Today has been a weird day. Everybody is coming out of the woodwork saying that they always knew A.J. Burnett was going to pitch a good and a few people seem to think that this justifies him getting a spot in the rotation throughout the rest of the playoffs.
However, Burnett was a lot luckier than good last night. Bill Petti of Beyond the Boxscore had a great take on it today.
He points out that Burnett allowed too many base runners, eight in 5.2 innings, he did not throw enough strikes, just 49 of his 81 pitches were strikes, and that he got lucky as the Tigers never got any good situational hitting.
The only positive Petti could identify was that Burnett was able to get 12 percent swinging strikes vs. his typical 10 percent. It seems like he left out a pair of amazing catches by Curtis Granderson (one which saved as many as four runs) and a big double play in the 5th.
In the end, Burnett got the job done and that’s about as much as anyone can ask for these days. But let’s please stop making too big a deal out of a guy who barely made it through the 1st inning. If CC Sabathia or even Ivan Nova started last night A.J.’s results would have been at least a little disappointing.