A.J. Burnett spent three years in Toronto, the latter of which was 2008, the year he set his career high in wins with 18.
Well, the way the guy is pitching right now, 18 looks like it's going to be equaled sometime during the month of August.
A.J.'s last two starts have been incredible. A no-hit bid in Chicago broken up with 2 outs in the 8th inning, and today a 3 hit masterpiece in which he retired 18 straight until walking 2 batters after 2 outs in the 9th.
Currently, he's 14-3 with a 3.19 ERA. Yes, that's a 3.19 ERA which includes the May 2nd start in which he gave up 12 earned runs in 2.2 innings. Forget that start, and his ERA is 2.42.
I was fortunate enough to find this card at the National...$4. 2007 SPx Winning Materials. I found this among many boxes of relics/autos at the Dave & Adam's booth. They had everything marked down in those boxes to $4, and I was fortunate enough to find 7 cards that fit my collection(s) quite well.
This is one that I jumped at, one because it features A.J. as a Blue Jay, and 2nd because he has really helped change the culture in the Pirates clubhouse. The interview he did with the local TV crew after the Chicago start really made me a believer. The first question to him was "what did you think of your performance tonight?" The answer started with "We won the ballgame". Professional. A.J. gets it, and I think that attitude is rubbing off on the entire clubhouse, which is why the Pirates are sitting in the thick of the wild card race right now.
There's still 8 weeks left in the season, and if Clint Hurdle can keep pushing the right buttons the way he has for the Pirates over the first 107 games, the Pirates may be playing something they haven't played in 20 years.
A meaningful game in October...
I'm sure A.J. would be happy with that...
thanks for reading, Robert