True Double Sliding Door Cooler - It's one more 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, however he also pitches with an all or nothing attitude.
Rather than seeing this weekend as the opportunity to demonstrate he can scrape and claw to help keep his team in a match despite a bad start, Burnett let his emotions get the very best of him. This weekend it became clear that Burnett does not have the focus or desire to toss in grind-it-out conditions. It seems that he feels if he really doesn't have a gem going by the second inning, what's the point? The match is a lost cause.
At 33, Burnett should also know some other things. He should know that most good athletes rise to challenges and bear down when things get tough. He should be aware that it is the job to give his team a chance to win every time he takes the mound of every starting pitcher. He really doesn't have to command in every outing. Occasionally his task is to maintain the match close. Occasionally his task is to maintain his own offense.
Most of all, itis a starting pitcher's job to give attempt every time he is called on to toss. This really doesn't only mean physical effort. This means mental exertion. Suck it up, like Burnett did on Saturday if you give up an early lead and give your team a chance to come back. Do not let your machinists get idle as a result of concentration and lost focus. And definitely, don't lose control of your emotions.