Burnett Loses Again, Phillies Fall, 5-4


Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

What started off as a season of promise for A.J. Burnett, has turned into a $16 million nightmare.

The San Diego Padres prolonged the misery by beating the Phillies, 5-4.  As has been the case for most of the season, Burnett’s downfall can be directly attributed to walks.  Burnett walked four batters in the game – increasing his major league leading total to 87.

After a shaky first two innings, Burnett seemed to have settled into a groove as the game crept along.  However, the Phillies’ fortunes started to unravel with a seemingly innocuous two-out walk to Jake Goebbert.  Padres shortstop Alexi Amarista followed and promptly golfed a 2-2 curveball that just scraped the back of the right field wall.

The Padres had the lead for good and Burnett was on his way to his major league leading 17th loss.

Meanwhile, the Phillies tried to take full advantage of an unusually wild Ian Kennedy.  The Padres starter walked four and ran a lot of deep counts as he labored through a 111-pitch, 6-inning outing on a hot, humid night.

Domonic Brown lead off the scoring for the Phillies by launching his 10th home run of the season in the second inning.  That score held until the fifth, when Cameron Rupp worked a one-out walk and shortstop Freddy Galvis followed with his third home run of the campaign.

Once Burnett had the lead, he seemed to have found his groove.  He immediately followed up with a 1-2-3, bottom of the fifth inning.  That was followed by two quick outs in the sixth inning.  However, everything fell apart with the two-out walk to Goebbert.

With Tuesday night’s start, Burnett crossed the 200-inning threshold for the sixth time during his 16-year career.  Quite an accomplishment, considering he’s been pitching with a hernia since early April.  That hernia will require off-season surgery.

Then there is the talk about next season.  Tuesday night marked Burnett’s 32nd start of the season.  With that start, he now has a player-option contract for 2015 at $12.75 million.  (Another, ‘Amaro Special.’)  Burnett has given conflicting answers when pressed on his plans beyond this season.  He has to inform the Phillies of his plans one week after the conclusion of the World Series.

One night, he states that he plans on retiring.  Another night, he’s quoted that he wants to continue playing if healthy.  He will turn 38 in January and will be coming off hernia surgery.

One thing is for sure, he now has nearly 13 million reasons to pitch one more year.