36-year old A.J. Burnett just slowly walked into the Pittsburgh Pirates dugout. The Pirates stud would give up seven earned runs in just two innings pitched when he couldn’t get an out in the third inning. The guy the Bucs looked to set the tone against the St. Louis Cardinals was headed to the showers.
The ugliness was this: six Cardinals hits, four walks and no sit the fuc*s downs.
It wasn’t supposed to end like this. Two wins against the Reds when the Bucs needed them desperately. The right hander had the lowest ERA of his career, tying the mark with a sparkling 3.30. The numbers would have even been better if it weren’t for those damn St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. At Busch, the Bucs leader allowed 12 runs on 19 hits over 13.1 innings with an ERA over 8.
The Cards proved tough, but Burnett still went 3-1 with a 3.67 ERA in 34.1 innings. Just 27 hits and piling up 37 strikeouts. It looked like Burnett would shake off the Busch jinx, but it wasn’t even close.
The A.J. Burnett who pitched in Game One of the NLDS didn’t resemble the Burnett the Bucs had seen most of the season. It looked more like Burnett’s postseason history— a 5.08 ERA in seven starts.
The guy with the experience that Burnett “would be big” simply didn’t look good, couldn’t command his pitches, got zero help from his defense, and now Pittsburgh waits to see if Burnett will get another shot.
Now the Pirates are trying to battle back after Pedro Alvarez just crushed a homer, but then we just saw Jeanmar Gomez bat for himself with the team down six runs. Why Clint?