Congratulations to Bryan Bullington on picking up his first career Major League win on the strength of an amazing performance: eight innings of two-hit, shutout ball in a 1-0 victory against the New York Yankees.
It's no secret that the Yankees suck against pitchers they've never previously faced, and I unfortunately called this game from a mile away in my Series Preview on Thursday: "Having never before faced the Yankees, Bullington could spell disaster for the Bombers." Not only did Bullington spell disaster for the Yankees, he blew Josh Tomlin's effort several weeks ago in his Major League debut against the Yanks (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER) out of the water -- .612(!) WPA to Tomlin's .347. Granted, Bullington wasn't making his MLB debut, but the Yankees treated him like he was.
I thought about spending more time bashing the offense in this recap, but at this point there's not a whole lot more to say. The bats have been nonexistent in August, and the Yankees have been held to three runs or less in eight of their last 16 contests. Hard to win ballgames when you're not scoring runs.
The only positive to be drawn from this game was another strong performance from A.J. Burnett, who went 8 innings and only gave up one run on four hits. We could play the What-If game all day, but I do wonder whether Willie Bloomquist ends up scoring if the utterly useless Francisco Cervelli doesn't airmail his throw into center field. Regardless, Cervelli's error doesn't mean anything considering the Yankee offense couldn't score any runs.
This is the 6th time the Yankees have been shutout this season. They were only shutout five times all year in 2009. Not that one has anything to do with the other, but the former underscores the 2010 version of this team's continued offensive struggles.
A couple of random observations/thoughts:
- Joakim Soria is really freaking good at pitching.
- A note to the managers of all potential MLB 2010 Postseason entrants: If you're serious about beating the Yankees in the playoffs this year, and I mean really serious, just call up four of your least-experienced minor league starters -- guys who are so green they've never even seen a Major League ballpark -- and slot them 1-4 against New York in any order, it doesn't matter. You will sweep the Yankees. Bonus points if each of your starters' primary weapon is a changeup among an arsenal of slow-pitch off-speed junk. I look forward to a thank-you note in the mail come November.