It'll be A.J. Burnett vs. Matt Garza tonight in Tampa. Both rank among the leaders in fastball velocity. Burnett ranked fifth (94.3 MPH) last year, while Garza (93.2 MPH) ranked 14th (out of 88).
Burnett pitched well enough last Thursday (5.1 ip, 2 er) against Baltimore to get the Yankees their first win. He'll again try to prevent a three-game losing streak. Interestingly, he has pitched against Tampa more than any other team (from playing them inter-league in his Florida days to being in the same division with Toronto). In 16 games (117.2 innings), he has a 7-4 record with a stellar 2.98 ERA. Last year, Burnett went 1-2 with a 3.15 ERA in 20 innings.
Garza dominated the Red Sox in his last start, allowing just one run over seven innings. Vs. the Yankees, he's struggled a bit, going 1-2 with a 4.56 ERA in 23.2 career innings. He did better last year: 1-1, 3.71 ERA in 17 innings.
- Tex is back in the lineup, Damon has the day off, and Pena's getting the start at 3b.