Burnett's excellent start against the Phillies in game 2 of '09 was probably the most important game for the Yankees during their run to #27 in 09. After tonight's disappointing 5-4 loss to the Tigers, the Yanks will need something similar from AJ tomorrow if they're going to prove Valverde wrong and bring this series back to the Bronx for game 5 on Thursday.
The thought of the season riding on the inconsistent right arm of Burnett is enough to make any Yankees fan feel a bit queasy, but at least he's done it before, and done it on the biggest, most pressure packed stage in the sport. And the memory of that success is what A.J. needs to take with him to the mound if the Yanks hope to continue their quest for 28.
In would make for a great story: the beleaguered starting pitcher who just barely snuck onto the postseason roster comes up huge in game 4 with the Yankees back's against the walls.
Believe me, I don't expect that outcome, but I'm certainly hoping for it. I'm not ready for this season to end yet. Hopefully, the Yankees aren't either.