Hoping to give the Rangers a two-game advantage this evening will be righty Tommy Hunter, who will be making his first-ever Yankee Stadium start.
“It’s probably going to be loud,” Hunter said. “I would expect it to be. You know, it’s a baseball game. That’s what these other guys keep telling you; all of us young guys. We probably have the youngest bullpen ever in the ALCS. I mean, probably. You know, just being out there with those guys, being out there with [Darren] Oliver, he pretty much says, ‘It’s just another game.’”
Hunter was 13-4 in the regular season, but was charged with the loss in Game 4 of the ALDS against Tampa Bay, as he allowed three runs (two earned) and six hits in four innings.
Hunter has faced the Yankees twice and is 0-1 against them with a 6.75 ERA.
“I mean, you know, there’s a lot of tradition. Everybody knows that,” Hunter said. “There’s 20-some-odd world championships that have been won here. Everybody knows that. We would like to win our first. So you’ve got to go out there and you’ve got to play baseball, and as soon as you step in between the lines, it’s still a game. You’ve just got to block it out.”
Burnett went into last year’s playoffs as the team’s No. 2 starter, but he has yet to pitch this postseason following an awful year that saw the righty go 10-15 with a 5.26 earned run average.
“I mean, I’m not taking anything away [from this season] — I’m not trying to ignore the year and say it wasn’t a big deal,” Burnett said of his career-high 15 losses. “It was a big deal.”
He hasn’t pitched since October 2 and was a miserable 1-7 with a 6.61 ERA in his final 12 starts.