Interior Sliding Double French Doors - It's yet another matter to succumb to that 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, however he also pitches with an all-or-nothing mentality. And the worst part is, he shows no signals of fighting to rid himself of this label.
Rather than seeing this weekend as a chance to prove he can claw and scratch to maintain his team in a game despite a poor beginning, Burnett let his emotions get the very best of him. This weekend it became obvious that Burnett doesn't have the focus or want to toss in grind-it-out circumstances. This indicates that he feels if he really doesn't have a gem going by the second inning, what's the point? Why even bother?
At 33, Burnett should also know a few other things. He bear down when things get tough and should know that most good athletes rise to challenges. He should know that it is every starting pitcher's job to provide his team a chance to win each time he takes the mound. He really doesn't have to dominate in every excursion. Sometimes his job would be to keep the game close. Sometimes his job would be to keep his own offense within striking distance.
Most of all, it is a starting pitcher's job to provide effort every single time he is called on to toss. This really doesn't just mean physical effort. Mental effort is meant by this. What this means is tossing 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 mechanics get slack as a result of concentration and lost focus. And definitely, do not lose control of your emotions.