With the Yankees on the brink of elimination, our lonely eyes turn to Mr. Electric Stuff, Mr. 82.5 Million Dollars….the one and only AJ Burnett.

While it’s a scary thought for Yankees fans everywhere to see this guy take the mound, nevermind in an elimination game, we’ve decided to give everyone a little hope going into Game 4.

The reason for this hope is if you look at Burnett’s peripherals, he’s actually pitched better than he did in 2010 and similarly to his performance of 2009. Look at the numbers below:

May we direct your attention to Burnett’s HR/FB % (percentage of flyballs that end up being HRs)? Look at the jump in 2011 compared to his previous two seasons in New York. That is the reason for his inflated ERA.

Now, you can go two ways with this. If you are of a sabermetric persuasion, you would say that this jump in HR/FB% is more random than anything and not representative of AJ’s true skill level. This is why xFIP (which normalizes HR/FB%) calls bullsh** and says Burnett is really a sub-4.00 pitcher. If you are not of the sabermetric persuasion, then praying doesn’t hurt.