AJ Burnett dazzled again Monday night, giving up seven earned runs and getting the Yankees a 7-5 loss to the Blue Jays. His “effectively erratic” stuff, hasn’t been so effective, helping him to a dismal 10-15 record, with a 5.33 ERA. After falling behind the Blue Jays after a Vernon Wells home run, Burnett seemed to give up, losing confidence with each pitch he threw.
“It’s something we’ve got to keep working on, definitely,” Girardi told the media after the game.
Now is not the time to be working on things. Sure every pitcher needs to fix minor things here and there, but Burnett seems to be a lost cause this season. The Yankees don’t have the luxury of losses right now, they are battling for a playoff spot, a division title, and the ever-important home-field advantage.
The only thing Burnett has done effectively is pitch himself out of the number two starting pitcher spot on the postseason roster. Thankfully the Yankees have Javier Vazquez, right?
Wrong.The Yankees would have been better off signing Kenny Powers, who could be Javy’s new teammate on the Mexican League Charros after Vazquez gets released at the end of the year.
Vazquez has arguably been an even bigger disappointment this season, and how he hasn’t been released yet is beyond me. The man for the number two spot is the youngest of them all: Phil Hughes.
Hughes as had some bright moments, like his strong outing against Boston on Sunday, which unfortunately wasn’t enough to get him his 17th win of the season. Hughes has hit some bumps in the road, but he has the makeup and stuff to be a solid arm in-between a solid CC Sabathia (say that five times fast), and one of the greatest postseason pitchers of all time in Andy Pettitte. Hughes has earned the right to pitch in that spot, a spot that should be based not on salary, but on performance.
Sure Hughes has struggled in some more recent starts before Boston, but he consistently keeps the Yankees in the game, giving the offense a chance to play catch-up, which is something Burnett fails to do.
Yes, Burnett dominated in his role as a game two starter in each postseason series lat year, but last year wont matter is he blows it this year. This is a “what have you done for me lately” sports world, especially in New York City.
Burnett sure hasn’t done much to help the Yankees get into the playoffs, which is somewhere he doesn’t belong.