That loud groan you just heard in New York City wasn't from the crowd learning that the UFOs on Wednesday were actually just balloons. Nope, it was the sound of the 52,000 fans who own tickets to Game 4, upon learning they'll be watching A.J. Burnett pitch Game 4.
That news came Thursday morning, when Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced his starting rotation, as reported by the New York Post.
There was no surprise at the top, as CC Sabathia will take the mound Friday night for Game 1. Phil Hughes, who is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts and three apperances in Texas, will be on the hill for Game 2.
Veteran Andy Pettitte will oppose Rangers ace Cliff Lee in Game 3, setting the Yankees up to send Pettitte to the mound in the event of a Game 7.
But the big story is that A.J. Burnett will be starting Game 4. The $82 million dollar man didn't pitch in the three-game sweep of the Twins after a horrific year. Burnett went 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA. He allowed 25 home runs for the second straight year and hit a league-high and career-high 19 batters. He battled with Javier Vazquez all season long for the title of "Most Unreliable Starter on the Yankees," but he edged Vazquez for the ALCS start.
It didn't exactly inspire confidence that Burnett hit two batters and threw a wild pitch in his simulated game on Wednesday.
The expected pitching matchups are below:
CC Sabathia vs. C.J. Wilson
Phil Hughes vs. Colby Lewis
Cliff Lee vs. Andy Pettitte
Tommy Hunter vs. A.J. Burnett
Game 5 (if necessary)
Wilson vs. Sabathia
Game 6 (if necessary)
Hughes vs. Lewis
Game 7 (if necessary)
Pettitte vs. Lee