On June 9th, AJ Burnett was standing on a mound in Fenway Park having given up 5 runs in just 2 2/3 innings, a team he had dominated the prior season. Many fans were questioning the decision to bring him and his 4.89 ERA to the Bronx. After that start, AJ was quoted saying:
“I’m not very consistent right now. I’m not a negative guy, so I’m not going to beat myself up over it. But when I do get on that run, it’s going to be impressive. I promise you that.”
It sounded like empty words to many of us at the time, still stinging from being swept in Boston and the embarrassment of being 0-8 for the year. It wasn’t the first time this year AJ was horrible in Fenway, he failed to hold a 6-0 lead on April 25th. But in his last 3 starts, Allan James Burnett has been everything fans and the Yankee brass could have hoped for and more.
He dominated the Mets for the second time in two weeks, this time flirting with a no-hitter through the first 6 innings while striking out a season high 10 batters. He walked 3, but one of those was a semi-intentional walk to Gary Sheffield on four pitches. In that lineup, Sheffield is the one guy who you’re not going to let beat you. David Wright has hit for average, but very little power this year. This was also the second straight time that we saw the Burnett-Posada battery, again with positive results. Burnett was quoted after the game saying that he and Jorge are still learning each other, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
On the other side of the ledger, the Yankee lineup had their anticipated outburst against a surprisingly tough Tim Redding. Redding did a nice job through 5 innings, surrendering only a solo shot by Nick Swisher. But the wheels came off in the 6th, with the heart of the Yankee order doing their damage. Teixeira doubled to center, A-Rod singled to center, Cano doubled to Left and Jorge Posada capped off the rally with a 2 run blast to left center field. Posada’s HR was the Yankees 4th in the past 2 games, dispelling the idea that Citifield is a tough park to hit home runs in.
Boston won, so the standings remain the same with the Yanks trailing the Sox by 4. The Yanks still hold a 1.5 game lead in the wild card over Texas. Chien Ming Wang goes tonight at 7 pm, still searching for his first victory of the year. After watching the first two games, he should be in good shape to get off the schneid.
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