Loss in Pirates finale doesn't mar Burnett's year
A.J. Burnett walked off the mound in the sixth inning with his team down, but the PNC Park crowd rose to its feet and the veteran right-hander waved his cap in appreciation as he headed to the dugout.
Burnett was criticized often during his turbulent three-year tenure with the Yankees but reinvented himself after being traded to the Pirates in February with two years left on a five-year, $82.5 million deal.
“To have (the fans) stand up like that once again on a day when things didn't go right, it's special,” Burnett said. “Obviously we didn't end up where we wanted to, but I think coming here helped me find myself and helped me get back to loving the game again.”
Burnett, 35, opened the season on the disabled list, then amassed a 10-2 record with a 3.68 ERA during the season's first half. Following a 12-run, 12-hit, 2 2⁄3-inning disaster in St. Louis on May 2, he didn't lose another decision until July 15.
He nearly no-hit the Cubs on July 31 and in his next start Aug. 5 at Cincinnati defeated the Reds when the Pirates were still second in the NL Central and very much in the pennant race. Burnett was named the NL Player of the Week on Aug. 6.
As the Pirates tailed off, so did Burnett. He won two of his last nine decisions, including a 10-6 victory over the Dodgers in which he told Hanley Ramirez to “sit the (heck) down.”
He finished with 16 wins, the second most of his career and two shy of matching the 18 he won with Toronto in 2008.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle believes the success Burnett had this season re-awakened the veteran.
“The things he still wants are still out there, and the fact that he scratched the surface of getting a no-hitter, that got the hair up on his neck,” Hurdle said. “The fact that people were talking about him for a short period for the Cy Young, that got the hair up on his neck. There are still golden rings on that merry-go-round that this man wants to grab.”
Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7980 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers’ Martavis Bryant facing four-game suspension
- Pennsylvania warming to bring ‘profound’ changes, Penn State report says
- Animal Rescue League, miffed at Vick signing, moves gala from Heinz Field
- Class AAAA breakdown: Wealth of talent places target on Central Catholic
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin leaving `light on’ for injured players
- Penguins notebook: Crosby most excited by Kessel’s footspeed
- Pirates notebook: Hurdle mulling rotation options
- New football uniforms can change perceptions, help establish identity of new program
- Gorman: Don’t judge WPIAL by the cover
- Kane: Emails released not everything she wants to make public
- Two flown from Bullskin accident scene