Close your eyes for a moment and think what the Pittsburgh Pirates pitching staff would be without A.J. Burnett. Sorry to do that to you, but Burnett has been nothing short of tremendous for the Bucs. To think about the Bucs the past two season without A.J. is just mind numbing.
Today, Burnett allowed one to leave the infield and it cost him the ballgame.
Mike McKenry couldn’t stop a pitch in the dirt and that one-out homer by Jesus Montero was all the damage the Seattle Mariners could do to Burnett. Thanks to poor offense and Felix Hernandez the Bucs did as little as possible to support their ace.
The Pirates had other opportunities namely this curious one. During a key situation, Clint Hurdle called for a safety squeeze with A.J. Burnett at the plate. It failed. Then Hurdle called for ‘the butcher boy’ where Burnett showed bunt and pulled back to slug it. It failed. Burnett couldn’t even help his own cause with Jordy Mercer on third base and one-out.
Marte broke for second base in the eighth inning with an o.k. jump, but stopped for some curious reason. TOOTBLAN ensued.
Simple mistakes cost the Pirates, perhaps it was failed execution. In tight games, it always comes down to the little things and the Bucs didn’t do the little things well. Burnett struckout nine and walked four. Burnett was perfect through three innings and then threw 29 pitches in the fourth inning.
After the game, this is what Burnett had to say.
It was fun out there. I battled, walked a couple of guys. You hate to look at one pitch. What can you say… it was a pitcher’s duel. A.J. Burnett
Even though Burnett allowed just one ball to leave the infield.
The Pirates are 18-15 and head to New York to take on the Mets.