Not Buying It
A.J. may be talking the talk, but even the media is chortling at Burnett saying again that this year he really, honestly is going to throw his changeup and become more of a “pitcher”, or learn a slider he can mix in for strikes with his un-hittable/controllable curve. Wilner writes that Bastian flat-out called him out on it:
After the game, he said that he’s trying to become a pitcher, not a thrower, whether he wants to or not. He said, as he has before, that he’s taking a page from Roy Halladay’s book and trying to throw every pitch with a purpose. He also said that he really wants to incorporate the change-up into his repertoire this year, and that he won’t just scrap it once he throws one bad one in the regular season. After hearing that,the intrepid Jordan Bastian had the stones to ask the question that was on everyone’s mind – “how many times have you said that before?” A.J. was self-depricating with his answer: “Seven out of seven springs – when I haven’t been hurt.” At least he’s aware that he’s been down this road before, and never followed through.
But at least A.J.’s finger has healed to the point where he can put on a fake one and get back to the rigidly formulaic 1-2 approach that we know so well. Because, as Gibbons puts it:
“Come nut-cutting time, with the game on the line, you always go with what you had, you don’t want to get beat on your third pitch.”
Which is dead on. You should never throw a changeup in a nut-cutting count. Or a slider in a ball-busting count, or a two-seam fastball in a sack-twisting count. Everyone knows that, meat. Just show him your heat.
Updating Ryan’s soreness after his second appearance, here are post game comments straight from the horse’s mouth from a Blair article on the incident. It sounds like the soreness was more than he had expected, but no twinge or anything more serious than has been continually predicted as a result of trying to push things early. Still, nice to know that Kremcheck was on top of things and right to slow him down last week.