One Bad Night, One Good Weekend For Yankees

Burnett stumbles and Red Sox avert a sweep

By Josh Alper
|  Monday, May 10, 2010  |  Updated 11:00 AM EDT
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One Bad Night, One Good Weekend For Yankees

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Let's get the bad stuff out of the way up top. The Yankees were brutal on Sunday night in Boston. A.J. Burnett didn't throw well and got tagged as a result. Marcus Thames played left field like a butcher, the bats were mostly silent against Jon Lester and the result was a 9-3 blowout.

Missing out on the sweep and a chance to vault the Dallas Braden-ized Rays into first place is too bad, but the reaction to this plays into our Friday discussion about how Yankee fans tend to look for something to worry about instead of something to enjoy. Burnett pitched poorly again in Boston, so naturally we should treat this performance as his baseline instead of the five splendid starts that preceded it. Okay, but since Burnett may have one more start in Boston the rest of this year and he'll have 25 or so starts in other stadiums, it might be more pleasurable to chalk it up to a bad night.

The rest of the weekend couldn't have played out any better. The Red Sox were humiliated on both Friday and Saturday night, resulting in a 24-6 edge in scoring for the Yankees. Terry Francona waved the white flag on Saturday by sending an outfielder to the mound, although you'd be forgiven for thinking it was just another inept Boston hurler trying to find a way to get the Yankee lineup out.

There's been some moaning and groaning about injuries and ineffective star players in Boston, but this weekend proved just how lame such excuse-making is in baseball. The Yankees have more than their share of aches and pains, they have had underwhelming results from several players and they're still six games clear of the Sox. Both rides have been far from smooth thus far, but the Yankees have been clearly superior.

It hasn't been a perfect start for the Bombers, but the facts are the facts. They've lost nine games over 10 series, a ratio that's hard to top under the best of circumstances. They've scored more runs than anyone else in the American League, allowed the second fewest and look to have one of their strongest top to bottom rosters in recent memory. One bad night, even a bad night in Boston, can't overshadow all of that. 

Unless you're Dallas Braden, perfection can be overrated anyway. 

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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