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November 3, 2009

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Burnett to battle Lee on short rest

A J Burnett said he was thrilled to have the opportunity to start today's World Series Game 5 with a chance to clinch the New York Yankees' 27th Fall Classic crown and first since 2000.

"I'd lie if I said I wasn't going to go home and think about it all night," the pitcher told reporters after Sunday's 7-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies gave the Bronx Bombers a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

"You dream about it. This is what you talk about growing up. I'm going to do my best to take full advantage of that."

Burnett, who will oppose the Phillies' Game 1 winner Cliff Lee at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park, will be the second successive Yankee pitcher going on three days' rest instead of the usual four following C C Sabathia.

Sabathia helped put New York on the brink of a championship by going 6 2/3 innings, yielding three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts after a shaky start.

Burnett said he admired the way Sabathia dealt with the pressure.

"You can't help but be somewhat inspired when he throws," Burnett said. "He goes deep in the game every time, and just the big presence he has on the mound. And he's a workhorse."

With Joba Chamberlain back in the bullpen, New York has stuck with three starters, including Andy Pettitte, throughout the postseason. Yankees manager Joe Girardi chose Burnett, who beat Pedro Martinez and the Phillies 3-1 in Game 2, over journeyman Chad Gaudin for Game 5.


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