AJ Burnett, the Yankees’ lasted version of Nuke LaLoosh, must pitch well if the Yanks are going to repeat as Whirled Champs. The crazy part is, he’s capable of going on a run. He goes tonight in Baltimore. Mark Feinsand reports the latest from pitching coach Dave Eiland:
“I think his confidence and conviction in his pitches is a lot better,” Eiland said. “When he believes in every pitch he throws and trusts that good stuff he has, he’s successful. When he tries to throw a strike, that’s when he gets in trouble, because he backs off a bit. Just trust it and go get ‘em.”
Burnett should have that confidence against the Orioles, having pitched to a 2.48 ERA while going 2-2 in four starts against Baltimore this season, including one of his best games of 2010, an eight-inning shutout performance at Camden Yards back on April 29.
“A.J. needs to see the glove and throw right through it,” Eiland said. “Believe in it. Think, ‘I’m better than you and this pitch is going to beat you.’ As long as A.J. is healthy, he has a chance to dominate somebody every time he walks out of that dugout.”