And yet I still can't be happy about it. Last night was really no different than any of A.J.'s previous bad starts. He was solid early in the game, then seemed to lose some of his stuff and command the second time through the lineup, then pretty much completely fell apart the third time through the lineup (complete with the obligatory bad inning) and once again couldn't dig himself out of his own mess.
All in all, A.J. gave up 10 hits, walked a batter (to force in a run), and didn't make it out of the 6th inning. He wasn't good, again, and yet Joe continues to take a page out of the Brian Cashman "Cover My Ass For A Bad Decision I Made" handbook and play the "I think he's thrown the ball better than some of the outcomes he's had" card.
The fact of the matter is that he hasn't. The type of numbers he's putting up would be expected and acceptable for Freddy Garcia or Ivan Nova this year. But not from the guy who was expected to be the #2 starter. Sooner or later somebody in the Yankee organization just needs to come out and say it; A.J. Burnett has been a disappointment. Plain and simple. They fell in love with a guy who pitched well against them in a no-pressure situation in Toronto and they didn't get that same guy when they signed him.
If A.J. pitches one inning in the postseason, that's about 2 innings too many.