That night at Fenway, A.J. Burnett lasted only 2 2/3 innings and was tagged for 5 ER before taking his frustrations out on the water cooler on the way back to the dugout. Since then, he's made 6 starts and held the Yanks' opponents to a 2.04 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, striking out 36 and picking up 4 wins. His last start was the least impressive of the bunch, allowing three runs over 6 innings and walking 5 to just one strikeout. He took a no-decision but the Yanks went on to win anyway.
Today as the Yanks go for their second consecutive home sweep, they hope to enjoy a much longer reign at the top and leave Boston behind.
Burnett faces Jason Berken who has had
limited essentially no success (one quality start (which he lost)) in Baltimore's rotation since being called up in late May. The White Sox just hit him up for 6 runs in 4 1/3 IP coming out of the All-Star Break. Berken is sitting on a portly 6.44 ERA, a bloated WHIP of 1.649 an unsightly 1-7 record (with that win coming in his first outing of the season). In 10 starts he's pitched only 50 1/3 innings and has walked 19 while striking out only 29.
Between him and Rich Hill, the Yanks have been set up to feast on the weakest part of Baltimore's awful rotation. However, he's never faced the Yankees so there's probably still going to be some hand-wringing if he puts together a few scoreless innings to start the game.
Matt will be happy to hear that Brett Gardner will be back in CF for the second time since the All-Star Break, replacing the fading Melky Cabrera. Jorge Posada will (interestingly) be catching a day game after a night game while A-Rod returns to third base. Behind Alex in the lineup will be Hideki Matsui at DH and everything else is as you would expect.
No live chat today, but feel free to stop by the comment section as I'm sure a couple of Fackers will be loitering around.
It's a new horizon and I'm awakin' now,
Oh I see myself in a brand new way,
The sun is shinin',
The clouds are breakin',
Cause I can't lose now, there's no game to play.