Double Wrought Iron Doors - It is one more matter to succumb to that particular label as readily 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 tosses with an all or nothing mentality.
Rather than seeing this weekend as the opportunity to show he can claw and scratch to keep his team in a match despite a poor start, Burnett let his emotions get the very best of him. This weekend it became evident that Burnett does not have the focus or want to toss in grind-it-out conditions. This indicates that he feels if he doesn't have a stone going by the second inning, what's the point? Why even bother?
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's every starting pitcher's job to provide his team the opportunity to win every time he takes the mound. He doesn't have to rule in every trip. Sometimes his job is to maintain the match close. Sometimes his job is to maintain his own offense within striking distance.
Most importantly, it's a starting pitcher's job to provide each time he's called on to toss to effort. This doesn't just mean physical effort. This means mental exertion. What this means is tossing to the ebbs and flows of the match. If you give up an early lead, like Burnett did on Saturday, suck it up and give your team a chance to come back. Don't let your mechanics get idle as a result of lost focus and concentration. And certainly, don't lose control of your emotions.