knocked Hughes around in the past.

The Rays counter with James Shields, who has been even streakier this season. Continue reading ‘Yankees-Rays Pitching Preview: Phil Hughes Is Fighting For First’ »

MLB Blogger Rankings – Week 23

Here are the latest MLB Rankings – Week 23.
Come check out where your team ranks for the week….agree or disagree?

Click HERE to see what real fans think.
Lady Loves Pinstripes is one of six bloggers voting on Yardbarker’s Gillette Fusion MLB Rankings. Each week Lady Loves Pinstripes will rank all 30 MLB teams, along with the other five bloggers. All bloggers rankings are averaged together for each weekly result. In addition, Lady Loves Pinstripes will comment on he AL WEST.

  • Lady Loves Pinstripes: Exclusive Q & A With New York Yankees Joe Girardi (ladylovespinstripes.com)
  • MLB Rankings – Week 15 – Trade Rumors (ladylovespinstripes.com)
  • MLB Rankings – All-Star Break (ladylovespinstripes.com)
  • MLB Blogger Rankings – Week 11 (ladylovespinstripes.com)
  • MLB Blogger Rankings – Week 13 (ladylovespinstripes.com)

MLB: Second-Place New York Yankees Fall To First-Place Rays

Fourth devastating outcome in a row for the New York Yankees, third walk-off lose and no longer do they hold the best record in baseball.

That honor now belongs to the Tampa Bay Rays, who take a half-game lead in the AL East standings.

The Yankees just can’t seem to catch a break, as things just keep getting worse.

Tonight’s pitching match-up of CC Sabathia vs. David Price lived-up to all the hype. Both leading Cy Young award candidates, who equally proved why on the mound Monday night.

Both starters were excellent at keeping the game scoreless through eight innings. Price and Sabathia put their respective teams in positions to win, and the bullpens continued where the aces left off.

That is until the Yankees fate was again placed on the wrong arm of Sergio Mitre, who gave up the walk-off home-run.

This leads me to wonder what Skipper Joe Girardi was thinking using Mitre in the bottom of the 11th inning?

Girardi can’t seem to comprehend that Mitre is not good. He never really has been his whole career, except in 2007 when Mitre was a Florida Marlin and Girardi was the Marlins manager.

Even back than, Mitre only pitched 150 innings total and struck-out 80. That was over three years ago, and since arriving in New York Mitre has been unhelpful, and has been the opposite of productive. That is a fact.

The minute I saw it was Mitre coming in the 0-0- game, my first thought was, “where is Joba Chamberlain or Dave Robertson?”

“Not available,” according to Girardi and many will wonder why not?

Neither Robertson, nor Chamberlain pitched on Sunday afternoon so why couldn’t they throw in for a couple outs?

At such a critical time of the season, with first-place in the AL East on the line, I thought Girardi would do whatever was needed to get the win.

Especially following the blunder at third-base by Brett Gardner, who tried to steal third with two outs. What was Gardner thinking? Continue reading ‘MLB: Second-Place New York Yankees Fall To First-Place Rays’ »

New York Yankees Fix or Fail: Top Five Questions To Be Answered

The New York Yankees have looked much better than this. Even if the Yankees’ record gets them to the playoffs, losing six of seven games is not going to cut it.

It used to be the Yankees’ AL East division to lose, but now the Yankees are struggling.

Questions need to be answered, and tonight against Tampa Bay, the Yankees will start to give those answers.

What answers would Yankee fans like to see? Here are five questions that come to mind:

Is This Just a Normal Team Slump or Not?

If it was June or even the beginning of August, a slump would not be such a concern for any team in a division race. But it is mid-September with 20 games remaining, and the Yankees have no cushion if they want to win the AL East.

Can the Bats Start Doing Their Jobs?

Striking out is not Yankee-like, as the team’s M.O. at the plate is to drive up pitching counts and draw walks. Derek Jeter is not helping the team right now, except for Sunday against Cliff Lee when he displayed signature Jeter-like form. This has to stick for both the Captain and the team.

How Hurt are Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher, and Brett Gardner?

Ask the Yankees certain questions, like about innings limits or injuries, and the answer usually leaves you pondering the truth. For example, Brett Gardner is getting an MRI on his wrist, but it is nothing to be concerned about, which was the answer to why Gardner left mid-game on Sunday.

A-Rod just returned from the 15-day DL, and obviously he is not feeling his best still. Why did A-Rod get taken off in the first place? Would A-Rod rather take extra rest than return too soon?

Add Swisher’s recurring injury and those are three of the Yankees who have been critical to the team’s success this season. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees Fix or Fail: Top Five Questions To Be Answered’ »