The 35-year-old Burnett, who has gone 9-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 13 starts, managed to become the first Pirates pitcher to record eight consecutive wins since 1974.
The 40-year-old Pettitte (3-3, 3.22 ERA) fractured his fibula near his left ankle and is expected to be sidelined for approximately two-months and Sabathia (9-3, 3.45 ERA) will be shelved for 15-days with a strained groin.
Some onlookers, pundits and fans have comically speculated the Yankees, who essentially fired Burnett for cash and Pirates minor leaguers Exicardo Cayones and Diego Moreno, should have retained the shopworn flamethrower.
Burnett, who made his professional debut in August 1999 for the Florida Marlins and signed a five-year contract worth $82.5 million with the Bombers in December 2008, has compiled 130 wins, in comparison to 113 losses, for a 4.07 ERA in his career.
Despite his relatively impressive pedigree on the hill, the 2008 American League leader in strikeouts, who was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery in 2003, went a dispirited 34-35 with a 4.81 ERA over three seasons in the Bronx.
Burnett is erratic and his velocity is rapidly diminishing.
Still, the 2002 National League leader in shutouts is a decent player who possesses a vast array of pitches.
Facing weaker lineups, it is not entirely surprising that Burnett is flourishing in Pittsburgh.
It is commonly known that some athletes can succeed performing in Gotham and others simply can’t.
Burnett could not excel as an employee on 161st Street and River Avenue and he is presently thriving on a small-market team.
Had A.J. Burnett remained a member of the New York Yankees, he undoubtedly would be floundering with a 2-9 mark, rather than impressing at 9-2.by