Saturday, April 17, 2010

Masterful AJ Burnett aiming for the top

AJ Burnett turned in a masterful performance at Yankee Stadium this afternoon as he continues to show signs that he is finally ready to take his place as one of the top-tier pitchers in baseball.

Burnett has the stuff of an ace and proved it today with seven innings of no-run ball against the hapless Texas Rangers. He got into a couple of jams in the latter innings with runners on base. The old AJ would have completely lost it on the mound and given up a couple of runs. But the new AJ fought back and stuffed the Rangers with strikeouts and a ground-ball double play.

AJ seems like he's feeling really good about himself these days, saying he feels strong and praising his catcher Jorge Posada for helping him things under control. The chemistry between Burnett and Posada can’t be ignored and it’s something they both deserve credit for working so hard to cultivate.

"He and Jorge had a good rhythm going and he was dominant," Alex Rodriguez said.

Yes, he was. AJ has always been an incredibly frustrating pitcher to watch, hitting and walking batters with abandon and getting himself in trouble despite his great talent. But not this year. He's well on his way to being the dominant pitcher that he is capable of being and joining the conversation about the best pitchers in baseball. If he keeps this up, the Yankees will be unbeatable.

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