Stats corner: Bats often quiet in Burnett's starts
Recent rough patch aside, A.J. Burnett has been both dominant and durable in 2013. Burnett is second in the National League in strikeouts per nine innings (9.97), carries a career-best 3.12 ERA and leads a banged-up Pirates' pitching staff with 891⁄3 innings pitched. The one thing Burnett seemingly can't do is get some crooked numbers from his teammates' bats.
When Burnett is on the bump, the already offensively-challenged Pirates score runs like it's still the dead ball era. Burnett has received the third-worst run support among qualified starting pitchers, with the Pirates crossing home plate an average of 2.6 times during his starts.
Not much help
Lowest run support among MLB starting pitchers
Pitcher Team R.S. Avg.
Ervin Santana Royals 2.25
Ricky Nolasco Marlins 2.31
A.J. Burnett Pirates 2.43
Kyle Lohse Brewers 2.64
Dan Haren Nationals 2.75
Compared to Burnett, James McDonald (5.17 runs of support per start), Francisco Liriano (4.33), Wandy Rodriguez (3.75) and Jeff Locke (3.42) have been spoiled. That lack of run support has tarnished Burnett's win-loss record, which stands at 4-6, and gives potent ammunition to fans and analysts who consider a pitcher's record a poor barometer of performance. Case in point: Burnett went 16-10 last year, with a higher ERA (3.51). The reason? He received an average of four runs of support in his starts.
With Burnett dealing and Pirates hitters flailing, Burnett ranks near the top of a more dubious leaderboard. He places fifth among starters in “Tough Losses,” defined by Baseball-Reference as a start in which a pitcher makes a quality start but still gets tagged with an L.
Most tough losses among starters
Pitcher Team Tough Losses
Joe Blanton Angels 5
Cole Hamels Phillies 5
James Shields Royals 5
C.J. Wilson Angels 4
A.J. Burnett Pirates 3
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.
- Rossi: Pirates plan to carry Hurdle deep into playoffs
- Volquez latest rehabbed arm to get ball on big stage for Pirates
- Pirates notebook: Martin feels ‘pretty good,’ will start vs. Giants
- Harrison’s ‘magic’ has helped to carry Pirates into MLB’s postseason
- Scouting report: Giants at Pirates
- 20 improbable Pirates wins in 2014
- Tekulve to throw out 1st pitch of Pirates’ postseason
- Mercer’s improved defense at shortstop gives Pirates a boost
- Pirates analyst Kent Tekulve recovering after heart transplant
- Rossi: No matter outcome, Pirates arrive
- Inside the decision: Pirates chose their own adventure