Pirates starter A.J. Burnett (9-7) surrendered five hits, three earned runs and four walks in 6 2/3 innings in Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Reds. He struck out nine. Burnett's final regular-season start turned out in disappointing fashion, although the 17-year veteran turned back the clock by recording nine whiffs, his second-highest total in a game in 2015. His spotty control Saturday led to four free passes and 107 pitches, his highest total in that category since a July 11 outing against the Cardinals. Burnett also uncharacteristically surrendered a homer for the third straight start, his longest streak by far in a campaign during which he has only given up 11 gopher balls overall. Although he was unable to help the Pirates clinch home-field advantage for their upcoming wild-card showdown versus the Cubs, Burnett would still figure to be a vital component of the Pirates' postseason pitching staff if they reach the Division Series.
Pirates starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (9-6) lost a pitching duel Sunday, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out five batters in a 4-0 loss to the Cubs. Burnett was undone by the brilliance of Jake Arrieta. Not only did the Cubs ace give up one hit through seven innings, he also hit a solo home run in the second inning off Burnett, accounting for the last run on the 38-year-old's ledger. Burnett's ERA has hovered around 3.15 during his previous four starts, and it remains to be seen if he will make his last scheduled start Saturday against the Reds with the playoffs looming on the horizon.
Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett improved to 9-5 as he allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings Monday against Colorado. He also struck out five. Normally, four walks and a home run signal an off day for Burnett, but he handled Coors Field about as well as can be expected. Burnett limited the Rockies to one home run by inducing eight ground balls. His ERA is steady at 3.15, which would be the best mark of his 17-year career.
Pirates SP A.J. Burnett pitched well on Wednesday, as he allowed two runs on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings while striking out seven in a no-decision against the Cubs. After a brilliant start to the season, the second half has been far less friendly. Burnett has now allowed 26 runs over his last six starts and that has raised his ERA nearly a run and a half. In any case, he still maintains a solid 3.15 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 145 2/3 innings this season. The most impressive part of his campaign is that he has only walked 39 batters, which will be a career-low rate. Burnett's next start is a scary one, as he has to travel to Coors Field to take on the Rockies next Tuesday.
Making his first start since the end of July, Pirates right-hander A.J. Burnett allowed three runs on three hits over five innings. He walked two and struck out three and was handed a no-decision in the 6-4 extra-innings loss to the Brewers. The only runs Burnett allowed on Thursday came on a three-run home run by Khris Davis in the very first inning. He was lifted after throwing 64 pitches, 38 for strikes. Burnett spent the last month and a half on the disabled list with a flexor strain in his elbow.