There has always been something of a love-hate relationship with A.J. Burnett. He’s massively talented but prone to implosions. The Yankees knew that when they signed him, and they experienced it to some degree last season, but this year has been different.
“I’m inconsistent,” Burnett said. “But not this inconsistent.”
Burnett said his terrific first two months of the season “seems like four years ago.” He was 6-2 at the end of May. Then he went 0-5 in June. He had a 2.00 ERA in July. Then he didn’t win a game in August. Even when his stuff was good, Burnett managed to lose a complete game in Kansas City.
Tonight, Burnett goes back to the mound with a shot at some level of redemption. “There’s no erasing it,” Burnett said, but he could put some minds a little bit at ease by finishing the season strong. For better or worse — and there’s literally no way of knowing which — the Yankees will almost certainly need Burnett at some point if they’re going to win another World Series.
“I’m sure a lot of people are curious,” Burnett said. “I broke every record in the wrong direction for the Yankees this year. It ain’t like we got a Cy Young on the mound. Then again, I can go out there and throw a no-hitter at any time. I have that in the back of my head too. Confidence is not lost, but I know there are questions. I’m not oblivious to that.”
Here’s Burnett speaking on Friday.
Associated Press photo