Yankees ALDS Game 2 Notebook

Joe Girardi named A.J. Burnett the starter for Game Four Tuesday night in Detroit. The manager’s reasoning was he felt the inconsistent right-hander was stretched out and that some inconsistencies seemed to be improved during September.

After an 11.31 ERA in five August starts, Burnett was somewhat better in September. He pitched to a 4.30 ERA while going 2-0 in five starts. That included pitching into the eighth inning last Sunday against the Red Sox. During the last month Burnett struck out 36 in 29 1/3 innings.

The strikeouts represented Burnett’s highest monthly total since striking out 39 in 37 1/3 innings in Sept. 2009.

According to Burnett, the reason is improvement in off-speed pitches.

“I think my off-speed is better,” Burnett said. “That’s going to be [a] key for me — getting my off-speed over for strikes. That’s where all the strikeouts came from for me that last couple of starts. I was attacking the zone and being aggressive and not worrying about too much.

According to PitchFX data, Burnett struck out 26 while using his knuckle curveball and one with his changeup.

Burnett faced the Tigers May 5 in Detroit and April 2 in New York.

At Comerica Park he took a 6-3 loss, allowing two earned runs and three hits in seven innings. In New York he was a 10-6 winner, allowing three runs and five hits in five innings.

Non-save consolation

Though their comeback fell short, the Yankees were satisfied with seeing 34 pitches from Jose Valverde in a non-save situation. Valverde had to face seven hitters.

If the Yankees get to him in a save situation, it would be similar to the events of June 25, 2010 to June 26, 2010 in Los Angeles. The Yankees faced Dodger closer Jonathan Broxton in a non-save situation in a 9-4 loss and saw 45 pitches. The next night, they came back from a 6-2 deficit against Broxton and won 8-6 in extra innings.

“I think it helped,” Mark Teixeira said. “If it was only one inning, we did see a lot of pitches.”

Second-guessing Ayala

If the Yankees would have lost 5-4, the move to bring in Luis Ayala could have been second-guessed.

For the second straight game, Ayala was scored upon as he hit Brandon Inge with a pitch and then gave up a base hit to Don Kelly.

Ayala finished the regular season with a 2.09 ERA, but Girardi could have gone to Rafael Soriano or David Robertson, both of whom have yet to appear.


Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter
@LarryFleisher for live updates from the games and news all postseason long.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal prosecutors charge 3 men in multi-million dollar…

Federal prosecutors in New York charged three men in connection with a $33 million fine art scam that spanned more than two decades.

Local

Metro-North unveils solar-powered kiosks at Bronx station

The Woodlawn station will take part a pilot program to test solar-powered kiosk with real-time arrival and departure times for connecting services.

Local

Central Park's Tavern on the Green to reopen…

The famous Central Park restaurant Tavern on the Green will once again welcome diners on Thursday, April 24 after its closure in January 2010.

National

University of New Mexico running back arrested for…

By Joseph J. KolbALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (Reuters) - A University of New Mexico football player has been arrested on suspicion of raping and kidnapping a…

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

The Word

What we learned from the premiere of 'True…

Does watching someone's marriage implode make for great TV? The show runners at "True Tori" think Tori Spelling's heartbreak is hot stuff indeed.

NBA

Nets settle for 1-1 series tie with Game…

DeMar DeRozan, who was an All-Star this season, hit two huge jumpers back-to-back to give the Raptors an 89-85 lead over the Nets with 2:10 to play.

NHL

Rangers reclaim home ice with Game 3 road…

The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first period for the second straight game. This time, they held on.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

NBA

Jason Kidd reacts to Mike Woodson being fired…

Jason Kidd played for Mike Woodson last year and Joe Johnson spent four seasons being the main focus on offense for Woodson in Atlanta.

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.