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A.J. Burnett (1–1, 5.57 ERA) vs. Andy Pettitte (1–0, 1.78 ERA)

The Yanks return home tonight from their disastrous 5–game road trip (0–5), and look to Andy Pettitte to right the ship against a surging Blue Jays team.

The Yanks currently sit at 8–11 and firmly entrenched in last place. Just in case you were thinking about jumping ship, keep in mind that this is the third time in four years the Yankees have started the season 8–11. The previous three times, they won the division.

A.J. Burnett could present problems for the Yanks tonight. He’s got unbelievable stuff. Then again, he could present problems for the Blue Jays as well, since he has pretty much zero command of that stuff nine nights out of ten. Burnett was a big free-agent splash for the Jays last year, along with B.J. Ryan. Ryan is currently on the 60–day DL, and Burnett only made 21 starts for the Jays last year.

This year, Burnett has 13 walks and 14 strike outs in 21 innings of work. He’s also coming off a 2–inning outing against the Tigers in which he gave up 4 walks, 5 hits and 6 earned runs.

In a nutshell: The Yankees should score plenty tonight. Burnett, much like Pavano, should’ve stayed in the National League. The Jays’ pen is depleted without Ryan. This game has got to be a win.

Keys to the game: Jeter is expected to play after being removed in the middle of the first last night. A-Rod is coming off his first oh-fer of the year, how will he respond? He’ll respond in a big way, methinks. The Yanks should take care of business tonight in the friendly confines. Pettitte goes deep into the game, Burnett does not.

Jays blog-of-the-day: Stop Mike Lupica

by Brian on Apr 25 2007