Look out, Melido Perez, you might have company. Thanks to Burnett’s atrocious outing last night (2.1 7 7 7 1 1) the Yankees lost 7-5 and Burnett now sits one loss behind Perez’s mark for most losses by a Yankee pitcher (16) since 1992. Some other sorry facts and figures regarding Burnett’s abysmal performance (courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information):
- Burnett has allowed at least 6 ER in 10 starts this season, the most such starts in a single season since Eric Milton had 10 in 2005 and the most in the AL since Sidney Ponson had 10 in 2004.
- Only 3 AL pitchers since 1940 have had more starts with at least 6 ER in a season: David Cone (2000), Tim Belcher (1997) and Jim Bibby (1974) each had 11.
- Since 1920 among Yankees, only David Cone with 11 in 2000, has more than Burnett’s 10.
It’s safe to say that, if not for the $87.5M contract he signed last year, the Yanks should’ve thought about skipping Burnett at some point this year and relegated him to the bullpen. That they didn’t shows a total lack of regard for Javier Vazquez’s feelings because he’s had the better MLB career but wasn’t spared that humiliation on two separate occasions this year.
As for the rest of the game, Toronto starter Marc Rzepczynski (5 4 2 2 3 9) absolutely shut down Yankee hitters over the first four innings until the lineup made hay in the 5th and 7th innings. There’s just not much to say here. If Burnett pitches like a decent MLB pitcher, the Yanks probably win this game.
Coupled with Baltimore’s win over Tampa, Burnett’s stinker hurts just a little bit more. It’s painful to think that the Yanks could’ve re-taken first place but blew their opportunity.