Found June 30, 2012 on Bleed Black & Gold:
TEAMS: Pittsburgh Pirates

Bucs starter A.J. Burnett won his 8th straight start against the Phillies on Thursday.   Put simply, he  is dominating the mound right now.  Burnett is 9-2 this season with a 3.31 ERA and 69 strike outs.  Only 5 pitchers in the league have more wins.

After 81.2 innings so far this season, Burnett has given up 72 hits, 29 walks, and 31 runs (30 earned) which results in a WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) of 1.24.  AJ has played great so far. Hopefully, he can keep this streak alive for a while longer.

1 Comment:
  • As a long time Yankees fan, I can honestly say that I never liked AJ Burnett as a Yankee. I found him to be questionable and lacking in any true character or strong moral fiber. That being said, I will reserve my comments going forward to his achievements (or lack there of) as a Yankee. AJ Burnett of course lost more games than he won, but this was not my primary issue with AJ. For me, and many seem to agree, AJ was a losing pitcher because he believed himself to be a losing pitcher. AJ did not make the changes needed to grow beyond his loses. At most of his outings AJ seemed to be his own worst enemy. The moment he got behind the count, or the minute the slightest part of the game got away from him, it was clear. AJ wore his frustration well, and he had no issue letting the opposing players see this frustration. AJ at times was his own worst critic and he allowed that criticism to dictate his path. His inability to allow loses to roll-off of his shoulders seemed to place him into deeper and darker places form which he could not seem to come out of. As a result, his pitch control kept slipping and the loses kept piling up. There was only so much that a pitching coach can teach; the rest was up to him. I could only imagine that after three losing seasons with the Yankees; and if still a Yankee; if AJ Burnett would be in the midst of his forth losing season season. Unless there were changes within his mind and heart; I believe this would be another losing season for AJ. I believe that his success with the Pirates only came because it was with the Pirates. AJ clearly needed a new stage to shine on and the NY stage was probably too big for him to take. In Toronto, AJ was a top dog, in NY he was just a roster man. And as comfortable as he might have seemed around players at times, he certainly seemed out of his element where it counted -on the mound. I know, especially as a NY'er myself, that we can be very unforgiving and cruel to our athletes. Today's hero will certainly be tomorrow's zero even if they slip just a bit. However, in AJ's case, I think he went straight to zero and never recovered. It is hard for any human, much less a professional ball player, to recover from night after night of bad performances and constant boos! Like Ichiro, I believe that AJ Burnett needed a new home and new surroundings. A "lesser" stage in order to build his confidence and learn that being human is just that. I expect that AJ Burnett will flourish nicely in a market that is not as demanding as New York. Lots of luck to him!

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