Brian Cashman ended the speculation. A.J. Burnett is starting Tuesday night in ALCS Game 4. Regardless of how Game 3 goes tonight.

"The way the schedule's set up, he's going to get the ball," the general manager said after yesterday's workout at Yankee Stadium. "He's capable of doing a good job. I believe he's going to do a good job."

Cashman said that regardless of the recent talk outside the organization about CC Sabathia - who threw his regular bullpen session Sunday - pitching on three days' rest for Game 4 and, perhaps, Phil Hughes starting Game 5 on three days' rest, it hasn't been considered. "Those discussions took place before we set the rotation on the series," Cashman said. "Have they taken place since? No. The schedule's the way it is. No wiggle room."

Burnett did not speak to the media yesterday, but he sounded definitive about his plans for Tuesday night when a reporter approached him as he walked through the clubhouse to the field. "I have work to do," he said. "I'm starting in two days."

 

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A bit rusty

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Cashman said the long layoffs between starts hurt Sabathia and Hughes, although, like the pitchers, he didn't use it as an excuse.

"I'm sure the layoff didn't help," Cashman said. "The bullpen's been great, the two starters weren't. You turn the page and look for a quality start from Andy. We're going to need it."

Andy Pettitte will start Game 3 on 10 days' rest. Sabathia had pitched once in the previous 16 days and was going on eight days' rest; Hughes had started once in the previous 19 days and was pitching on six days' rest.

The bullpen has allowed three hits in nine scoreless innings.

 

Home sweet . . .

Jeff Francoeur is staying at the place he rented while he was with the Mets. "I've got it through the end of the month, so it works out well," he said. "Better than staying in the hotel.''