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Game 158: Tune-up for A.J.

This will be A.J. Burnett's last start before the playoffs, and Joe Girardi has yet to announce who his #2 starter will be. Tonight could be a big difference maker in regards to the rotation. The question should basically be this: who would you rather have making two starts in the LDS, Burnett or Pettitte (assuming they choose the longer series)?

It's tough, but I'd probably go with Burnett by a nose (at this point). He splits up the two lefties, gets more Ks (which is big in the playoffs), and has been more than a run better at home (3.65 vs. 4.73). While he may be more inconsistent, he's also more capable of completely shutting down the opposition. But I'll reserve final judgment until they both get one more start.

Taking the ball for KC is Anthony Lerew, a September call-up that's made just one big league start since 2007. It was five days ago against Boston, when he allowed four runs (two earned) in 4.2 innings. The 26-year-old righty has a total of 26.1 innings in the majors.


Kansas City Royals @ New York Yankees

09/29/09 7:05 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals New York Yankees
Mitch Maier - LF Derek Jeter - SS
Yuniesky Betancourt - SS Johnny Damon - LF
Billy Butler - 1B Mark Teixeira - 1B
Mike Jacobs - DH Alex Rodriguez - 3B
Alberto Callaspo - 2B Hideki Matsui - DH
Mark Teahen - RF Nick Swisher - RF
John Buck - C Brett Gardner - CF
Alex Gordon - 3B Jose Molina - C
Josh Anderson - CF Ramiro Pena - 2B