Last night was the perfect of example of what A.J. Burnett lacks and why CC Sabathia is so important to the Yankee rotation.
On Friday night, A.J. didn't have his A-game (as usual) and he just kept throwing the same shitty pitches that got hammered while he felt sorry for himself. There was no regrouping, no fixing what wasn't working, nothing.
Last night, CC steps out on the mound without his A-game as well. After being handed a 6-1 lead, he made some bad pitches and after 4 innings it was 6-5. However, after his team got him 4 runs in the top of the 5th, CC came back out in the bottom of the inning, beared down, and proceeded to throw 3 innings of shutout ball, allowing just 2 baserunners and striking out 5 to preserve the lead into the 7th. And it was a damn good thing too because the bullpen sucked last night.
If that was A.J. out there with a 5-run lead after giving up 2-run homers in back-to-back innings, God only knows what he would have done in the bottom of the 5th. But CC recognized that his team had picked him up, he toughened up, he focused, he changed his approach, made better pitches, and made the lead stand up. That's what a veteran pitcher does, that's what a good pitcher does, and that's what an ace does.
A.J., I hope you were taking notes.