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Game #146 -- New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays

New York Yankees

Johnny Damon,  LF
Derek Jeter,  SS
Bobby Abreu,  RF
Alex Rodriguez,  3B
Hideki Matsui,  DH
Robinson Cano,  2B
Melky Cabrera,  CF
Wilson Betemit,  1B
Jose Molina,  C

Ian Kennedy,  RHP  (1-0,  2.25)

Toronto Blue Jays

Reed Johnson,  LF
Russ Adams,  3B
Álex Ríos,  CF
Frank Thomas,  DH
Matt Stairs,  RF
Aaron Hill,  2B
Lyle Overbay,  1B
Gregg Zaun,  C
John McDonald,  SS

A.J. Burnett,  RHP  (8-7,  3.56)

With last night's victory over the Blue Jays, the Yanks have finally climbed out of a season-long hole in two key areas.  They are now above .500 on the road (36-35) for the first time since April 11th (2-1).  Secondly, they are now above .500 against AL East opponents (28-27) for the first time since Opening Day (1-0).

Remarkably, if the Yanks can manage to go 12-5 over the remaining 17 games, they will finish the regular season with 95 wins.  Still a challenge, but doable if they continue to pitch well.  

Raise your hand if you thought this was a realistic possibility on May 29th when this team had just lost their fifth-straight game and were tied with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for last place (21-29) in the mighty AL East -- 14.5 games behind the Red Sox.

Check out this thread John posted on June 1st.  Kinda eerie.

As for tonight's game, Burnett (3-2, 3.73 ERA in 5 starts) was dominant in his one start against the Yanks this season (7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER) and picked up the victory.  He has been nearly unhittable since his return from the DL on Aug 12th (3-1, 1.90 ERA in 6 starts).

Lifetime numbers against Burnett:

Abreu:  .342 (13-38, 1 HR)  A-Rod:  .364 (4-11, 2 HR)  Jeter:  .400 (4-10, 1 HR)  Posada:  .083 (1-11)

The featured graphic for tonight's game was the home jersey logo of the Toronto Blue Jays from 1977 to 1988.