Monday, April 12, 2010

Cool AJ Burnett trying to lose erratic rep

Two starts into the baseball season, AJ Burnett is responsible for half of the New York Yankees wins. Most importantly, he has been cool and steady on the mound, even in the midst of the bizarre, which in the past would have pushed him over the edge.

He didn't win his first start against the Boston Red Sox, but kept his team close and allowed them to pull it off in the end. In his second start, he shrugged off giving up two runs in the first inning for the victory. A hairy moment in the sixth, when a ball that hit the catwalk was improperly ruled a hit, could have derailed him. But after giving up a walk to load the bases, he promptly got a pop up to strand the runners and keep the Yankees in the lead. The AJ of old probably would have given up a hit in that situation, forcing the Yanks to mount another comeback.

It's tough to judge after only two starts, but it seems Burnett is more comfortable in his second year with the Yankees. Winning a World Series and being credited with one of the most popular changes on a team -- the pies in the face after comeback wins -- will do that for a guy. He and Jorge Posada seem to be working together quite smoothly, with AJ giving Jorge full credit for successfully helping him keep his emotions in check.

A highly dependable AJ Burnett who loses the erratic reputation could make the Yankees unbeatable. Let's hope he can keep it up.

Thanks to shortstopVM via Wikipedia for the photo.

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