On the Yankees last day in Tampa, Joe Girardi and A.J. Burnett sat together in Girardi’s office for quite a while. It wasn’t a secret meeting. People were walking back and forth and could see the two of them sitting across from one another talking, but Girardi didn’t say much about it. Only said he was checking in with his player, something he does from time to time.
Burnett said a little more about it last night.
He said Girardi wanted to make sure he’d turned the page. It’s been a bad season for Burnett — one that has included some incredibly good stretches — and Girardi wanted to make sure Burnett wasn’t dwelling on the past.
“I can’t erase my record or my ERA, stuff like that,” Burnett said. “But I can definitely get to where I’m supposed to go.”
The Yankees are going to need Burnett. They’re going to need him to pitch like he did last night in Baltimore. A couple of one-run home runs, they can live with. Complete implosions — like a few of Burnett’s August starts — won’t help them much.
“I made two mistakes,” Burnett said. “I had the one walk. I did hit my normal guy with the curveball, so it’s good to know that’s back. Just delivery-wise, I leaked out on a couple of pitches, but I was able to correct them.
“I guess the main thing of I felt as good as I’ve felt is that whether I hit the guy or gave up the hit or I gave up the homer, it was the next pitch, it was the next hitter. Nothing built up. Nothing escalated. I was very focused on what my job was tonight.”
That’s the Good A.J. Black eye and all.
Associated Press photo