Lock For Double Door Closet - It is one more matter to succumb to that particular label as easily as A.J. Burnett did this weekend. His conduct on Saturday was a clear sign that not only does he pitch with all or nothing results, however he also pitches with an all or nothing mentality. And the worst part is, he shows no signs of fighting to rid himself.
Rather than seeing this weekend as a chance to show he can scrape and claw to maintain his team despite a bad start in a game, Burnett let his emotions get the very best of him. This weekend it became increasingly evident that Burnett does not have the focus or want to pitch in grind-it-out situation. It seems that he feels if he really doesn't have a stone going by the second inning, what is the point? Why even bother? The game is a lost cause.
At 33, Burnett should also understand some other things. When things get tough, he should understand that most good sportsmen rise to challenges and bear down. He should realize that it is every starting pitcher's job to provide his team the opportunity to win each time he takes the mound. He really doesn't have to rule in every trip. Occasionally his task will be to keep the game close. Occasionally his task will be to keep his own offense within striking distance.
Above all, it's a starting pitcher's job to provide each and every time he is called on to pitch to effort. This really doesn't just mean physical effort. Mental effort is meant by this. Suck it up, in case you give up an early lead, like Burnett did on Saturday and give your team a chance to come back. Do not let your mechanics get slack as a result of concentration and lost focus. And certainly, don't lose control of your emotions.