A.J. Burnett just pitched awfully. He didn’t make it through the third and let six runs cross the plate. And in a way, I frankly do not care. Obviously, it upsets me that the Yankees are now chasing five runs–but if any team can come back from a five run deficit, it’s the Yankees–but I’m not upset that A.J. Burnett started the game.
In the World Series, hell in any baseball game, you can ask for nothing more than the manager to send out the best people possible for the job, and that’s what Girardi did tonight in regards to the starting pitcher. Chad Gaudin was the other option to start tonight, and that is not a desirable option. Gaudin has a pronounced platoon split–that is, lefties kill him–and hasn’t started a game since September. He has pitched one inning since the season ended.
A pitcher who’s bad against lefties and essentially hasn’t pitched since September, should not ever get a start in the World Series, especially against team as lefty-centric as the Phillies. Despite his bad performance, A.J. Burnett was the better pitcher with the better chance to pitch well for the Yankees and clinch the 27th title. While Burnett did not deliver tonight, Joe Girardi absolutely made the right choice in giving him the start.