The (Tuesday) Rewind, “Roasting” A.J. Edition

As A.J. Burnett went to work last night against the Phillies, the guys in the Philadelphia radio booth were making fun of him. Rather, they were making fun of his 2014 season.

Guy A: “A.J. led the National League in walks, in losses, in runs allowed, in earned run allowed.”

Guy B: “Other than that, he threw the ball very well.”

Guys A & B: “Ha, ha, ha, ha.” … 

Burnett of course dealt with a sports hernia most of his lone season with the Phillies, and is healthy now. But that isn’t the only thing to which he attributed the difference in himself:

“I know what these guys bring out in me, there’s something about the Black & Gold. It’s my last year, so I’m just leaving it all on the line. I’m not worrying about a lot, just enjoying it.” .. 

So A.J. Burnett and one of the guys now analyzing his pitching, Bob Walk, are the only pitchers in Pirates history to start a season with seven straight without allowing more than two runs. When Walk did it in 1988, he gave up 10 earned in his ensuing two starts covering nine innings. … 

Jared Hughes is on pace for 94 appearances, but the Major League record for most games in a season is not only safe, but probably safer than even Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hit streak.

Mike Marshall made 106 appearances for the 1974 Dodgers. Not a misprint. Marshall that season also pitched 208 1/3 innings, all in relief. Also not a misprint. … 

Still, both Tony Watson’s (18) and Hughes’ (19) workloads are enough to unease Clint Hurdle whose “magic number to stay under is 75.” …

Off the top of his head, Hurdle could cite letting only one pitcher go over that number in his  first four seasons with the Bucs, recalling Jose Veras’ 79 games in 2011. But Watson was called on 78 times last season. … 

It’s not all about Starling: His move into the cleanup spot coincides with Andrew McCutchen’s awakening, so his protection of the No. 3 hitter has also been key. In the eight games thus far that they have hit back-to-back, Marte and Cutch are a combined 20-for-62 (.322), with ample power and run production. … 

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