Martin to A.J.: Don't think too much

A.J. Burnett

A.J. Burnett

#34 SP
New York Yankees

2011 STATS

  • GM33
  • W11

  • L11

  • BB83

  • K173

  • ERA5.15

If A.J. Burnett has to start Game 4 of the ALDS, Russell Martin thinks he can get the job done. As long as he stays out of his own head.

"I think his last couple of starts have been great. The two starts against Boston, those are the ones that come to mind," Martin said. "And I think when he just goes out there and doesn't think too much, and just lets his ability take over, that's when he's great…. I have all the confidence in the world in A.J. He's had some good postseasons, so I think in his mind he's ready to go."

Nothing is set in stone, but Burnett is a strong candidate to start Game 4 due to Friday's rainout.

"A.J. is the most stretched out for us in that situation," Joe Girardi said.

Burnett, who finished with an 11-11 record and a 5.15 ERA, originally made the postseason roster as a reliever after struggling mightily in the regular season.

He had a strong finish, however, allowing two runs in 7 2/3 innings against the Red Sox.

Still, Yankees hierarchy chose to go with Freddy Garcia in the playoff rotation. But the rain may for Girardi to give Burnett the ball.

Ivan Nova, originally the Game 2 starter, will start the resumption of Game 1 on Saturday night. Freddy Garcia will start Game 2 on Sunday afternoon. CC Sabathia, who tossed just two innings on Friday, will lobby to pitch Sunday but is more likely to pitch Monday. That leaves Burnett as the most logical candidate to start Game 4 on Tuesday.