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Yankees Daily Briefing 07/24/11

Bartolo Colon has not won a game this late in the season since 2005, a trend the Yankees will hope they can reverse when he takes the mound for them on Sunday. In his career, Colon is 7-5 with a 3.36 ERA against the Athletics. Oakland will have Gio Gonzalez (9-6, 2.33) on the hill; Gonzalez lost to the Yankees earlier this season, but didn't pitch as poorly as a 6.33 career ERA against the Yankees would suggest.

Discussion of the Day: If you were grading A.J. Burnett's career as a Yankee, what grade would you give him? Share your responses in the comments.

1) Matt Ehalt writes that Saturday's start was a microcosm of Burnett's career as a Yankee, while Bob Klapisch writes that the Yankees are growing tired of Burnett's act.

Indeed, Burnett, who was 31-31 as a Yankee with an ERA of 4.51 prior to Saturday's game, has often been described as a frustrating pitcher to watch. Burnett's "stuff" can be devastatingly good, but he has never fully been able to harness it. The result is similar to what happened in Saturday's game: the strikeouts are there, but so too are too many hits and walks for the number of innings pitched.

2) Bill Pennington writes about what's become of Kei Igawa.

Igawa had a pretty disastrous major league career with the Yankees, though the criticism of the signing isn't just how poorly Igawa pitched but how much the signing cost. Since 2008, Igawa has been playing in the minors for the Yankees, at either Triple-A or Double-A, a far cry from life in the majors. While Igawa makes enough salary to easily cushion the blow, the signing will likely be remembered as one of the few glaring failures of Brian Cashman's tenure as general manager, and, perhaps more importantly, that success in the Japanese leagues does not always mean success in the major leagues.

3) Filip Bondy writes about the struggles of Phil Hughes.

Lost in the 17-7 blowout of Friday's game was Hughes' performance: seven runs on nine hits in just 4.1 innings pitched, with four walks and only three strikeouts. Hughes struggled so much at the start of the season he landed on the disabled list; he has been better since his return, but still not good enough for a team that needs to shore up their rotation behind CC Sabathia. While the Yankees attempting to acquire a starting pitcher at the deadline is generally considered to be a given, the caliber of pitcher they go after might largely depend on how well or poorly Hughes pitches. If Hughes continues to struggle, the Yankees may find themselves paying more for a pitcher than they would like.

4) It was a mostly successful day for the Yankees farm system.

Triple-A Scranton beat Syracuse, 5-2.

Jesus Montero had a double in three at bats; he walked once and struck out once.

Double-A Trenton lost to Bowie, 6-4.

Dellin Betances allowed four runs on four hits in 3.2 innings pitched; he walked three and struck out two, and reportedly left the game with an injury.

The Thunder have now lost 11 straight road games despite having the lead in each one.

High-A Tampa beat Bradenton, 6-5.

Eric Chavez hit a home run in two at bats and was designated hitter.

J.R. Murphy did not play.

Low-A Charleston beat West Virginia, 3-1.

Gary Sanchez did not play.

Short Season Staten Island beat Tri-City 6-1, while the Rookie GCL Yankees beat the GCL Pirates, 14-5.