A.J. Burnett allowed his first spring training runs this afternoon. He allowed a leadoff single in the second inning, then threw a “decent” pitch to Michael Morse, and Morse hit it out to right field.
Burnett retired the next nine batters.
“I got hit, gave up the bomb, and I didn’t care,” Burnett said. “I was there to get back on the mound and get the next three guys out one at a time. I’m not going to be perfect all the time — we all know that — so it was good to get out of the stretch and make some pitches after they scored a couple.”
Burnett said he finally found his curveball today, and he was pretty happy with the few changeups he threw, but there’s rarely been any doubt about his stuff. For him, this spring is about consistency on the mound and in his head. How many times has his lead foot landed in the wrong spot this spring?
“Handful,” he said. “But it’s a difference of how I’m reacting to that. Just let it go. If you fall off and miss, who cares? Don’t let the hitter know you (didn’t mean) to do it, but who cares? Get on the mound and throw your next pitch. That’s what I’ve been doing. It’s not a fall off and then the wheels start turning. It’s not a fly open or a swing and the wheels start turning.”
Four innings allowing two hits, no walks and four strikeouts is a nice, solid spring outing. For Burnett, this is all a step-by-step process, and spring training is just the beginning.
“By no means am I happy or content right now,” he said. “I’ve got a long way to go, and I know that. Everything is different under the lights. It’s preparing right now to get there. Everything feels great so far.”
Here’s the Burnett audio. Turns out, Sweeny Murti put him up to a little joke, trying to get him to randomly snap at a reporter for no reason. Burnett tried to pull it off, but immediately started laughing and asked Sweeny if he got the right guy. That Sweeny Murti. You can’t trust him. I’ve always said that.
Associated Press photo