After an inconsistent start to the season, A.J. Burnett found his groove and was pitching as good as anyone in the game. But since winning on July 27 against the Rays, Burnett has reverted back to his being unpredictable.
Winless since that game against the Rays over a month ago, Burnett has turned in four quality starts in his last seven games, but has nothing to show for it. With an 0-4 record and 6.54 ERA since his last victory, Burnett has gone from No. 2 starter to an uncertainty.
On Tuesday the right-hander struggled yet again, allowing 11 hits and six earned runs to the Orioles to earn a no-decision. Along the way, Burnett blew leads of 3-1 and 5-3 before the Yankees were finally able to put the lowly O's away.
“I wasn’t able to put anyone away tonight, so it’s a good thing our offense is swinging the way it’s swinging,” Burnett told the New York Daily News. “The difficult part is looking these guys in the eye after they give me a lead and I blow it, they give me another lead and I blow it. It’s tough, but I believe that I have their respect, and that’s a big reason they’re playing the way they’re playing. Everybody in here respects each other. It’s a great team to be a part of.”
Burnett is 10-8 on the season with a 4.29 ERA. Respectable numbers, but hardly worth the $16.5 million he is earning this season with the Yankees.
As of right now, there is little question that Andy Pettitte will take the ball in Game 2 of the ALDS. It's up to Burnett to use the remaining month of the season to change that.
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