Found April 17, 2013 on
Fox Sports Midwest:
St. Louis Cardinals
The Pittsburgh Pirates finally scored some runs for A.J. Burnett in his most recent outing, and their offense seems to have turned the corner since that victory.
St. Louis' Shelby Miller could be capable of turning it right back around.
Miller looks to build on the best outing of his brief career Wednesday night while Burnett hopes for another offensive boost as he tries to earn his first home win since mid-August.
The Pirates (6-7) didn't score a run for Burnett (0-2, 3.71 ERA) in his first two starts, but they put up five for him Friday and eventually won 6-5 after the bullpen had let Burnett's 5-3 lead disappear. Burnett, who gave up three runs in six innings, has struck out 27 in 17 frames but has yet to work into the seventh.
"I need to start working deeper into games," said Burnett, pulled after 106 pitches. "I'm trying to throw nasty pitches to get strikeouts when I don't necessarily make nasty pitches and it's running up my pitch counts."
Burnett is 0-6 with a 4.07 ERA in seven home starts since last winning Aug. 16. Pittsburgh has failed to score for him in five of those outings.
The Pirates have plated 25 runs and hit .336 in their last four games, and scored four in the first Tuesday before the game was postponed after two innings due to rain.
Staying locked in at the plate won't be easy in Wednesday's finale if Miller (2-0, 1.46) looks anything like he did Friday against Milwaukee. The highly touted right-hander held the Brewers to one single without a walk over seven innings, striking out eight in a 2-0 victory.
"Shelby absolutely dominated," third baseman David Freese told the Cardinals' official website. "He acted like a veteran to a T. It was fun to watch. Fun to play behind.
"Obviously he expects that out of (himself). We expect that out of him. But to go out there and do it, that's special."
This will be Miller's second road start in the majors after he allowed four hits, four walks and two runs over 5 1-3 in a 6-3 win at San Francisco on April 6.
He's never faced the Pirates, while Burnett had three very different experiences against St. Louis (8-5) last season. The right-hander pitched seven scoreless innings in one of his home starts, gave up four runs over 5 2-3 in the other and was lit up for a career-high 12 in 2 2-3 innings at Busch Stadium in May.
Carlos Beltran hit a pair of three-run homers off Burnett in that game, but he's just 5 for 24 in his last seven games and is hitting .180 without an extra-base hit in his last 14 at PNC Park.
Beltran's lone hit in Monday's 10-6 win over the Pirates drove in Allen Craig from second base, though, and hitting with runners in scoring position has been the key to the Cardinals having one of the NL's highest-scoring offense. They're hitting .395 with runners in scoring position, easily the majors' best mark.
"We have a lot of hitters who like being in that position with runners in scoring position, and I think that's where it starts," Craig said. "I feel like we take our best at-bats when guys are out there, and that's a good quality have had."
Pedro Alvarez, Russell Martin and Clint Barmes - Pittsburgh's Nos. 6-8 hitters Monday and Tuesday - are a combined 3 for 33 with men on second or third, but Starling Marte and Neil Walker are 9 for 21.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
A.J. Burnett’s almost-perfect outing helped the Pirates to a 5-0 win.
So many events have to go right for a no-hitter to happen. We sometimes lose sight of that, living in this Golden Age of 23 no-hitters in the last six years. Even with no-hitters becoming almost as common an occurrence as Clint Barmes home runs, they still require a potent combination of talent and good fortune...
A.J. Burnett led a day of strong starting pitching across the entire organization. Photo Credit: David Hague.
Wednesday was probably the best day of system-wide starting pitching you could ask for.
First there was A.J. Burnett, who led the pitching staff in throwing a one-hitter. Not just a one-hitter, but a one-hitter against the best team in the division. James Santelli did a great...
Final: Pirates 5, Cardinals 0 (box)
WP: A.J. Burnett (1-2, 2.63 ERA)
LP: Shelby Miller (2-1, 1.96 ERA)
A.J. Burnett was perfect through 5 1/3 innings and carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. His only two blemishes were a hit by pitch and a double to Carlos Beltran. He also struck out eight batters in his seven innings. His second strikeout was the 2,000th of his career.
Despite the headline, we have a lot of reasons to fret about Shelby Miller. He's already in decline. Stats don't lie, so look at the startling evidence for yourself:
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A.J. Burnett took a no-hitter into the seventh inning nearly 12 years after throwing the only one of his career, pitching the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 5-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.
Burnett (1-2) lost his bid with two outs in the seventh on Carlos Beltran's double to right-center. That was the lone hit given up by the 36-year-old...
I've said this before, but the biggest revelation of the AJ Burnett's time in Pittsburgh is that occasionally a pitcher with great stuff can take the mound and you'll know within minutes that he's going to take the game over. It happened for Burnett a few times last summer against the Astros and once on a nearly-unforgettable night against the Cubs and it happened...
A.J. Burnett made some history Wednesday night when he recorded his 2,000th career regular-season strikeout. Of course, he also has 31 career postseason strikeouts, and I don’t know why those don’t matter — but they don’t matter, and this isn’t even the main point of this piece. Burnett nearly made some more impressive history Wednesday when he carried a no-hitter into...
All I have to say is A.J. Burnett. The guy is a freaking legend. A folk hero. If the Pirates manage to turn it around this season it’s in large part due to the leadership of A.J. Burnett. He is that big of an acquisition in my opinion. The Braves are in town for four…
The St.Louis Cardinals sit perched atop the National League Central division with an 8-5 record to start the 2013 campaign. The young season has seen the emergence of rookie pitcher Shelby Miller and first baseman Matt Adams, both youngsters are proving their worth as valuable assets to future of the Cardinals.
Miller has complimented and matched staff ace Adam Wainwright pitch for...
A.J. Burnett took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, leading the Pirates to a 5-0 win over St. Louis.
The Cardinals leave out of Pittsburgh with essentially a split series due to the rain out of Tuesday evening, and also with a series that’s a tale of two halves. After an offensive eruption in game one, which they won 10-6 on Monday, they could barely find their way into the hit column two days later, dropping the final game of the series 5-0 to AJ Burnett. Now, as they depart...
That game was so ugly, it went into a haunted house and came out with an application.
You're right. That wasn't funny.
And neither is the sequence of numbers 0, 1, 2. As in 0 runs, 1 hit and 2 errors. If Stanley Kubrick was around, I think he'd be working on Clockwork 2.
Thank goodness Carlos Beltran was able to scratch out 1 hit, otherwise literally...