Stat Line Of The Night — 7/31/12 — A.J. Burnett
Approximately one month prior to the start of the 2012 MLB season, many of us were getting quite the laugh out of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett. Not only was he coming off consecutive poor seasons with the New York Yankees (a combined 21-26 record and an ERA over 5.00), but he also managed to bunt a ball into his own face, causing him to miss the first couple weeks of the season.
Now, approximately five months later, it is Burnett who is doing the laughing. And what exactly is he laughing about? Well, for starters, he entered last night’s game against the Chicago Cubs with a 12-3 record and a 3.52 ERA. And he improved upon those numbers dramatically with what was certainly his best performance of the season.
Burnett recorded his first complete-game shutout of the season, as he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, and finished with a one-hitter during the Pirates’ 5-0 victory. The 35-year-old’s no-hit bid was broken up with two outs in the eighth, when pinch-hitter Adrian Cardenas hit a single to right field. Burnett would finish the game with eight strikeouts and just two walks, as he earns “The Stat Line of the Night” for Tuesday, July 31, 2012.