Just a couple of starts ago, I was yelling for AJ Burnetts head, as he would yield eight runs in five innings to the Milwaukee Brewers. However, after these past two starts, Burnett has shown that he still has his best stuff.
Just a start removed from his best of the 2008 season, Burnett came in today looking to give the Jays a series win over the Atlanta Braves. Only the opposing pitcher, Jo-Jo Reyes stood in his way.
Through the first five innings, both pitchers were tied, but the sixth inning defined the game. With two outs and runners on first and second in a scoreless game, AJ Burnett was in a tough battle with Braves catcher Brian McCann. McCann was hanging in there, fouling off pitch after pitch. However, on the tenth pitch of the at-bat, Burnett would blow a fastball right by McCann, pumping his fist in the air after McCann missed with a big swing.
This would prove to be important. Scutaro would lead off the Jays half of the sixth with a single. Rios then proceeded Scutaro by ripping a double down the third base line. The play would be close at home but Scutaro managed to slide under the tag, scoring the only run the Jays would need.
Burnett would ultimately finish with a season-high 11 K's through seven innings of work, and he would give up zero runs. Scott Downs pitched a perfect eighth for his 26th straight inning without giving up a run, and BJ Ryan would come in to end the game in the ninth for his 16th save.
Player of the game: AJ Burnett 7 IP, 11 K, 4 BB, 4 H, 0 ER.
Next up: Roy Halladay (8-6) takes on R.A. Dickey (2-3) and the last place Seattle Mariners.