A.J. Burnett Friday night matched his shortest outing of the season -- five innings.
He wasn't awful, though he walked five, which matched a season-high.
"He didn't have command of the strike zone tonight," Joe Girardi said.
Girardi decided to go with Boone Logan to start the sixth, and Luis Ayala after that, because Burnett had given up two runs in the fifth.
“It’s different if he gives up the two runs early,” Girardi said. “He gave up the two runs, he got a pitch up to Brendon Ryan, he got a pitch up to Ichiro. It’s a little bit different.”
Burnett said he felt OK to continue.
"No question but that's not my decision," Burnett said. "We have guys in the bullpen that are there for a reason."
He said of the outing: "It was a grind for five."
And wasn't second-guessing the move.
“A lot of walks and I’m sure the 97 pitches had a lot to do with it [being pulled]," Burnett said.
Girardi's decision, of course, didn't work out as Logan and Ayala combined to give up two runs, leading to a 4-3 loss.
“Every one of them has an important job,” Girardi said of the relievers. “No matter when you pitch it’s important, outs are important. And we’re going to need every one of them to contribute.”