Posted on : 22-06-2010 | By : KelsODonnell | In : Kelsey's Pinstripe Corner
We all know AJ Burnett’s ups and downs. When he’s up and just coasts through games like an ace. However, when he’s down, he is WAY down to the point where he is lost in a sea of home runs and hits. This month of June has been a real strange month for AJ. He has yet to win a game this season in the month of June.
In the month of June alone, AJ has pitched just 22 innings and has given up 29 hits, 23 runs, 11 walks, and 9 home runs. He has only struck out 14 batters and has raised his ERA to 4.83.
I had the pleasure (note the sarcasm) of witnessing in person AJ’s horrific outing against the Phillies on June 16th. Watching him was uncomfortable. He looked lost and seemed to have no idea of where he was and what he was doing. He can’t seem to locate his fastball and is having a lot of trouble hitting the corners of the plate. Because of this, he’s been throwing too many pitches over the plate which is why opposing batters are hitting off him. This is abnormal, even for AJ.
“The past hand-full of games I haven’t been able to give my team a chance right out of the gate,” says Burnett after last night’s game against Arizona. “I don’t feel like myself. I’m not having fun, I mean who would in a stretch like this? The game’s supposed to be fun, and when you come out and take the air out of your team right away for a hand-full of starts, it starts to get frustrating.”
There were some public suggestions on why AJ might be pitching this badly over the month. Last night a lot of fans were saying that maybe having Jorge Posada behind the plate doesn’t work for AJ. The fact that it was even suggested last season to begin with is just ridiculous. It is not Jorge’s fault that AJ is not making his pitches. Jorge tells AJ what to throw, and AJ is not throwing them.
Another claim was that since the absence of Dave Eiland (who took a leave for personal reasons) AJ has not been himself. If this really is the reason AJ is not pitching well then he needs to learn to work past that. He’s not always going to have Eiland around to pat him on the back.
In my opinion, AJ has up and down months, and this is his down month. Last year it came toward the end of the season and I’m hoping that June will be his down month so he can get it out of the way. In all honesty, I’d rather see him pitch badly against teams like the Diamonbacks and the O’s rather than the Red Sox and the Rays. If he performs like this against those teams, then I’ll start to panic.