A.J. Burnett Named Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day Starter, List Immediately Improves

The Pittsburgh Pirates have made the surprise announcement that A.J. Burnett will be the 2013 Opening Day starter.  Shocking right?

Looking a bit deeper, A.J. Burnett has more career wins than any pitcher to toe the rubber on Opening Day since Tim Wakefield got the nod in 1993.

Wakefield was following up his brilliant rookie season which saw him go 8-1 and put up an ERA+ of 162.   The Buccos knuckleballer took the mound in 1993 and pitched the Pirates to an 8-4 victory before thousands of drunks at Three Rivers.

Zane Smith took the 8-0 loss against the Giants at Candlestick in 1994.

In 1995, Jon Lieber took the 6-2 loss against those pesky Montreal Expos at Three Rivers Stadium.

In 1996, Paul Wagner got the 4-0 victory over the Florida Marlins at Joe Robbie Stadium

In 1997, Jon Lieber  got the Opening Day nod again but did not factor in the win over the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park.

Back in 1998, Francisco Córdova was the victor against those Expos, avenging their knack for knocking off the Pirates on the nation’s national holiday.

In 1999, Francisco Córdova took the loss as the Expos returned the favor with a 9-2 thumping at Three Rivers.

Jason Schmidt took the loss as the 200 Bucs fell 5-2 to the Houston Astros at Three Rivers.

In 2001, Todd Ritchie was the loser in a 3-2 decision against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.

Ron Villone, sigh, was the loser as the Bucs dropped a 6-2 decision at Shea Stadium against the New York Mets in 2002.

Before most anyone knew about his wild wife, Kris Benson got the love from his Buccos teammates in a 10-1 drubbing of the Reds at Great American Ball Park.

In 2004, Kip Wells was the winner of a 2–1 decision against the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park.

The Brewers knocked around Oliver Perez and the Buccos in 2005 at PNC Park in a 9-2 win.

The Brewers knocked around Oliver Perez and the Buccos in 2006 at PNC Park in a 5-2 win.

In 2007, southpaw Zach Duke didn’t factor in the 4-2 win over the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

In 2008, Ian Snell wasn’t around when the Buccos pulled out a wild 12-11 win over the Atlanta Braves at  Turner Field.

Paul Maholm and the Pirates were victorious in 2009 over the St. Louis Cardinals Opening Day at Busch Stadium.

In 2010, Zach Duke got his first Opening Day victory as the Buccos behind the slugging of Garrett Jones downed the Dodgers 11-5 at PNC Park.

In 2011, The Win Collector Kevin Correia chalked up the first of 24 career wins as a Pirates pitcher as the Bucs downed the Cubs 6-2 at Wrigley Field.

Erik Bedard took the loss as the Bucs offense failed to show up for the 2012 lid lifter at PNC Park.  The Phillies shutout the Buccos 1-0.

Wakefield 200 career wins

A.J Burnett 137 career wins

Lieber 131 wins

Zane Smith 100 wins

Kris Benson 70 wins

Paul Maholm 66 wins

Erik Bedard 63 wins

Kevin Correia 60 wins

Oliver Perez 59 wins

Zach Duke 49 wins

Francisco Cordova 42 wins

Ian Snell 38 wins

Paul Wagner 29 wins

So what will A.J. Burnett do this year?

Topics: Pittsburgh Pirates

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  • Tj Streib

    Paul Wagner? Wow… how did HE get an Opening Day gig?

    I still remember the great Bob Patterson getting the nod over Rick Reuschel & Doug Drabek in ’87 o_O

    • http://twitter.com/rumbunter rumbunter

      now thats a blast from the past

    • Tj Streib

      PS – Wells 69 career wins (to go with 103 losses, yet eager for more), Villone 61, Ritchie 43 (how could you forget Villone? I know, we’ve all tried as well)

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