Burnett Chokes, Bautisa Smokes, Cecil Coasts

It seems like history has a way of repeating itself – not only within the context of a single game, but the same stadium.

May 12th against the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre, A.J. Burnett goes 7.2 innings and gives up five earned runs en route to a loss. Tonight, he only makes it through six innings and gives up six earned runs and is once again charged with the loss.

I think it’s now safe to say that A.J. Burnett doesn’t enjoy the homecoming party.


Then we have Jose Bautista: two home runs (both off Burnett) were absolutely spectacular to watch. Both of them were hit to the third deck, but the second one in particular was a frigging moon shot that sounded like it was destroyed the second it left the bat.

I mean I haven’t seen players hit that far in batting practice, let alone off a Major League pitcher like A.J. Burnett. Seriously, if you weren’t voting for Jose Bautista already, you definitely should be now.

Let’s not forget about Brett Cecil’s incredible outing as well. He now joins the five-win club along with Ricky Romero and Shaun Marcum as the five-game winners on the starting staff.

Earlier night I was fortunate enough to chat about the Blue Jays with Norman James from The Hook, and he made a great point that the tandem of Romero, Marcum, Cecil and Morrow have been absolute studs this year.

I mean, the Yankees claim to have a “core four” of starting pitchers, but this is what a core four is supposed to look like. If Brandon Morrow can just get things under control, the Blue Jays will have the best pitching staff in baseball very soon.

I dare anybody to stack those four starting pitchers up against any other staff in the major leagues, and with the exception of maybe the Tampa Bay Rays, I highly doubt you will find anybody that’s better.

All in all, it’s always great to beat the New York Yankees, but it’s especially great when it’s off of A.J. Burnett.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

18 thoughts on “Burnett Chokes, Bautisa Smokes, Cecil Coasts

  • June 5, 2010 at 4:33 am

    I always love bringing this up any chance I get: Brett Cecil had better minor league statistics than super stud David Price. I don't care if that translates to actual major league success, but Cecilicious cannot be denied.

    Oh, and this Jose guy is pretty good.

  • June 5, 2010 at 4:37 am

    That was a great game to be at. I get the feeling a lot of Jays fans come out of the woodwork just to boo the Yankees.

  • June 5, 2010 at 4:41 am

    BK, I honestly can't think back to what happened a couple years ago, but I can't remember Cecil being a highly-touted prospect. I mean, yeah he was on their radar – but who could have imagined he would turn out like this? Gotta give credit to J.P. Ricciardi on that one.

    Anon, I imagine it was incredible. It sounded like a packed house, but was surprised it was only about 30,000. I imagine there will be more folks tomorrow for the afternoon game.

  • June 5, 2010 at 5:02 am

    The chants of "AJ sucks" were deafening.

    The home runs were great and all, but Cecil striking out Jeter swinging to end the 8th was totally badass.

  • June 5, 2010 at 5:23 am

    Aside from the two Bautista home runs , that was probably one of my other favourite moments of the night.

    Cecil's changeup was just deadly (again). I kind of wished they did the roll call to Jeter after he struck out:

    "Jeter Strikeout, clap clap, clap clap clap"

  • June 5, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    That was a fun game to watch (on TV). Always fun to watch AJ choke and Jose launch moon shots. 🙂

    BTW, Doc vs. AJ was May 12th last year, not 22nd.

  • June 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    you guys see that Mike Wilner was "given the weekend off" after critisizing Cito at the media scrum? How ridiculous is that, what ever happened to free press

  • June 6, 2010 at 12:35 am

    Your core four better than the Yanks? Better than Sabbathia, Burnett, Pettitte, and Hughes. I hate to break up your party, but least we forget, didn't the Yankees lose their first eight games against Boston last year? Let's see how the whole season goes before you make any appointments to drink from that championship cup. O.K you can't drink from the World Series Trophy, but you know what I mean.

  • June 6, 2010 at 12:48 am

    Golden Arm, the punchlines for that picture practically write themselves. He also opens himself for some unfortunate photoshops if people so choose to make them.

    JaysGirl, I stand corrected on the date, thanks! I think the A.J. Burnett starts in Toronto are so electric because people love to have somebody to hate – and who better to hate than someone who opted out of their contract to play for the Yankees?

    CJohnson, I saw that – I'm going to refrain from commenting on Wilnergate, but I can see both sides of the argument.

    Clifford, I think my assessment was a little skewed because I thought the Yankees core 4 was Sabathia/Burnett/Pettite/Vazquez.

    Talent wise, I think the Blue Jays top four starters definitely stand up to the Yankees four starters at this point in the season.

    The Blue Jays have an advantage though: their starters are under team control for many years to come and their collective salaries combine for around $5 million.

    I'll take the cheap and young starters over the veterans any day.

  • June 6, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Not to mention the fact that it's way more fun watching an underdog compete and win than it is to watch a "sure-bet" win from a vet. That's the way the Yankees winning the world series felt last year – it's such a foregone conclusion did it really, actually excite anyone?

  • June 7, 2010 at 4:12 am

    Economically I think MLB loves it when the Yankees win because it helps them bring in more money. But aside from Yankees fans, it's very anti-climactic if they make it to the World Series or the playoffs.

    I mean, with the biggest payroll in baseball they SHOULD be making the playoffs every year.

  • June 7, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    O.K, O.K. Let's see how exciting the season turns out for all concerned. But remember, I'm all for making the season more exciting by eliminating the wild card, no matter what it means for a Yankee post-season appearance. If they can't finish first, let them "wait til next year".

  • June 8, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    I don't think the new system would be a problem for the fans. Regular season positive experience would be more realistic and attainable with "tier" finishes and scheduling rather than the wild card and interleague play.

    There would be 2 rather than 3 divisions per league and solid pennant race competition except for the 39 games played between 1st and 2nd Tier finishers in your league's other division.

  • June 9, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    So essentially MLB would revert back to the way it was prior to the Wild Card days, except two teams would make the playoffs from each division instead of one.

    If they balanced out the schedule, that would probably work. It would eliminate those weaker teams from the traditionally weaker divisions right off the bat, too.

  • June 9, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    O.K., let's do the AL East and West.
    East: New York; Boston; Baltimore; Toronto; Detroit; Cleveland; and Kansas City.
    West:Chicago; Minnesota; Texas;
    Los Angeles; Oakland; and Seattle

    No Wild cards. Pennant winner in the East faces pennant winner in the West in Championship Series. Winner goes on to the World Series.

    There is an unbalanced schedule, most games to be played between rivals for the same pennant, except 1st Tier finishers (top 4 in East vs. top 3 in West) play each other next season. Same with 2nd Tier.

    This way pennants rather than wild cards would be emphasized; with added incentive to finish in the 1st Tier so you get to play the better teams next season.

    I've been doing this schedule for the last few years, using actual games played. Daily action and standings can be found on my website.

  • June 10, 2010 at 1:01 am

    In my last comment I left Tampa Bay off the AL East.


  • June 10, 2010 at 1:55 am

    Very interesting theories here, Clifford. Can you email me the link to your website or post the link so I can check it out? Thanks!

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