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Postseason Success Hinges on Burnett

By Mike Silva ~ October 8th, 2009. Filed under: 2009 Playoffs.

Win or lose in Game 1, the real key was going to be Friday’s AJ Burnett start. Why? Because Burnett can has the ability to be every bit the pitcher that CC Sabathia is, and maybe better. The thought of teaming up Roy Halladay with Sabathia in July made the Yanks look scary in October. Burnett, when on, can give the same effect. I believe that can be the case regardless of whether Cervelli, Posada, or Molina catch him.

Feast or Famine was the best way to describe Burnett in 2009. During his wins he produced an ERA of 1.81, nearly 10 strikeouts per nine innings, a 3 to 1 K/BB ratio, and averaged just a shade less than 7 innings. During losses he was hit hard and barely lasted into the fifth. He produced an ERA over 7.00, and a WHIP very similar to Sergio Mitre. When reading the stat line I thought I had erroneously searched Oliver Perez instead of Burnett. Pitchers like Burnett are prone to streaks. The postseason would be a perfect time for him to get on a roll, similar to what we saw in June. Of course, we won’t be facing the Mets and Marlins, but he proved against Boston in August that he doesn’t need a pitcher hitting for success.

If Burnett is on this series will be over. Even if he pitches poorly I have my doubts that Nick Blackburn can shut down the Yankees but, if he does, than this series does start to take the David vs. Goliath shape. Andy Pettitte is a gamer, but no sure thing, and Burnett is slated to start a must win Game 5.

The Yankees spent $80 million for a #2 starter that have ace potential. They saw that guy in about a third of his starts this season. Now the dividend can pay off if Burnett channels the guy that shut down Boston on August 7th. He can make the catching controversy moot as well. If that happens, I think 10 more wins will come easier than we all could imagine.

Small Sample Size Vindicated

All year I spoke about how CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez would face a “legacy of failure” when the postseason started. Many believe postseason numbers are nothing more than a small sample size. Unfortunately for both that small sample size continued to grow each year. Last night both guys came up “aces” as A-Rod got two hits and Sabathia pitched one run ball into the seventh. I think both performances were essentially to get the “monkey of the back” and forget about prior postseason failures. Did you know that last time A-Rod got multiple postseason RBI’s John Olerud was his teammate, George W Bush hadn’t started his second term, and Omar Minaya was only a month on the job? Just think how much has changed since then.

Francesa Booed

There was buzz all over twitter, from individuals at the game, about how Mike Francesa was booed when he appeared on the big screen. It amazes me how we continue to hear from Team Chernoff that nothing can be better at WFAN. If Francesa is so loved why the hate at the game? Remember, he is a Yankees fan and very rarely takes his beloved pinstripes to task. That is reserved for the team in Queens. Funny how ratings can be good when you have the only sports station in town. Something tells me WFAN’s approval mirrors that of Congress (21%) and less what Chernoff tells us.

Also, why would a station flowing with revenue need to run .gov ads? Does anyone honestly think the government is generous, or better yet, timely payers? Can anyone say free?

Entourage fans know the scene from Sunday where Ari walked into his newly acquired company and “paintballed” employees that he wanted to fire. If there ever was an organization that deserved that treatment it would be the dead wood in WFAN management. No worries, they are moving to a new studio in Manhattan. Those Chernoff lunches are moving up from the Greek diners in Astoria to Carmines. I am sure advertisers will be running to the FAN in droves

NYBD Radio Tonight

We will be talking Yankees baseball tonight as I recap Game 1 and preparing for Game 2 with NYBD contributor Frank Russo at 7pm. If you like to call in the # is 646-716-8187. You can also listen live by clicking here.

Mike Silva is a freelance writer and radio host since March of 2007. This website is his own personal "digest" of New York Baseball He's also hosts NYBD Radio on Blog Talk Radio and 1240 AM WGBB. Check out his sports media commentary at www.sportsmediawatchdog.com. Check out his official website, www.mikesilvamedia.com
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5 Responses to Postseason Success Hinges on Burnett

  1. Cox

    Mike, Francesa plays an instigator role on his talk show. He’s basically trolling everybody. How did you think the crowd was going to react? At least he got a reaction, it shows people know who he is and listen to him. Give up the crusade against WFAN, you’re not better than anybody on that station, including the real dregs of WFAN like Lori Rubinson. It makes you look petty and bitter that literally everybody on that station has a radio career and you have Mike Silva’s New York Baseball Digest.

  2. Jason

    “Small Sample Size Vindicated”

    So you agree? Drawing conclusions about players based on a very limited number of at bats is dumb.

  3. Chris Silva


    I’m having difficulty understanding the position your coming from. I don’t think anybody ever questions whether Francesa is well known. Of course, fans are going to know him he’s been around 20 years. The ones who don’t are very casual fans and thats understandable. Also, I don’t see where it was questioned whether people listen to Francesa, as more of why are they still listening to Francesa and the rest of the cast. I don’t think it’s any type of crusade against WFAN. At various different points, we’ve been very fair with them. We compliment them when they do a good job. Jets & Giants coverage has been pretty good so far this year and a good guest list. However, as fans and customers of there product we have a right to voice our displeasure. This web site merely challeneges them to step up their performance and reclaim they’re presence in this town. Nobody wants WFAN to perish but rather flourish into the future. This is the most exciting times in New York sports and that station should perform at a high level too. It applies to anything in life and quite frankly they need fire under the ass.

    The other part of you I’m not understanding is that pure hatred you portray towards us. There’s few things in my life I truly dislike that I continually remain a part of. Your a pretty active member of our community and we always welcome your ideas and few points. Just puzzles me all the anger and hostility but you continue to come back. Obviously, we provide something you like and a fun outlet to talk baseball. That’s what we strive for and it make it a place for all different types of baseball fans/minds. All in all, there’s no crusade on WFAN but rather opinion on they’re operation. By the way, if some of the stuff we’ve spoken about comes true you owe me 1000 pushups and a night of you being Quackerjack for the Long Island Ducks ;)

  4. Will Davidian

    Why don’t you guys rip someone who truly sucks? Like Evan Roberts.

  5. Chris Silva

    Can’t agree on Evan. For one thing. I think he’s the only one at the station that covers the NBA considering both teams are terrible. Also, I think of all the guys on that station he’s the one that actually works and you can tell. Its not the whole cast of personalities the problem children know who they are.

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