Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Jorge and AJ pass first test together

It wasn't the greatest game AJ Burnett pitched, but considering that it was in Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox, it was pretty solid. Burnett tossed five innings, giving up only three earned runs. Most important was who he tossed them to: Jorge Posada.

The pitcher and his catcher seemed to be on the same page all night, never showing any signs of their previous pairing at Fenway when Burnett blew up in frustration after giving up a monster shot and blowing a huge lead. This time it was all systems go, with Posada blocking balls at the plate, coaching Burnett to mix in his off-speed pitches and successfully encouraging his excitable pitcher to slow things down.

Both players are anxious to put this behind them, if for no reason than they are getting tired of talking about it. Burnett seems to be getting particularly frustrated, testily telling Kim Jones last night that this was the last time he would be answering the question, a comment openly mocked by the YES Network studio guys. As much as Burnett and Posada would love for this issue to go away, reporters are watching carefully for any sign that the relationship between the two players will implode.

But the New York Yankees coaching staff must be breathing a collective sigh of relief. For the Yankees to once again ascend to the top of the baseball world, they will need another solid year from Burnett, who no longer has the Jose Molina security blanket. He's going to have to pitch to Posada and he must do it well.

Thanks to Keith Allison via Wikipedia for the photo.

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