Burnett’s Curveball (Again)
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.