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A Fun Night of Burnett and Montero at Fenway

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 1:  Jesus Montero #63 of the New York Yankees is congratulated by teammates after scoring on a two run hit by Russell Martin #55 in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on September 1, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Yes, yes, yes, we know: In a wild-card world, the Yankees–Red Sox series doesn't really matter, they're not really playing for anything, it's just a precursor for an October series that might not actually happen. Logically, all that is true. But still: This has been awfully fun.

The Yankees won a thriller from the Red Sox 4–2, thanks to a two-run double by Russell Martin and an Eric Chavez single in the seventh inning to take the lead. Say what you want about the Yankees and their superstar payroll, but the men who brought on the Yankees comeback were Russell Martin, Chris Dickerson, Eric Chavez and Jesus Montero, making his major league debut. That doesn't feel particularly gluttonous.

The "story" was A.J. Burnett, who was perfectly adequate, throwing 5 1/3 innings and giving up only two runs. That's not brilliant, of course, but the reason Burnett is still likely to be the Game 3 start in the ALDS is because of games like this. The Yankees only need him not to burst into flames. Last night, he stayed non-on-fire. Maybe he had asbestos in his hat? (That would explain a lot, actually.)

The other big news from yesterday was the debut of Montero, Mr. Hyped Prospect. While expectations should be tempered, it's still nice to see him playing, particularly with his first game at Fenway Park in the middle of a pennant chase. (Sorry: A "pennant chase.") He didn't notch his first major league hit, but he did score the tiebreaking run. Though if he's gonna be a Yankee, they're gonna have to get rid of that weird minor-league number on his back.

Anyway, it got hairy in the ninth, but the Yanks survived, and now they're only a half game back in the non-chase. The Yankees now have a week of the Blue Jays and Orioles. So everyone can relax a little bit. It's Labor Day Weekend. The Yanks are gonna make the playoffs, the prospect is in town, and A.J. Burnett is not in flames. The stress can all come later.

Photo: Darren McCollester/2011 Getty Images