Double Swing Glass Door Lock - It's something to be labeled based on your results. It's another thing 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 tosses with an all or nothing mentality.
Rather than seeing this weekend as a chance to show he can claw and scrape to keep his team in a match despite a poor start, Burnett let his emotions get the top of him. This weekend it became apparent that Burnett does not have the focus or want to toss in grind-it-out circumstances. It appears that he feels if he does not have a jewel going by the second inning, what's the point?
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 understand that it is the job to give his team the opportunity to win each time he takes the mound of every starting pitcher. He does not have to rule in every outing. Occasionally his job is to keep the match close. Occasionally his job is to keep his own offense within striking distance.
Above all, it's a starting pitcher's job to give effort each and every time he is called on to toss. This does not only mean physical effort. Mental exertion is meant by this. This means tossing to the ebbs and flows of the match. Like Burnett did on Saturday in case you give up an early lead, suck it up and give your team the opportunity to come back. Don't let your mechanics get slack as a result of concentration and lost focus. And certainly, don't lose control of your emotions.