Double Wide Front Doors - It is another matter to succumb to that particular label as easily as A.J. Burnett did this weekend. His behavior on Saturday was a clear indication that not only does he toss with all-or-nothing results, but he also pitches with an all-or-nothing attitude.
Instead of seeing this weekend as an opportunity to prove he can claw and scrape to keep his team in a game despite a bad beginning, Burnett let his emotions get the top of him. This weekend it became increasingly clear that Burnett doesn't have the focus or want to toss in grind-it-out situation. It appears that he feels if he really doesn't have a stone going by the second inning, what is the point? Why even bother?
At 33, Burnett should also know a few other things. He should know that most good sportsmen rise to challenges and bear down when things get tough. He should know that it's every starting pitcher's job to give his team the opportunity to win each time he takes the mound. He really doesn't have to command in every outing. Occasionally his job is to maintain the game close. Occasionally his job is to maintain his own offense within striking distance.
Most of all, itis a starting pitcher's job to give attempt every time he's called on to toss. This really doesn't merely mean physical effort. This means mental exertion. What this means is pitching to the ebbs and flows of the game. Suck it up like Burnett did on Saturday should you give up an early lead and give your team an opportunity to come back. Don't let your machinists get slack as a result of attention and lost focus. And definitely, don't lose control of your emotions.