AJ Burnett's nerve is a lot stronger than his control.
Overshadowed by Mariano Rivera's historic feat was another typically terrible, frustrating performance by Burnett. But even more appalling than Burnett having another bad outing was that he actually had the gall to openly express annoyance about Joe Girardi's decision to remove him shy of five innings, depriving him of a chance for a victory. More accurately, Burnett’s own pitching performance deprived him for a shot at a win.
I can't say that I blame Girardi at all for that move. The New York Yankees manager clearly has lost faith in Burnett (join the club, Joe, the rest of us lost faith in Burnett a long time ago). Perhaps if Burnett pitched slightly better, he wouldn’t find himself on such a short leash. Burnett denied that he was mad at his manager for a quick hook in an earlier game, but his anger is palpable now.
With the baseball season set to end in about a week, it seems clear that Burnett has pitched his way out of the Yankees’ postseason rotation plans. Say whatever you will about the Yankees other starting options after CC Sabathia, but they are all far more reliable than AJ Burnett. And even Joe Girardi knows it now.