The debate as to whether this is the right decision won't end until we see the results Tuesday night — if then — but Girardi seems to be pinning his hopes on two possibilities.
One, Burnett will pitch OK and keep the Yankees close for five or six (?) innings. Given how Burnett has performed this season — you know the story — and that it's his first appearance since Oct. 2, Girardi probably isn't bursting with overconfidence.
No matter what he tells us.
"We all know what A.J. can dial up, and we believe in him," [Girardi said.]
Yankees batters have a collective .948 OPS in 37 career plate appearances against Hunter, who had a sparkling 13-4 record in the regular season but hasn't actually pitched that effectively.
Outside of the eighth inning in Game 1, the Yankees have 14 hits in the entire series. Mark Teixeira(notes) (grimacing), Alex Rodriguez(notes), Nick Swisher(notes), Jorge Posada(notes), Curtis Granderson(notes) and Derek Jeter(notes) are a combined 9 for 66 (.136) with 24 strikeouts.
So, that's where the Yankees stand. CC Sabathia's(notes) not coming through that door on three days rest. Dustin Moseley's(notes) not running in from the bullpen for the first pitch of the game. Javier Vazquez(notes) is not even on the roster. (That might be OK.)
But it's not only up to A.J. It's also up to the offense. Wakey, wakey!
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