AJ Attacked. For six innings tonight, AJ Burnett showed poised and command as he guided the Yanks to a 4-3 victory. Burnett allowed three runs on six hits. Yes, he gave up a two-run home run to Kevin Kouzmanoff, but he limited the damage. Surprisingly Burnett struck out a season-high eight hitters, grabbing his tenth win on the season. As for the rest of the Yankees, the bullpen was once again solid. Mark Teixeira kept rolling, collecting three-hits. With the victory, the Yankees move to 83-50 and a season-best, 33 games over .500. The Tampa Bay Rays also won, keeping the Yankee advantage at one game.

Initial Reaction:

Obviously, the story from the game was Burnett’s performance. With whispers of Burnett being summoned to the bullpen(which would never happen), Burnett was solid, picking up his first win since late July. With this victory, Burnett moves to 10-12 on the season and is hopefully a sign of things to come in September/October.

Let’s give it up for the bullpen again. Both Joba Chamberlain and Kerry Wood wiggled out of multiple runner jams in the seventh and eighth innings respectively. They did bend but did not break. Boone Logan retired the lefty swinging Jack Cust and Mariano Rivera slammed the door in the ninth inning.

Mark Teixeira, 8 for 10, never wants to see the A’s leave New York. Teixeira has four extra-base hits and six RBIs since Monday.

Positives From The Game:

Obviously AJ: By no means was Burnett dominant tonight, but he put the team in a position to win. Whenever Burnett takes the ball, he has the ability to perform like one of the best pitchers in the game. I’ll take that any day.

Welcome Back, Lance: One of the more important part of the game tonight was the pinch-hit return of Lance Berkman. Berkman wasted little time, crushing a first-pitch fastball for a double against closer, Andrew Bailey. Welcome back, Elvis.

Negatives From The Game:

Georgie Tossed: Jorge Posada getting tossed in eighth inning after his pinch-hit at-bat wasn’t that great. If this was a day earlier, Posada would have put the Yankees in a catching hole. Luckily, we have Chad Moeller to hedge our bets for the next Posada blow up.

Interesting Facts:

17-6: When facing a lefty-starter, the Yanks are eleven games above .500.

What’s Next?:

The Yankees will go for a rare four-game sweep against my favorite pitcher in baseball, Dallas Braden. Some guy named CC will be looking for win #19. Oh yeah, he’s 10-0 at home with a 2.57 ERA.

Thursday, 1:05 PM, YES: Dallas Braden (9-9, 3.28 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (18-5, 3.14 ERA)

Last Start:
Braden: Win, CG, no runs, one strikeout (at TEX)
Sabathia: Win, seven innings, five runs, nine strikeouts (at CWS)

**Braden is 4-3 with a 3.25 ERA on the road this year. He beat the Yankees earlier this season in Oakland.
**Sabathia is 10-0 with a 2.46 ERA at home this year.