It's been a tough two months for AJ Burnett (8-8, 4.77 ERA). But after tossing five innings of four-hit, shutout ball against Kansas City on July 23, things could be looking up for the erratic righthander.
It was only the second win in nine starts for Burnett. For anyone who things the start against Kansas City was a fluke, Burnett was excellent in a July start against the Blue Jays, as he scattered five hits and allowed two runs over seven innings.
Tonight Burnett and the Yankees (63-36) will square off against Fausto Carmona (10-7, 3.51) and the Indians (42-58). It won't be easy for the Yankees tonight. Carmona is 3-1 in July, with his only loss coming against Oakland (3-1). Carmona gave up three runs in seven innings in that game. In his only start against the Yankees on May 28, Carmona got tagged for four runs and seven hits over six innings.
With Andy Pettitte on the DL and Phil Hughes possibly looking at a reduction in innings, Burnett needs to come up big tonight. Yes, it's only the Cleveland Indians, but the Yanks will face Tampa Bay, Boston and Texas over the next six weeks. So they need to beat the bad teams.
Notes: Curtis Granderson saw his hit streak halted at six games after going 0-for-3 in last night's 4-1 loss...Francisco Cervelli, whose averaged has dropped from .273 to .260 in July, is 0 for his last 9... Alex Rodriguez, who is still in search of his 600th homer, has only five homers in July, but 27 RBIs.