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A.J. Burnett Expects to Start in Playoffs

Sep 28, 2010 – 12:13 PM
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Tom Fornelli

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A.J. Burnett hasn't had the best season for the Yankees this year. With just a week left in the season Burnett is 10-15 with a 5.33 ERA, and were he not pitching for a team with an offense as explosive as the Yankees, that win-loss record would probably be a lot worse. Still, it doesn't seem Burnett has paid much attention to his ERA or his less-than-impressive 1.84 strikeouts for every walk he's given up.

That can be the only explanation for why, when he was asked what role he would serve in for the Yankees once the playoffs begin, Burnett said, "I expect to start."

This was after Burnett lasted only 2 1/3 innings against the Blue Jays on Monday night, allowing seven runs and seven hits. Since Burnett seemed to have figured things out in July -- a month in which he went 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA -- he has gone 1-7 with a 6.98 ERA. That's not exactly the kind of stretch run that will give Joe Girardi the confidence to send Burnett out there to start in a playoff game.

But don't tell Burnett that.

"It's a big game and a big night, but the way my season has been, I'm not going to let (Monday night's performance) affect me," Burnett told the New York Daily News. "I've been through way worse nights than tonight and I'm going to have way worse nights than tonight. It's a matter of turning the page, getting over it, realizing what went wrong and fixing it.

"I don't need to prove (anything); (Girardi) saw what I did last year in the postseason. Everybody says the season doesn't matter here and postseason does, so there you go. He makes the decisions; I just want the ball whenever he gives it to me."

Well that's a heck of a way to make a case for yourself to get the ball in the playoffs. He's had worse nights and he's "going to have way worse nights." Oh, and yes, Girardi did see the way Burnett pitched in the postseason. I believe that's when Burnett made five starts and gave up 22 hits, 16 runs and 16 walks in 27 1/3 innings.

Well, I don't see how Girardi couldn't start him now.
Filed under: Sports
Tagged: A.J. Burnett