The Yankees magic number was down to one, but they never really had a chance to clinch last night thanks to an absolutely terrible performance from starter A.J. Burnett, who couldn’t even last three innings as he gave up seven runs over 2.1 innings in a 7-5 loss in Toronto.

Here are some highlights:

  • Burnett’s line: 2.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HR.
  • He is the first Yankees pitcher since 1992 to post 15 losses in a season.
  • The offense struggled against Mark Rzepczynski, who struck out nine batters in five innings. He did give up a two-run homer to Curtis Granderson.
  • Mark Teixeira made it interesting in the seventh when his three-run homer made it 7-5, but the Yankees didn’t score again.
  • After the game manager Joe Girardi refused to talk about the playoffs and Burnett’s potential involvement in them.

Coming into last night’s game, Burnett was 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in his last four starts. Nothing spectacular by any stretch, but enough to build on. If he had a good start last night and had a big moment helping the Yankees clinch a playoff spot, you might actually have felt good about him pitching in the playoffs.

At this point it’s certainly hard to imagine him as anything but the fourth starter at best in the playoffs behind CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Phil Hughes. If the other options weren’t equally as bad, Burnett would be even lower.

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