Burnett’s Biggest Game

With his first lead of the game (2-1), A.J. Burnett took the
hill in the top of the seventh and tossed his most dominant inning of World
Series Game 2. He struck out the first two batters, Raul Ibanez and Matt Stairs.
Then with a 1-2 count on Pedro Feliz, Burnett got the Phillies third baseman to
hit a weak grounder for the third out.

The final out of the seventh capped off what many will
consider the greatest performance of his career. With his team down 1-0 in the
World Series, Burnett held the hard-hitting Phillies to one run over seven
innings. The one Phillies hitter to cross the plate did so on a ground ball that
took a weird hop and eluded Alex Rodriguez’ glove — barely. It was hardly
Burnett’s fault, but it was counted as an earned run.

For a guy who has never taken the ball in a World Series
game, Burnett was masterful and he washed away any doubts about his ability to
get it done in big games. Again, this was the biggest game of his life.

By going seven innings, Burnett gave Joe Girardi the opportunity to go directly for Mariano Rivera for a two-out save. 

–Alfred Santasiere III

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