Game 148, Yankees at Mariners
Charlie Furbush vs. AJ Burnett
AJ Burnett’s a frustrating enigma with a massive contract and stuff that looks better to TV viewers than opposing hitters. Sure, his fastball’s no longer 95-96, but it’s still good. The curve’s no longer a challenge to conventional aerodynamics, it’s just a solid pitch that he uses too much because his FB’s not fooling anyone. In short, he is the Yankees’ Miguel Batista – a guy who people detest for a variety of (generally good) reasons, but who isn’t as out-and-out bad as his reputation implies. I don’t know if Burnett’s tempo on the mound is as glacial as Batista’s, but this ultimately doesn’t matter. What matters is the Yankees have a Batista. I cling to this.
This is perhaps the least-satisfying schadenfreude around. The Yankees have more than enough money to swallow a bad contract or two. They *always* have a Batista around who’s making way too much money, if only because so many of their players are signed to huge contracts. They shrug off the Javier Vasquez’s and they still win. They breathe life into the bloated corpse of Bartolo Colon, and they ride it past the Red Sox (incidentally: John Lackey! Ha!). When even King Felix gets pounded by the Yankee dreadnought, the only thing I can do is point at their Batista and laugh a knowing laugh.
7: Kennedy (DH)
8: Wells (CF)