Tag:A.J. Burnett
Posted on: October 19, 2010 12:24 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:29 am

Yankees sticking with Burnett

A.J. Burnett Joe Girardi is sticking with A.J. Burnett to start Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Tuesday.

When he was asked in the postage press conference if he was still going to pitch Burnett, Girardi didn't hesitate.

"Yes. Yes," Girardi said.

He answered the follow-up -- if he'd had to think about it -- just as quickly.

"No," Girardi said.

Burnett was 10-15 with a  5.26 ERA in the regular season and wasn't used in the ALDS. He went 1-7 with a 6.61 ERA in the last two months of the season. However, he did make three starts against the Rangers this year and went 1-0 with a 2.50 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.

Last season, Burenett was 1-1 with a 5.27 ERA in five postseason starts.

The Yankees could have used CC Sabathia on short rest, but then would have had to find a Game 5 starter on short rest, too.

Burnett will face Tommy Hunter, who was 13-4 with a 3.73 ERA. He went five innings in a no-decision against the Yankees on Sept. 11, allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out eight and walking three in a Rangers victory.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 17, 2010 3:25 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:10 am

Girardi going with Burnett in Game 4

Contrary to all indications, and contrary to common sense, Yankees manager Joe Girardi is planning on starting A.J. Burnett in Game 4 of the ALCS.

Girardi just told reporters in his workout-day media session that the Yankees will stay in rotation, saying, "We believe in A.J." You might be able to file that soon under Famous Last Words.

So let me see if I have this straight: Girardi plans to face Cliff Lee in Game 3 and then, regardless of the outcome of that game, put Game 4 on the shoulders of a guy who won just one of his last 12 regular-season starts and couldn't even get through a simulated game without plunking his teammates? And by doing so he's ensuring that his ace, CC Sabathia, pitches once instead of twice in what is now a five-game series?

There's a time for showing loyalty, but this is not it. This is a time to win games at all costs, and there's no way Burnett gives you your best chance at winning. Can't wait to hear the fallout in New York over this one.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 16, 2010 7:59 pm

Yankees need to keep Burnett out of rotation

CC Sabathia The Yankees need to make sure A.J. Burnett doesn't come near the mound in Game 4 of the ALCS.

Now that the Rangers have responded with a rousing Game 2 victory, this much is clear: Texas can hang with the big boys. The Rangers would have a 2-0 series lead if not for a bullpen implosion in Game 1.

From hereon out, it's a five-game series with Cliff Lee taking the mound in Game 1 and Game 5 if the series stretches that far. The Yankees could potentially answer with Pettitte followed by Burnett, then Sabathia, Hughes and Pettitte again. Or, given CC Sabathia (pictured) and Phil Hughes' poor pitch counts, could conceivably go on three days rest without too much difficulty.

It then becomes Pettitte, Sabathia, Hughes, Pettitte again then a leaning on CC Sabathia for three days rest in Game 7 -- but the big dude can handle that.

With the series at a 1-1 tie, it's possible a win in Game 3 would make the Yankees commit to Burnett in Game 4, but given what Buster Olney of ESPN tweeted earlier, that's unlikely. Olney said that Burnett's wild simulated game has "convinced" the Yankees to do what they can to avoid pitching Burnett.

After being outplayed overall by Texas in the first two games, it makes complete sense to take advantage of Sabathia and Hughes' short starts to go to a three-man rotation. Not only is it the right choice from a competitive standpoint, it passes the smell test for both players and fans alike.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: October 15, 2010 11:24 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:10 am

Our fearless second-round predictions

David Andriesen, Evan Brunell and C. Trent Rosecrans are in agreement on the National League, but have a split decision in the American League.

David Andriesen

ALCS: Rangers over Yankees in 7

This is a great matchup of two teams that, despite their disparate postseason pedigrees, are very similar. While there's a lot of talk about Cliff Lee being the difference-maker, CC Sabathia gives the Yankees an equally powerful weapon. It's easy to say each of those guys are an automatic two wins, but I have a feeling one of them is due for a stumble (I just don't know which one). A.J. Burnett would seem to be a huge comparative liability for the Yankees, so of course he'll go out and pitch a shutout. Could go either way here, but I grew up a Rangers fan, so my inner fanboy tips the scale.

NLCS: Phillies over Giants in 5

The Phillies look like an unstoppable freight train right now. Even when the Reds had them on the ropes in Game 2, the Phillies swatted them away. We are seeing the importance of starting pitching so far this postseason, and nobody can match Philadelphia in that department. The Giants are obviously no slouches on the mound, but it will be an upset if the Phillies don't win the whole thing.

Evan Brunell

ALCS: Rangers over Yankees in 7
The Yankees and Rangers are pretty evenly matched up, so the nod has to go to the team with the better ace. CC Sabathia has been worth every cent of the megadeal he signed with the Yankees so far, but even he can't match up to Cliff Lee. If both teams stick to a four-man rotation, that's an added benefit to Texas as Tommy Hunter is far more trustworthy than A.J. Burnett. The one question is if Texas' offense can keep up with the Yankees, who will grind starters down and get into the bullpen early.

NLCS: Phillies over Giants in 6
While the Giants have their own Big Three and a burgeoning Big Four, the Phillies simply have too much firepower. The starting pitching is sublime while the bullpen has come together quickly to support a strong offense. San Francisco's team is essentially the poor man's Philadelphia, but that doesn't help the Giants when it comes to facing Philly.

C. Trent Rosecrans

ALCS: Yankees over Rangers in 7
A.J. Burnett can only lose one game, right? And Cliff Lee can only pitch two, right? C.J. Wilson has been good, but I still have to go with the better-hitting team, and that's the Yankees. In the end, they have too many bats for the Rangers. Of course, I said the same thing about the Rays and look where that got me.

NLCS: Phillies over Giants in 5

Let's see -- the Phillies have the better rotation and the better offense. Sounds pretty simple. It's tough to see how San Francisco's offense can do much better than Cincinnati's did against Phillie piching. We should get a couple of great 1-0, 2-1 games, but look for Philadelphia to come out ahead in both of those.

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Posted on: October 14, 2010 11:24 am
Edited on: October 14, 2010 11:24 am

Burnett wild in simulated game

A.J. Burnett The Yankees may not want to pitch A.J. Burnett in Game 4 of the ALCS after all.

Burnett pitched a simulated game on Wednesday to help shake off some rust in advance of the Game 4 start, as the New York Daily News reports. Burnett hasn't pitched since October 2, but even this much wildness wasn't expected.

Among Burnett's 80 pitches included nasty bruises for Greg Golson and Austin Kearns, who had the misfortune of stepping in against both Burnett and Javier Vazquez.

Burnett's first pitch went right over Francisco Cervelli's head while his fifth nailed Golson on the left arm. Kearns was also plunked as manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Dave Eiland watched. Burnett ended up throwing 80 pitches in four innings, so likely wouldn't have even lasted three in an actual game.

"They know I didn't mean to do it," Burnett said after the session. "But it's still not a good feeling."

Burnett hit a career-high 19 batters this season en route to a 5.36 ERA over 33 starts in the second year of a five-year deal. He's certainly not a strong candidate to appear in a postseason game but Girardi is rather adamant that he does not want to lean on his front three too heavily. If the Yanks are down 2-1 or 3-0 entering Game 4, however, bank on Burnett being bypassed.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 13, 2010 5:26 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:05 am

Rangers set ALCS rotation

Rangers manager Ron Washington officially confirmed that his ALCS rotation will be what we projected last night, with C.J. Wilson getting the nod for Game 1.

So that's Wilson vs. CC Sabathia in the first game, followed by Colby Lewis vs. Phil Hughes, Cliff Lee vs. Andy Pettitte and Tommy Hunter vs. A.J. Burnett.

Washington also said the Rangers will add a reliever for the series, dropping reserve infielder Esteban German from the roster. Left-handers Michael Kirkman, Clay Rapada and Matt Harrison and right-handers Mark Lowe and Scott Feldman are the candidates to be added.

UPDATE: The Yankees have switched it up and will throw Hughes second and Pettitte third. The above text has been changed to reflect that and is correct.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 11, 2010 2:20 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:09 am

Burnett to start Game 4

A.J. Burnett You'd think $82.5 million would buy you a pretty good Game 4 starter. For the Yankees, it netted A.J. Burnett.

Burnett will indeed serve as the Yankees' Game 4 starter, Brian Cashman tells the New York Post 's Joel Sherman (via Twitter ).

Burnett was 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA in 33 starts this season, including a 1-5 record with a 7.09 ERA in his final nine starts of the season.

Burnett was 1-3 with a  6.27 ERA in four starts against the Rays, but 1-0 with a 2.50 ERA in three starts against the Rangers.

He only lasted four innings, allowing two runs on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts in his last start against the Rangers, a 7-6 Yankees loss at Rangers Ballpark on Sept. 11.

Burnett only went three innings in his last start against the Rays, allowing an earned run on two hits on Sept. 22 at Yankee Stadium.

Game 4 will be at Yankee Stadium, where Burnett has an ERA more than a run lower than on the road, 4.59 vs. 5.76.

UPDATE: Cashman said on a conference call the team thought a four-man rotation was the best plan for the postseason. The Yankees had used a three-man rotation the last four postseason series, but MLB has cut down on some of the off days, making that less feasible.

"Is that the best way to go? I don’t know if it’s the best way to go. I do think we’re deeper than that," Cashman said, (from the New York Times ). "I think we need to prepare to go with a four-man and see where that takes us and prove that we’re not just built for a division series with off days that are beneficial to us. In this round and probably the next round, we’re going to have to prove that we’re deeper than that."

As for Burnett, Cashman said he believes in him.

"I do have confidence and understand that he’s struggled," Cashman said. "That was before October. October can bring out the most competitive side of people."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 5, 2010 11:16 am
Edited on: October 5, 2010 12:47 pm

Yanks to skip Burnett in ALDS

A.J. Burnett The Yankees will go with a three-man rotation in the American League Division Series against the Twins, eschewing the $82.5 million-man, A.J. Burnett.

The New York Post is reporting CC Sabathia would pitch a fourth game against the Twins if it gets to that point. Sabathia will start Game 1 on Wednesday at Target Field. He'd be followed by Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes.

Burnett was 1-0 with a 1.54 ERA in two starts against the Twins this season, but was 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA overall and 1-7 with a 6.61 ERA in the last two months of the season, while batters are hitting .300/.380/.494 in the 12 games he's started since Aug. 2.

Sabathia is fine with going on short rest in Game 4 on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

"I told Joe [Girardi] and Dave [Pelland] I will be prepared to do that," Sabathia told the Post. "If I get enough rest, I want to pitch."

Sabathia has experience with three days of rest, going 3-1 with a 1.01 ERA in four such starts. Last year he needed just three days between starts for Game 4 of the ALCS and Game 4 of the World Series. He went 1-0 with a  2.46 ERA in those starts, both Yankees victories.

UPDATE: The Yankees have made it official, CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler reports .

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com