The story tonight for Yankee fans is clearly A-Rod's ridiculously clutch 3-run game-winning HR with 2 outs in the 9th. Or is it?
For those who watched the game it was impossible not to notice that AJ Burnett looks like he was hit on the right side of his head by a 2X4. And while that sentence could have been written in metaphorical fashion following the bulk of his starts this year, in this instance I mean it literally. A black eye, discolored cheek, and swollen ear begs the question, did he finally run into Krueg in an alley? Or perhaps K-Rod?
During the post-game interviews reporters asked both Girardi and Burnett what happened and they clearly read off the same script: "I know you have to ask that, I'm not going to talk about it, there more important things right now for this team." Part of me doesn't want to know. AJ has been a car wreck for two months and now he simply looks the part. And a long-overdue win delivered in dramatic fashion by A-Rod may portend much more important things then whatever stupidity led to AJ's injuries. After all, it feels like eons ago that A-Rod was deemed un-clutch. He has followed his superb 2009 post-season performance with a year full of clutch hits even though his average is down. In the 9th inning with RISP alone he is hitting .500 (7/14) and slugging 1.143 with 2 HRs and 11 RBIs. And with CC going for win number 20 tomorrow and Pettitte's return on Sunday, the Yankees have a great shot at ending this horrid roadtrip on a roll.
But it is impossible not to wonder what the story is with AJ. I can't help but hope that one of his teammates finally knocked some sense into him. If so, my money's on Jorge. So place your best bets here: what the hell happened to AJ Burnett?