Joe Girardi isn’t ready to announce his Game 4 starter just yet, so he’s certainly not going to say much about Game 5. But after last night, you have to wonder if A.J. Burnett might have changed the Yankees plans.
The common theory seems to be that the Yankees will go with Chad Gaudin in Game 5, assuming it’s not an elimination game. But the way Burnett pitched on Thursday — dominant from start to finish, throwing strikes throughout — he made a strong case for a Game 5 start on short rest.
“If I’m called on to do that, I’ll do that,” he said. “I’ve thrown on three days in the past. I’m a big fan of it. It was midseason when I did it, not October, but I feel strong right now and I’m up for anything, absolutely.”
I’m not sure I would give Burnett the ball in Game 5, but I’m not as against to the idea as I was 24 hours ago. Especially if Games 3 and 4 go wrong, Burnett’s made a clear case that he should get the ball in a must-win situation. The Yankees are right to hold off on making a decision, but Burnett’s given them something to think about in the meantime.