ALCS 2010: After Game 3 Loss, Should New York Yankees Start A.J. Burnett?

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ALCS 2010: After Game 3 Loss, Should New York Yankees Start A.J. Burnett?
Nick Laham/Getty Images

It was unclear which starter would go in game three for the Yankees after the ace they courted in a trade earlier this year jilted them again with yet another magnificent playoff performance.

The worst shut out home loss in Yankee history came during a start for their left hander who is the most prolific winners in MLB playoff history: Andy Pettitte.

The opposing lefty laced them with cut fastballs and knuckle curves while taking a two-run lead into the top of the ninth.

His curve broke out of the strike zone and nibbled just off the plate all night.

The dieting-on-hits New Yorkers tried to snack on his cut fastball, but it was the Rangers’ lefty who ate their gosh darned snack.

Throwing several change ups for easy outs, it was very hard to diagnose his delivery, and his change up was dissecting the corners.

No reason for him to risk injury in the bottom of the ninth with the game in hand.

The Rangers scored six runs in the top of the inning.

Yankee Stadium all but emptied after the fourth run scored.  The bleeding finally stopped after the normally rock-steady New York bull pen had fully collapsed in the Bronx.

Dave Robertson who has dealt with back problems had trouble dealing his pitches, and he could not get any out. 

Neftali Feliz closed the ninth inning without a whimper from the Yankees, and the Rangers took the lead in the three game series.

In the fourth game tomorrow night, Tommy Hunter will start for Texas. He started the season on the disabled list and pitched well for the Rangers this season.

He won 13 games and lost only four and had a 3.73 ERA.

The Yankees batted .300 against him in one five-inning start this season.  He struck out eight, but left the game with no decision.

Speculation is that AJ Burnett will start, but he may end up riding the bench in favor of CC Sabathia who only pitched four innings in the first game of the series.

Burnett has struggled almost all year, and notably more so after the All-Star Break.  It was like he was a totally transformed pitcher than the one who helped win the 2009 World Series.

Texas slugged a team batting average of only .233 against Burnett this year.  He finished 10-15 with a 5.7 earned run average for the season.

Sabathia has had some outstanding playoff performances on three day’s rest.  He has a 2.40 earned run average in seven post season starts off three day’s rest.

He is accustomed to being the ace down the stretch carrying the team to glory.  He did it with Cleveland, Milwaukee, and with the Yankees.

During the press conference after the game, manager Joe Girardi looked confident in saying his team’s chances were good to bring home a playoff victory behind Burnett.

There is no hiding in baseball, and AJ is too big to stuff in a club house closet.  What difference does it make if he gets beat in the fourth game or in the fifth game?

Start him against the mighty Rangers.

Cliff Lee gave up two hits, and he had 13 strike outs and one walk in eight innings.

A total of 34 strike outs and one walk in three post season starts for Lee this year.

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