Saturday, June 25, 2011

Happy Homecoming For Giambi

It is games like last night's that make one resign to the fact of A. J. Burnett: a pitcher with tremendous raw talent who, like many others, will never quite reach the upper echelons of his trade.

After starting the season with three straight wins, Burnett has gone 4-6 since, including a 4-2 loss to the Colarado Rockies last night. Over 6.1 innings, the right-hander allowed thirteen baserunners, including five walks, but only four who scored. For fans perplexed by the box score -- seven hits and five walks only add up to twelve men -- the discrepancy is due to a four strikeout sixth inning in which Chris Nelson reached after swinging on a strike three wild pitch.

The outing quickly became a memorable one -- for the wrong reasons -- as Burnett served up a tremendous home run to Jason Giambi during his first at-bat in what would be a triumphant return to the bronx. Giambi, who hit 209 home runs in seven seasons with the Yankees, would collect two more hits and a walk to go 3 for 4 on the night.

The slugger has taken well to his role as a veteran bench player and his pedigree may have rubbed off on young star Troy Tulowitzki who also homered off Burnett. Tulowitzki, a shortstop who wears the number two in deference to Derek Jeter, has hit a home run in his last four games in New York dating back to a series earlier in the season with the Mets.

Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez also had a notable Stadium debut. The right-hander worked seven innings and only surrendered a run-scoring double in the first inning and a sacrifice fly in the third, both to Alex Rodriguez.


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