Don’t be surprised if A.J. Burnett follows up his nightmare outing last week in St. Louis with a dazzler tonight at PNC Park. Burnett has gone 67-41 with a 3.64 ERA when pitching in his home ballpark. He is 55-72 with a 4.63 ERA on the road. In four career starts at PNC Park, the righty is 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA.
Here’s a good Burnett-related note, courtesy of the NY Times: “When Jered Weaver threw a no-hitter, it was not the most unusual pitching line in the majors that day. In the last 30 years, 55 pitchers have thrown a no-hitter. But only give in that stretch have done what A.J. Burnett did last Wednesday in St. Louis. Burnett allowed 12 hits and 12 earned runs. The only others to do that in the last 30 seasons are Mike Oquist, Jose Lima, Jason Marquis (twice, incredibly) and Randy Wolf. All of those pitchers, at least, needed five innings or more to do it. Burnett reached those total in just 2 2-3 innings, which puts him in rare company. According to Baseball-reference.com, Burnett became the first pitcher since the Boston Braves’ Hugh Canavan to allow at least 12 hits and 12 earned runs in fewer than three innings. Canavan did it in 1918. He won no games in his career and never pitched again after that season. Burnett, of course, is a bit more accomplished. He has 122 career victories — including, yes, a no-hitter.”
»»» Chase d’Arnaud (concussion) was actitaved off the DL today @ Triple-A Indy.
»»» The Pirates have won the first game of a series just once so far this season. They are 3-5-1 in series this year.
Game 29: Nationals @ Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET
Nationals (18-10): 1. Ian Desmond ss, 2. Bryce Harper rf, 3. Ryan Zimmerman 3b, 4. Adam LaRoche 1b, 5. Danny Espinosa 2b, 6. Rick Ankiel cf, 7. Wilson Ramos c, 8. Roger Bernadina lf, 9. Edwin Jackson rhp (1-1, 3.69)
Pirates (12-16): 1. Jose Tabata lf, 2. Neil Walker 2b, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 5. Casey McGehee 1b, 6. Garrett Jones 1b, 7. Clint Barmes ss, 8. Rod Barjas c, 9. A.J. Burnett rhp (1-2, 8.04)