Yankee fans saw it often enough last season: A.J. Burnett gets through a good first or second inning then, bang, a double or home run or error or whatever occurs and the outing deteriorates from there.
So Sunday afternoon here it was interesting to see, after striking out the side in the first inning, how Burnett would react after Michael Morse hit a two-run homer with none out in the second inning.
No problem, it appeared.
Burnett retired three straight to end the inning, and six straight after that.
Overall he allowed two hits and two runs in four innings, striking out four and walking none.
“Got hit, gave up the bomb and didn’t really care,” Burnett said. “Get back on the mound and get the next three guys. I’m not going to be perfect every time, we all know that, so it’s good get out of the stretch and be able to make some pitches after they score a couple.”
Manager Joe Girardi noticed too.
“It’s what you want your pitchers to be able to do,” he said. “You don’t have a Nintendo controller. Sometimes you’re going to make good pitches and they’re going to get hit. But he bounced right back and threw well the rest of the day.”
In nine spring innings, Burnett has not walked a batter while striking out six. He's given up just the two runs he allowed today.
“By no means am I happy or content right now,” said Burnett, who was especially happy with his curveball Saturday. "I have a long way to go. Everything’s different under the lights [the regular season], so it’s preparing right now to get there, to get to that point. But everything feels great so far.”