Double Screen Doors For Porch - It is one thing to be labeled based on your results. It is another matter to succumb to that particular label as readily as A.J. Burnett did this weekend. His behaviour on Saturday was a clear sign that not only does he pitch with all-or-nothing results, but he also pitches with an all-or-nothing attitude. And the worst part is, he shows no signals of fighting to rid himself of this label.
Instead of seeing this weekend as a chance to demonstrate he can claw and scrape to keep his team despite a bad start in a match, Burnett let his emotions get the best of him. This weekend it became increasingly obvious that Burnett does not have want or the focus to pitch in grind-it-out circumstances. It appears that he feels if he does not have a jewel going by the second inning, what is the point? Why even bother? The match is a lost cause.
At 33, Burnett should also understand a few other things. When things get tough, he should understand that most great athletes rise to challenges and bear down. He should realize that it's every starting pitcher's job to give his team an opportunity to win every time he takes the mound. He does not have to control in every outing. Sometimes his job will be to keep the match close. Sometimes his job will be to keep his own offense.
Above all, it is a starting pitcher's job to give effort every single time he is called on to pitch. This does not only mean physical effort. This means mental effort. This means pitching to the ebbs and flows of the match. Suck it up, in case you give up an early lead, like Burnett did on Saturday and give your team an opportunity to come back. Do not let your mechanics get idle as a result of concentration and lost focus. And surely, do not lose control of your emotions.