A.J. Burnett may be done pitching past Saturday
Sep 21, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (34) pitches during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
The Atlanta Braves may the last team A.J. Burnett ever faces in professional baseball, and in 16 seasons he’s never really been sharp against them.
In 23 lifetime appearances against Atlanta, Burnett owns a 5-13 record with a 4.17 ERA. He’s 0-1 in two starts against the Braves already this season and hasn’t beaten them since 2008. In 12 innings against them in 2014 he’s allowed six earned runs, but has issued just three walks to Atlanta batters despite owning a National-League high 93 walks.
Burnett has been bested by several Braves on the currently roster, outfielder Jason Heyward most of all. In 14 at bats against Burnett, Heyward has six hits – two of them home runs – not to mention four RBIs as well as a walk.
Should the 37-year-old Burnett be making his last career start Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park, he’ll undoubtedly want to pick up a win. Burnett has a career-high 17 losses this season, but has won 155 games playing with five different teams. The righty also owns 155 career wild pitches which are the most for any active pitcher and 32nd all-time. His 2,636 strikeouts have him ranked second among active pitchers and 43rd on the all-time list.
The Philadelphia Phillies will look to put on a show as they try to win at home for just the 38th time in 2014. They’ll face a veteran themselves, 36-year-old Aaron Harang, who is 1-1 in three starts against the Phillies this season.
Marlon Byrd and Ryan Howard have each his three home runs off Harang. Howard has hit just seven of his 22 season home runs in the second half.
Philadelphia is a lock for dead last in the NL East while Atlanta is currently in a three-way tie for second in the division with the Miami Marlins and New York Mets.