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(Okay giggle at the title)

A.J. Burnett was a tough luck loser yesterday, going eight innings while allowing just seven baserunners (four hits, three walks) and striking out six. Bryan Bullington out pitched him, allowing zero runs in eight innings, giving up just two hits and a walk while striking out five.

What struck me most during the game–well, aside from the fact that the Yankees put together pretty bad at bats the entire game–was the way Burnett used his curveball. He threw it 27 times by Brooks’ count and it landed for a strike 74.07% of the time, way above his season average of just over 51% (per Texas Leaguers). This helped make up for A.J.’s fastball (61.22% strikes, 65.5% season average), which wasn’t as well located.

As he should’ve done, Burnett kept his breaking ball away from left handed hitters while mixing a few back leg breaking balls in there, too. Five of Burnett’s six strikeouts–the Mitch Maier strikeout in the 7th as the lone exception–came on his curveball.

Hopefully, three people watch and learn from this start. Obviously, pitching coach Dave Eiland will watch this with Burnett, but Phil Hughes should be in on this film session as well. If anyone on the team could stand to learn that a pitcher can use his breaking ball successfully when his fastball isn’t quite working, it’s Hughes.

5 Responses to “A.J. Gets it Done with Number Two”

  1. Not to change the subject but starting pitching like Burnett is expensive and hard to find.Yankees appear to be walkign away from Viramontes, Dese and maybe Rutskjy (Rootsky) 3, 6’4-5 projectible pitchers with tons of upside, (94 + MPH) (Rootsky is lefty) over small amounts of money.
    They’ve already let 3-4 others go back to college with big arms and we’re always left with the 6′ to 6’2 types because the big boys with the big arms are drafted before we select.
    How do we pay vetertans, many who bust 12-17 million per year but won’t take a lfier on these types for well under a million each plus I don’t think they count agaisnt luxury tax so overall, a Hughes who develops is worth twice as much as an AJ Burnett financially.
    I like AJ and think he’l be just fine but am really disappointed Yankees didn’t sign these 3 great arms (hopefully last minute they do) all of whom woul;d consider siging if they received good offers.  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

    Moshe Mandel Reply:

    I doubt they are just walking away. Im sure they have a value attached to each guy above which they wont go, which is good business sense. People complained about letting Lyons go last year, and it ended up being meaningless. You cant overpay your own budget out of the draft unless you really believe strongly in the player.  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

  2. I doubt they are just walking away. Im sure they have a value attached to each guy above which they wont go, which is good business sense. People complained about letting Lyons go last year, and it ended up being meaningless. You cant overpay your own budget out of the draft unless you really believe strongly in the player.  (Quote)
    </blockquot

    Lyons was not this kind of projectible pitcher.Lyons was lefthanded and YAnkees are woefully short of LH pitching in the organization.
    If these guys are no good why did they think enough to draft them?
    I can't believe that if they went an addiitonal $400,000 on each of the BIG 3 they let go, that one of them wouldn't make it at soem level and justify the 1 million dollar or so added expense.
    If a guy is a prospect at $300,000 he isn't worthless at $600,000.
    There's something worng with the perspective here.You can pay a kei Igawa and risk 40-50 million on scouting and a wing and a prayer but walk from pprospects like Viramontes who may end up a #1 draft pick next time he's in the draft.
    YAnkees can justify going over slot by reducing anual payroll when these guys are ready.
    Andy, MAriano, Posada and even Jeter are almost done, repalcing thme from within is the only way to stop over paying players and paying huge luxury taxes.
    With CC and next year the other lefty probably here for 4-5 years now is the time to sign big pitchers with huge arms.
    Watch the video of Viramontes he looks like a tremendous talent with the size and arm to be a #1 or even a closer. We know they are infatuated with Dese and think he projects as a future top prospect and the Lefty is certainly a NEED area and how often will YAnkees get a shot at an Andy Pettite sized big LH arm, picking in the 30's?  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

    leftylarry Reply:

    We got Rutckjy, letting Dese and Viramontes go while Red sox spent like crazy was a big mistake.  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

    Matt Imbrogno Reply:

    Spending money based on what your opponents do is a big mistake.  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

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