By Matt Snyder
Embattled pitcher A.J. Burnett will start Game 4 of the ALDS for the Yankees, should the game be necessary, the team announced Sunday. Burnett was originally only going to pitch out of the bullpen in the series, but the rain suspended-Game 1 altered the pitching plans for both teams and a fourth starter was needed for New York.
Burnett, 34, signed a five-year, $82.5 million deal before the 2009 season and wasn't bad his first season. The Yankees won the World Series and Burnett was 13-9 with a 4.04 ERA in the regular season. The past two seasons, however, Burnett's been erratic at best and awful at worst. Combining 2010-11, Burnett is 21-26 -- and this is for one of the best teams in baseball, mind you -- with a 5.20 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. In 2010, he led the majors in hit batsmen. In 2011, he led the majors in wild pitches. He was shelled in his playoff start against the Rangers last season, and he managed both a hit-by-pitch and a wild pitch.
Basically, prepare for an adventurous Game 4. Burnett's taking the hill.
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