Welcome to the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, A.J. Burnett. A very rude welcome at that.Mike Vaccaro, Post:
Burnett blew a six-run lead, then watched the Yankees' bullpen surrender eight more runs in a 16-11 loss to the Red Sox Saturday, marking the second consecutive day the Bombers had choked away a game against their bitter rivals. ...
The Yankees led 2-0, then 4-0, then 6-0. The Sox led 8-6, then 9-8, then 12-10. The Yanks crawled to within 12-11. And then the Sox crushed them with their steel-toed boots.Roger Rubin, Daily News:
It's taken just a little more than 24 hours for the Red Sox to set the tone for the 2009 season series against the Yankees. They were dealt bleak situations two games in a row and walked out of Fenway Park victorious both times. ...John Harper, Daily News:
"When you've come back and then you're down again, you believe you can do it again," Lowell said. "It reinforces that it's not over. Instead of going down six runs and every time it's an 8-2 loss ... the team proves to itself that it can come back in situations where it seems like it's not very likely."
This was exactly the type of game the Yankees had in mind when they decided to gamble $82.5 million on A.J. Burnett last winter. As a Toronto Blue Jay, nobody pitched better against the big dogs in the AL East than Burnett. And don't think his career ERA of 0.40 at Fenway Park wasn't a huge selling point.George A. King III, Post:
Furthermore, he'd very much looked the part of the new Yankee stopper to this point, with Joe Girardi more than once saying he sensed that Burnett loves pitching on the big stage. ...
Yet when given an early 6-0 lead, Burnett looked as if he had suddenly contracted a case of stage fright. ... [I]f their starting pitching isn't going to stand tall in games such as these, the Yankees are in huge trouble already. ...
Some two hours after he'd been removed from the game, Burnett was sitting at his locker in full uniform, staring straight ahead.
"Trying to calm down," he said.
Friday night, the great Mariano Rivera flushed a victory over the Red Sox in the ninth.
Yesterday, A.J. Burnett couldn't hold a big, early lead, and a bullpen that was without Brian Bruney was awful.
Tonight? Who knows what will happen when the Red Sox attempt a three-game sweep of their blood rivals.