Burnett not pleased with early hook

An early hook in Monday's game against Minnesota didn't sit too well with starting pitcher A.J. Burnett.

When asked about failing to get through the fifth inning in the Yankees 6-4 win, the inconsistent starter corrected the reporter asking the correction with his version of the events that happened.

A.J. Burnett

A.J. Burnett

#34 SP

New York Yankees

2011 STATS

  • GM31
  • W10

  • L11

  • BB81

  • K167

  • ERA5.28

"I didn't get through the fifth because I wasn't allowed through the fifth," Burnett said. "It wasn't that I couldn't get through the fifth. No matter who says what or whatever, I got confidence in myself and that's all that matters."

While Burnett didn't specifically call out Yankees manager Joe Girardi for pulling him in the fifth inning with the Yankees up 5-3, he didn't hide away from implying that he thought he could have continued in the game.

In the fifth, Burnett gave up three straight hits, including a home run, and the Twins sliced the lead to 5-3 and had a man on second with no outs. Girardi pulled Burnett after the third hit of the inning, and the ninth of the game, and brought in reliever Cory Wade.

Burnett said he thought of the possibility of being removed from the game, but then appeared to mock the decision.

"Heaven forbid I give up a couple of hits," Burnett said. "You do what you can to get your team the (win), I guess."

The right-handed starter said he did not have a conversation with Girardi when he got pulled from the game, saying there was no need and it was irrelevant.

"He saw an opportunity to keep his team in the ball game and that's what Joe does, he keeps his team in the game," Burnett said. "We don't have to agree with moves, that's why we're not the manager, but we got the (win) and (Mariano Rivera) got his 602 (save) and that's a good day."

The short start ended up being a dismal outing that had started off terrific. In the first three innings, Burnett toyed with the weak Twins lineup, consisting mostly of minor league hitters, striking out seven and giving up just three hits. All six of his outs in the second and the third came via strikeout and Burnett said he established his curve aggressively.

Starting in the fourth, he didn't throw his hook for strikes and it cost him. He fell behind hitters and had to come across the plate and the hitters started teeing off. Chris Parmalee and Michael Cuddyer both clubbed home runs and he gave up six hits over three outs as the Twins sliced into the lead.

Still, despite the bad statistical performance, Burnett maintained a positive outlook on his outing, hinting that he should have had the chance to go longer in the game.

"I thought I was nasty, to be honest with you," Burnett said. "I left a hook that I rolled over to a lefty and the pitch to Cuddyer, but eight punch outs and three runs, could have done more, felt like I could have done more, left me in there in the fourth and I got out of it. Joe does what he can to let this team win and we won."