"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A.J. the stopper

Poor A.J. Burnett.  How many times will he have to save the Yankees from terrible defeats this season.  He has only made three starts this season, and all three have come on the heals of terrible defeats and situations.  I guess the team is getting its money’s worth.  Let’s take a look:

Burnett started the third game of the season on April 9 after the Yankees dropped their first two games.  While he threw a lot of pitches and only got through 5 1/3 innings, it was enough to record his first win as a Yankee and the team’s first win of 2009.  He struck out six, walked one and allowed two earned runs.

Now let’s shift to April 14.  After losing to the Rays 15-5 the night before, Burnett took the ball once again on a two-game losing streak.  Chien-Ming Wang only retired three batters the night before and they had to use Nick Swisher of all people in the bullpen.  Needing a long outing from Burnett, he pitched eight, flirting with a no-hitter in the process, striking out nine and allowing two runs.  The Yankees won 7-2.

On April 18, the Yankees lost 22-4, after Wang faltered for the third straight time in front of Burnett.  The next day, while Burnett wasn’t on top of his game – he walked seven and allowed two home runs – the Yankees were able to pull out a 7-3 victory to restore order in the Bronx for at least one day.

Now Burnett has to take the ball today after the Yankees lost a terrible game last night.  The Yankees have put a lot of pressure on Burnett, and it’s only April.  He’s been a welcomed addition thus far and hopefully he can keep this honeymoon going.

For the record, Burnett is 3-0 with a 0.40 ERA in 22 2/3 career innings at Fenway Park.


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