Thursday, April 7, 2011

Burnett Still Good in Yanks Win

AJ Burnett showed some glimpses of the pitcher he was last year in the Yankees' 4-3 win over the Twins this afternoon. A sloppy fourth inning recalled the horror of watching AJ completely fall apart in early innings last year. Fortunately however, he managed to limit the damage and the Yankees pulled away with their fourth win.

AJ actually pitched a good game today. He started with a 1-2-3 first inning, and had only allowed one hit overall to Denard Span heading into the fourth with the Yankees up 1-0. But he gave up consecutive doubles to Jim Thome and Justin Morneau which tied the game at 1-1. Another double in the inning to Jason Kubel, and the Twins would lead 2-1.

And that was really all the trouble that AJ allowed on the afternoon. He had both his fastball and changeup working well, especially the changeup which he threw for outs. The velocity on his fastball reached 94 mph. I was really impressed that with the speed on his fastball, he used his changeup more, which has always been one of his better pitches, yet a pitch that he struggled with mightily last season. Also impressive was that he had good location on all his pitches. He didn't get all the calls he should have, so you know that when he did miss, he didn't miss by much.

The Yankees offense went small today; taking advantage of walks, singles and doubles to put runs on without hitting the long ball. In the third inning, a sac-fly by Nick Swisher scored Brett Gardner, who had walked, stolen second and moved to third on a ground-out from Derek Jeter. In the fourth, Andruw Jones scorched a line drive double to left-field scoring Alex Rodriguez who had walked on a 3-2 pitch. Russell Martin followed Jones with a ground-out to first that scored Robinson Cano, who singled after A-Rod's walk at the top of the inning. Then Gardy hit a bloop single to right, scoring Jones and putting the Yankees ahead for good at 4-2. The Twins would later score another run in the seventh against Joba Chamberlain.


A-Rod and Mark Teixeira went hit-less for the first time this season, both going 0 for 3. Rafael Soriano got redemption today following his abysmal 8th inning in game 2 on Tuesday. He allowed just one hit and no runs. Mariano Rivera picked up his fourth save of the season.

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper

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