The crisis has been averted for at least one more game.
When Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before last night’s game that he thought A.J. Burnett would pitch well, he might’ve been the only one who believed it. Call it intuition or dumb luck, but he was proven right.
The $16.5 million man with the 5.15 ERA came up big in the biggest of moments, saving the Yankees season with a 10-1 win in Game 4 of the American League Division Series.
Tomorrow night, the series shifts back to the Bronx, where the Yankees will count on a rookie to lead them to the Championship Series against the Rangers.
For all the teeth-gnashing over Burnett’s start, last night’s game was a relative walk in the park. The “I told you so”s likely ran rampant when Burnett loaded the bases in the first inning, but he wiggled out of it thanks to a great catch by Curtis Granderson.
The Yankees meanwhile pounced on Tigers starter Rick Porcello in the third thanks to a line-drive double by Derek Jeter over Austin Jackson’s head in center that scored Jorge Posada and Russell Martin.
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Rafael Soriano relieved Burnett after 5 2/3 innings and got four outs. New York added six runs off three relievers in the eighth.
Follow New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.