A.J. Burnett struggled with his control tonight, leading to more innings from the bullpen.
Looking at the stat line, A.J. Burnett didn’t have a terrible start. He gave up just two runs on five hits and three walks in five innings, while striking out seven. Looking beyond the stats, that start was definitely not what the Pirates needed right now.
The bullpen is currently over-worked. That has been a trend early in the season, and it is leading to almost all of the relievers being on pace for career highs in innings. Tom Bragg wrote about that this afternoon, projecting out the current pace for each reliever. On top of that, the bullpen had to combine for six innings on Sunday, so a long start from Burnett would have been helpful.
Instead, the right hander struggled with his control, walking three and throwing just 59 strikes in 101 pitches. The runs even came from control problems. A wild pitch scored Jonathan Pettibone in the third, after the opposing pitcher led off the inning with...