A.J. Burnett finally won a game in August. Nobody should be preparing any pies to celebrate the occasion.
Burnett’s line of three runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings Monday gave him his first win since beating Milwaukee on June 29. It was a win because the Yankee offense scored enough.
“Maybe a cupcake, no pie for that,” Burnett said. “You’ve got to do a lot better than three runs in 5 2/3 to get a pie.”
In between wins, Burnett was 0-3, failed to protect a 12-run lead in Chicago and hung a curveball to a .180-hitter last week in a four-run implosion against the Angels.
If 47 days between victories isn’t confounding enough, Burnett hadn’t won in August in nearly three years.
Burnett will likely remain in the rotation because he probably isn’t suited to the bullpen. Phil Hughes would be a more likely choice for the pen. But Burnett’s recent performance might not be enough to convince the Yankees to give him a postseason start.
Last year, the Yankees skipped Burnett in the ALDS, but started him in the ALCS because they
didn’t know what they had in Ivan Nova.
This year, the Yankees don’t have that problem, especially if they believe Ivan Nova’s development will appear in the postseason or if Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia can continue their success. That makes Burnett the odd man out in the playoff rotation.