Yankees-Orioles Pitching Preview: AJ Burnett Needs to Step It Up Tonight

Kate Conroy@@ladylovespinsSenior Analyst IISeptember 17, 2010

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 15:  Starting pitcher A.J. Burnett #34 of the New York Yankees warms up just prior to the start of the game against the Kansas City Royals on August 15, 2010 at Kauffman stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The New York Yankees need to turn around this horrid road trip.

The usually easy wins against the Baltimore Orioles are a thing of the past, as the Bombers visit the most-improved team at Camden Yard this weekend for three games.

New York Yankees starting pitcher AJ Burnett will take the mound. Burnett has been a mess this season.

Burnett’s usual seesawing is not always this bad and as of now he is deemed unreliable. This season Burnett is 10-13 with a 5.13 ERA, giving-up 20 home-runs, walking 72 batters and striking out 132 over 29 starts.

Burnett’s strikeouts have dropped significantly. In 08’ he fanned 231 batters and last season he posted 195 total in regular season. He loses control much sooner than in the past, as he has hit a career high 14 batters in 2010 and the season is not over yet.

In his career, Burnett’s held batters to a .241 average, but this season it has jumped to .284 when he is on the mound.

Tonight, Burnett has a chance to take the minor improvements he has made since going winless in August and show us the ace he is capable of being.

Burnett has made three starts in September, going 1-1 with an ERA of 4.76 and striking out 19 over 17 innings pitched. His last start was cut after four innings due to rain, but he had already struck out six and looked a lot better.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

The Yankees bats need to cushion Burnett. Even when Burnett is on he can have one bad inning. Run support helps take the pressure off a mentally struggling teammate.

Striking-out has been the theme too much lately at the plate. This needs to change ASAP, and with Kevin Millwood on the mound for the Orioles, there is absolutely no excuse for anything but a marked improvement.

Millwood is 1-7 in 14 starts with an ERA of 5.38 at Camden Yard this season.

Overall in 2010 Millwood’s totals over 28 starts read 101 earned runs, 27 home-runs, walking 57 and striking-out 114. Opposing batters have a .301 average against the O’s veteran and a Yankees win is almost mandatory.