One of baseball’s best redemption stories continued on Thursday afternoon, as A.J. Burnett threw 6 2/3 sharp innings to win his eighth straight start in a 5-4 victory over the Phillies. Burnett improved to 9-2 with the win and now has a 3.31 ERA over his first 13 starts this season. And, he’s just the third pitcher this year to go 5-0 in a month, joining Washington’s Gio Gonzalez and the Phillies’ Cole Hamels.
It became clear over the last few weeks that Kevin Youkilis days in Boston was coming to an end. On Sunday, that speculation became a reality as Youkilis was traded to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for right-hander Zach Stewart and utilityman Brad Lillibridge. There’s no doubt that Youkilis’ abilities have started to slip and he’s also injury-prone. Youkilis hasn’t played in more than 120 games since 2009 and missed three weeks earlier this year with a back ailment. However, the White Sox have been dealing with Orlando Hudson’s and Brent Morel’s dreadful production (.167 combined batting average), and Youkilis is a potential difference maker for the White Sox. And, this could be a situation that a change of scenery makes a big difference. Youkilis, who is hitting .233 with four homers in 42 games is leaving Boston with a chip on his shoulder. He wants to prove people wrong and I think he will do just that in Chicago.