The Mockingbird

Burnett’s Curveball (Again)

with 4 comments

I was just watching some of the game on Tivo and wow, Burnett struck out the side and looked unbelievable in the inning I missed on my way to the park! So much so that Mulliniks (the real one, not the ginger imposter around these parts) started to go on about how Burnett doesn’t even need his curve if he is commanding his fastball so well.

Yeah, RIGHT. The man is a case study on why a pitcher can’t survive on one pitch. When his curve is working, he’s unhittable. When it’s not, his entire game falls apart. And as A-Rod mentioned earlier in the season, the word is out around the league that Burnett can’t throw his curveball for strikes. Despite all the walks, A.J. was ahead of hitters all the time tonight, he just couldn’t finish them off because they weren’t biting on his curveball.

Anyway, what’s interesting is that his Curveball keeps flipping back and forth. His first start of the season, it was dropping and not curving. Then it started curving but not dropping. Now we’re back to it dropping:

Changeup still looks really good, and at least they’re consistent. But the real problem was location- and Burnett was actually getting seriously squeezed on his fastball:

8/21 of his curveballs were for strikes- and two of them came on a really nice sequence against Magglio Ordonez late in his outing. But A.J. was right to be confused a few times, because he wasn’t getting any help on the only pitch he could throw for strikes.

Written by halejon

April 21, 2008 at 4:24 am

Posted in Seriousness

4 Responses

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  1. thanks for the look into yesterday’s curve. i’ll give AJ props because he battled.

    Navin Vaswani

    April 21, 2008 at 11:46 am

  2. He did indeed battle. It got very frustrating with his curve and it illustrated why the dude needs to be more comfortable with a changeup. Getting two strikes on a guy and then running the count full or walking a Tiger with untempting curves was really annoying. I think Rance was annoyed too. A I wonder whether AJ was insisting on it, or whether Zaun/the bench kept wanting to test it. He had over 100 pitches in just five innings.

    Joanna

    April 21, 2008 at 8:09 pm

  3. The most annoying sequence for me was when he got 2-2 on pudge and threw two curves in a row in the dirt. This is a guy who walked 9 times in 500 @#$@#$ at bats last season. He’s going to swing if you throw him anything close and isn’t really that much of a threat anymore anyway. Burnett basically forced him to take the base.

    halejon

    April 21, 2008 at 8:15 pm

  4. […] Compare that to one of his poorer nights in which half of his pitches are not even close and his breaking stuff is either right down the middle or in the dirt. […]


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