While Yankee batters probably didn’t draw much inspiration from watching Felix Hernandez dominate them June 30 but A.J. Burnett did.
Burnett, who talked a big game about his changeup this spring but had thrown it sparingly this season, went to the pitch he estimated 15 times in tonight’s victory. The most times he threw it previously, he said, was four times in a game and that was in his previous outing (6 2/3 shutout innings against the Blue Jays).
“Best changeup he’s had since he’s been with us,” Joe Girardi said.
“It was after we saw King Felix and he was dropping changeups on everybody,” Burnett said. “Just talked to Cervy [Francisco Cervelli] about using it more.”
"We just started using it last game against righties a couple times and now we used it to both tonight. Got a lot of outs, got a double play on it. Everybody when I get ahead, they look curveball. This just gives me another weapon.”
*** Nick Swisher, whose been ahead, then behind, then back ahead of Kevin Youkilis this week in MLB’s Final Vote on line campaign, had quite a night in making a good final impression on voters. He hit his 14th homer of the season and finished a triple short of hitting for the cycle.
“It’s fun to be part of,” said Swisher, who will find out his All-Star fate Thursday afternoon. “I’ve never even come this close to ever being in an All-Star game so I’m enjoying the moment.”
Later he said: “Obviously if this would happen, it would mean the world to me.”
And: “I’m going to be there [California] anyway so…It would be a thrill for me, no doubt. To be able to have my father [former major leaguer Steve] there. He has his All-Star ring and he flashes that around every now and then to me. So I have a World Series ring on him and I’d like to get my first All-Star ring.”
And with that, it’s off to Seattle for the first of a four-game series. Andy Pettitte (10-2, 2.82) takes on Jason Vargas (6-4, 3.22).