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Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett is confident about Game 4, even if no one else is

Coming off a 18-10 record in 2008, pitcher A.J. Burnett signed a five-year $82.5 million contract with the deep pockets of the New York Yankees. The overpaid Burnett went 10-15 with 5.26 ERA, with a salary of $16,500,000.
AP Photo/David J. Phillip
A.J. Burnett pitches
A.J. Burnett
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

(CBS) - Yankees fans expect wins for their team. But with A.J. Burnett taking the mound in Game 4 of the American League Division Series, fans have no idea what to expect. After losing 5-4 to the Detroit Tigers on Monday, New York's season rests on the arm of the pitcher who could charitably be called "unreliable."

CBS Sports writer Scott Miller put it simply: "Yikes."

"I've had good games and bad games during the season," Burnett told the New York Times. "You can say the same thing about postseason, but you can't count me out. I've got to bring everything I've got, and just let A.J. loose out there."

Letting A.J. loose may not be what Yankees fans want to hear. After going 11-11 with a 5.15 E.R.A. in the regular season, Burnett never even got a spot in New York's three-man postseason rotation. This season was his second year with an earned run average over 5.00.

New York manager Joe Girardi planned to use C.C. Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia as starters against Detroit - a plan that was foiled by a rain delay on Game 1.

So do fans have confidence in A.J.? Is that what matters?

"The bottom line is, I have confidence in myself. My teammates have confidence in me." Burnett told the Times. "I'm not going to go out and try to prove anything. I'm just trying to win a ballgame."