For the baseball purist, tonight’s pitching duel between AJ Burnett and Josh Johnson was a classic. The former Marlin ace vs. the current Marlin ace.
Both pitchers went a combined 13.1 innings, allowing 8 hits, 3 runs, 5 walks and 13 strikeouts. The clearly superior one tonight was Burnett, striking out 8 in 6.1 innings of work. If not for a very costly error by Johnny Damon in the sixth inning, Burnett would have left the game behind 1-0 instead of 2-0. With the error and some clutch hitting by the Marlins, they defeated the Yankees 2-1 tonight at Land Shark Stadium.
Throughout the first six innings, the game was relatively quiet. Only a Dan Uggla solo homer in the third made it a scoring game. Then the Damon error scored home Hanley Ramirez to give the Fish a 2-0 lead. In the seventh inning, Nick Swisher hit a 2-out RBI single to bring home Jorge Posada. The Yankees did threaten the next frame with Hideki Matsui slamming a line drive over Uggla’s outstretched hand. Alex Rodriguez pitch hit for pitcher Phil Coke and drew a PH walk. Derek Jeter hit into a double play, and Johnny Damon, his chance at making up for the error didn’t come to fruition as he struck out with a checked swing.
The Yankees got a lead off single from Mark Teixeira in the top of the ninth, but Jorge Posada popped out and Robinson Cano grounded into a double play to end the game.
While it was indeed a pitcher’s duel, it was definitely an entertaining game, but nonethleless a loss for the Yankees. The Red Sox won tonight, so the Yankees are back at 3 games behind in the standings.
Sunday Big Daddy CC Sabathia will pitch on Father’s Day at 5:05 p.m. The Yankees see to grab the rubber game of this three-game series against the Marlins before having a day off on Monday before a trip to Atlanta to face the Braves.