Burnett Shows His Class
The boos he was getting probably weren’t deserved after a good May and a 3 hit gem his last time out, but A.J. nicely alienated what few fans can see beyond the “he’s a .500 pitcher” garbage with this sarcastic hat tip after he was pulled in the fifth inning of today’s blowout against Baltimore.
Not that we didn’t know that A.J. had the maturity of a two year old Chihuahua, but I’m sure this will be fodder for call-in shows and articles for a couple of weeks (even though he later apologized)…anyway, what went wrong today? In his words:
“It started in the first inning with (Brian) Roberts,” said Burnett, who gave up a lead-off double to the Orioles second baseman to start the afternoon of misery. “I didn’t throw anything where I wanted to today, I was all over the place. When I did get ahead, I didn’t execute the curveball to get people out. I threw balls over the middle and they hit them the way they’re supposed to.”
In pitch f/x’s: Burnett was throwing gas- hitting 98 consistently for the first time this year. His Curveball was solid. The O’s just sat on his fastball because he wasn’t throwing a lot of close strikes, and when he did have to come in, left his heater above the belt too many times.
Things weren’t really that bad until the 5th (and he was coming off a 3-up-3-down 4th). After a curve right on the bottom of the strike zone, he didn’t get a fastball that should have been called a strike. It may have broken his brain, because A.J. went on to walk Huff, gave up a hit to Millar on a fastball out of the zone, and then allowed three hits on three straight fastballs, both doubles coming on pitches above the belt.
By the way, one of the reasons you often hear about why the Jays would not consider Burnett if they are out of the race at the deadline is that they will get two picks if he opts out of his contract and declares free agency. It’s still a pretty safe bet that some other team will be willing to pay him more than 11 million dollars (see: Silva, Carlos), but not at all a sure thing that he will be classified a type A. If he is a type B, the Jays just get a lousy supplemental round pick.
The Elias rankings look at the last two years and rank a pitcher based on Appearances, Innings pitched, Wins, Winning Percentage, Saves, ERA, WHIP, K’s and K/BB ratio. Last year A.J. was not a type A (6 spots short) but for next year’s ranking he gets to replace his injured 2006 season with this year. How do the two stack up? Well here’s what A.J. is on pace to do in comparison to the season he gets to forget:
Four up, four down- both considerably. Of course it depends on how the rest of the pitchers in the AL perform, but offense is down overall in 2008. A.J. needs to pick up the pace and pitch a full season, or else Jays’ fans will really have something to boo about at the end of the year.