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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

A.J. Burnett takes no-hitter into eighth inning in Pirates’ 5-0 victory

Burnett took the no-hit bid into the eighth. And with each borderline pitch, the 33,158 at Wrigley Field oohed and aahed, egging on the right-handed veteran to make a run at history. After Adrian Cardenas singled to right on a line drive over Neil Walker’s head, the crowd rose to its feet to applaud Burnett.

Close, but no cigar.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 01, 2012 at 12:39 PM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: chicago, cubs, history, no-hitters, pirates, pittsburgh

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   1. McCoy Posted: August 01, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4198320)
Well, this is a little late.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 01, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4198324)
It was still stupid of the Pirates to pick him up. Even if he pitches well, he takes them from what, 75 wins to 78 wins?

I have been in a cave for the last four months, with only CAIRO projections to read.
   3. McCoy Posted: August 01, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4198339)
In terms of difficulty what is the difference between 2011 AL East and 2012 NL Central? I wouldn't be surprised if AJ's good 2012 is a lot closer to his bad 2011 than many people think.
   4. Tippecanoe Posted: August 01, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4198365)
FWIW, Burnett was 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA vs. the AL during interleague play.
   5. Greg K Posted: August 01, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4198369)
Not sure what it has to do with anything, but in his three years in New York he threw 58 wild pitches and hit 38 batters, and has 3 of each so far this year.

Is there passed ball data for pitchers? I know catchers always have WP and PB number put together on their b-ref stat lines.
   6. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 01, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4198379)
In his three years with the Yankees, Burnett was 5-6 with a 5.24 ERA (regular season only) versus NL teams.
   7. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 01, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4198384)
It must be because of Rod Barajas's amazing game-calling skills and calming influence.

Also, I haven't seen a single mention here of the Pirates' "Zoltan Z" gesture, a phenomenon that should be sweeping the nation like the Red Sox's "Cowboy up", the 2009 Brewers' shirt-untucking ritual, and Quentin Richardson's antenna thing all rolled into one.

Here's a brief primer.
   8. zonk Posted: August 01, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4198386)
Not sure what it has to do with anything, but in his three years in New York he threw 58 wild pitches and hit 38 batters, and has 3 of each so far this year.

Is there passed ball data for pitchers? I know catchers always have WP and PB number put together on their b-ref stat lines.


That probably has a big role -- but you can also look at his K/BB and BB/9 number -- his K/BB ratio has gone from 2.01, 1.86, and 2.08 in NYY to 2.76 in PIT; while his BB/9 number has gone from 4.2, 3.8, and 3.9 to 2.7. His HR/9 rate has also basically been halved.

Marry that with his WP/PB and HBP numbers and I think the answer is pretty simple.... he's pitching a lot better. When you walk better than 1 fewer per 9, throw a ton few WPs, hit a ton fewer batters, and chop your HR rate in half -- you're going to have a much better season.
   9. aleskel Posted: August 01, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4198411)
Not sure what it has to do with anything, but in his three years in New York he threw 58 wild pitches and hit 38 batters, and has 3 of each so far this year

The weird thing is, Burnett's WP went UP in 2011 from 2009-2010, even though he was pitching to a markedly better catcher (Posada was absolutely hopeless at blocking balls in the dirt toward the end). Maybe he really was just totally screwed up (mechanically and/or mentally) in NY.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: August 01, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4198437)
What's wrong with those Wrigley fans? It's been nearly 50 years since the Cubs have been no-hit -- we ain't got much to cling to, I am never gonna root for an opposing pitcher to throw a no-hitter against the Cubs. So Adrian Cardenas -- new Cub hero!! -- is available.

And over 31,000? Really? Was it 30,000 Pirate fans because that would explain the first bit too.

On Burnett ... did the Pirates just simplify? "Hey, AJ -- y'know that pitch you keep throwing past the catcher and walking guys on? Maybe we should stop throwing that one."
   11. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 01, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4198446)

On Burnett ... did the Pirates just simplify?


Unless an injury is involved, I usually chalk something like this up to game planning and pitch sequencing. The Pirates plan and pitch sequences are better tuned to A.J.'s strengths than whatever the Yankees were doing. Burnett obviously talented, it never made sense he wasn't better in New York. They were probably just using him wrong.

Obviously just speculation on my part. I was a fastball/change up pitcher with shitty breaking stuff. If my manager or catcher decided that I need to attack these guys with curve balls, I was going to have a problem. Coversations like: "This guy can't hit a good curve ball". "Well, I can't throw a good curve ball so I guess we're even".
   12. booond Posted: August 01, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4198449)
Pirates can play defense, too.
   13. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 01, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4198453)
The Pirates have been awful at catching base stealers (less than 10%), but stealers are 23-0 against Burnett. They went 31-0 against him in 2007, which is the last time his WHIP was this low.
   14. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 01, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4198459)
And with each borderline pitch, the 33,158 at Wrigley Field oohed and aahed, egging on the right-handed veteran to make a run at history. After Adrian Cardenas singled to right on a line drive over Neil Walker’s head,


...it was confirmed that AJ Burnett is a choker.
   15. Tippecanoe Posted: August 01, 2012 at 06:40 PM (#4198460)
It has been so successful that it makes you wonder whether the Pirates had a specific idea about how to fix Burnett's mechanics.

EDIT: I mean before they signed him.
   16. Loren F. Posted: August 01, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4198530)
Maybe something happened to Burnett's mechanics before the 2010 season. Because in this "comeback" season with the Pirates he's pitching about as well as he did in 2009, his first year with the Yankees.
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4198551)
Maybe something happened to Burnett's mechanics before the 2010 season. Because in this "comeback" season with the Pirates he's pitching about as well as he did in 2009, his first year with the Yankees.


Nah, all his peripherals (including UER, of which he's only allowed one) show he's been better this year. And while every start counts, his third outing is really doing a lot of heavy lifting on his overall numbers (negatively speaking). More than one-quarter of the runs he's allowed on the year were in that single, take-one-for-the club outing.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4198560)
"This guy can't hit a good curve ball". "Well, I can't throw a good curve ball so I guess we're even".

That's what I meant in my speculation. Something like "hey, AJ, ever notice that 65% of your sliders are outside the zone, including the 30 that got past the catcher, and the ones in the zone get hammered? What do you way we throw fewer of those?"
   19. Jason Michael(s) Bourn Identity Crisis Posted: August 02, 2012 at 07:19 AM (#4198666)
IIRC, Burnett has stated that the Yankees had him change his mechanics to help improve his command (LOL). I assume he went back to his pre-Yankee routine, and even though the velocity hasn't returned, he seems to now have better command than at any previous point in his career.

If I can find the quote later I will link it.
   20. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 02, 2012 at 07:40 AM (#4198669)
Also, I haven't seen a single mention here of the Pirates' "Zoltan Z" gesture


And a brief window of opportunity opens for Patriots' punter Zoltan Mesko to sign a lucrative endorsement contract in Pittsburgh.
   21. McCoy Posted: August 02, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4198907)
I wonder how much of it has to do with catcher framing. All I know is that in his no-hitter bid he was getting a lot of borderline calls for strikes. Of course that generally happens in no hit bids, that's why they become no hit bids. It could very well have been just that game but I do wonder how much of his change is because of the catcher.
   22. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 02, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4198918)
I'm almost hoping for a Pirates-Yankees World Series, where AJ "can't handle the pressure" Burnett goes something like 3-0, 1.42 in the World Series, shutting them out in Game 7 to slam the door, a la Kenny Rogers.

   23. mex4173 Posted: August 02, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4199010)
I'm glad Burnett is doing well with the Pirates. Once he left Toronto there was a tendency to scapegoat him or use him against J.P. Ricciardi's time as GM. Despite meeting expectations and leaving for a big offer, he was singled out in a more personal way than regular "signing X typified failed GM Y." It was especially over the top because he had arrived as a free agent to begin with.
   24. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 02, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4199021)
I'm almost hoping for a Pirates-Yankees World Series, where AJ "can't handle the pressure" Burnett goes something like 3-0, 1.42 in the World Series, shutting them out in Game 7 to slam the door, a la Kenny Rogers.
Well, if they let AJ use pine tar on the ball too...
   25. Sunday silence Posted: August 02, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4199134)
Of course that generally happens in no hit bids, that's why they become no hit bids.


Bruce Froemming drops in to scream: "Ball Four!"
   26. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 02, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4199146)
Now aged 35, AJ Burnett has become the first player to develop a face that makes him look like a grizzled veteran, while having a body covered with garish tattoos.
   27. zonk Posted: August 02, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4199166)
Bruce Froemming drops in to scream: "Ball Four!"


Great... now I know why Milt Pappas suddenly appeared began pissing in my ear.
   28. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 02, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4199189)
Now aged 35, AJ Burnett has become the first player to develop a face that makes him look like a grizzled veteran, while having a body covered with garish tattoos.


I think Jason Giambi got there first.
   29.  Hey Gurl Posted: September 23, 2012 at 01:38 AM (#4243414)
It was still stupid of the Pirates to pick him up. Even if he pitches well, he takes them from what, 75 wins to 78 wins?

I have been in a cave for the last four months, with only CAIRO projections to read.


Heh.

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