NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — A.J. Burnett vs. Phil Hughes.
Who will the Yankees bounce from their six-man rotation?
Burnett had an awful August, but set it aside to put in a nice performance against the Red Sox in a 4-2 Yankees win on Thursday.
Phil Hughes, on the other hand, had been solid after coming back from a dead arm issue, but his last two starts have been shaky at best.
And here’s the kicker: Hughes has bullpen experience.
Burnett, coming off a brutal month, allowed two runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings after adjusting his delivery. Yankees manager Joe Girardi thought the changes would work.
“I just had a feeling tonight he was going to get it done,” Girardi said, “and he did.”
Struggling to stay in the rotation after going 1-2 with an 11.91 ERA in five starts last month, Burnett changed the position of his hands at the start of his windup.
“I’ve only really been working on that for three days. I’ve been pitching the same way for 11 years so it’s a big change, but as the game went on I felt more comfortable,” he said. “It all goes down to focus and conviction and that was a lot better.”
But not everyone is convinced.
“Can he go out there and build on it?” WFAN’s Marc Malusis asked Friday morning. “I doubt it.”
The Yankees trailed 2-1 when Burnett left, then scored three times in the seventh off Alfredo Aceves (9-2) in a tense game that took 4 hours, 21 minutes.
Burnett allowed one hit through three innings before giving up Pedroia’s homer into the center-field bleachers, his career-high 18th of the year. He hit 17 in 2008, when he was the AL MVP.
He threw 94 pitches, walking David Ortiz on the last one. Boone Logan then struck out Carl Crawford. Wade came in and ended the inning by retiring Lowrie.
“It feels good to keep my team in it,” Burnett said. “Obviously, you want to go deeper, but to bounce back after a homer and to go as long as I could go and leave it all out there, it’s all I can do.”
Yankees fans: Who should the team send to the bullpen? Sound off in the comments below…
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