Monday, May 10, 2010

Don't panic over AJ Burnett's rough start

It's only one game. There's no reason to panic over AJ Burnett's rough start. He was bound to have a really bad game at some point this season. It's unfortunate it came in front of a national television audience at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox with the New York Yankees looking to sweep their archrivals. But it's not the end of the world.

Burnett has worked hard this season to shed his Mr. Erratic image and I don't think that effort gets derailed by one start. If he looks this bad in his next start back home, then you may start to worry. But right now, it's way too early to panic, considering how well he has pitched all season, starting out 4-0 and helping the Yankees survive injuries and an inconsistent offense.

The one thing you don't like about his performance is that the Yankees could have used some length from him last night, with Sergio Mitre on a strict pitch count in place of the ailing Andy Pettitte tonight and Javier Vazquez set to go Tuesday. It looked like AJ tried to battle through, but too many pitches found the middle of the plate.

AJ is only in the second year of his five-year deal to pitch for the Yankees so he will get plenty of opportunities to try to get back on track in Boston against the Red Sox. For now, all he has to focus on is his next start. And avoid newspapers, of course.

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