Yankees Pitcher A.J. Burnett Looking 'Perfect' in Spring Training (So Far)

by Tre Baker  on Tuesday, Mar. 8, 2011 9:39 am  

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett is finding his groove in spring training at Tampa, Fla., this month after an uneven performance in 2010. In three innings of an exhibition against Philadelphia, the North Little Rock native retired all nine batters, throwing 30 strikes out of 45 pitches. Burnett was in control of his mechanics and more importantly, seemed to have his head firmly in the game. Here's what he said to the New York Daily News:

"I didn't want to go one inning, give up four homers, come out and say, 'It's just my second start,'" Burnett said. "The fact that I was in control, the fact that the last batter I faced, the last five pitches were all down-and-away in the perfect spot, I'm able to repeat easier. My mind is clear. I'm not thinking about this or that; I'm just attacking."

It's an excellent progress report on Burnett, who finished last season with a 10-15 record and 5.26 ERA.


Burnett was pitching against the Phillies, home to Cliff Lee, another Arkansan. Lee is handling his own during spring training, most recently striking out five in four innings during a 5-4 exhibition win against Tampa on Sunday.



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