September 08, 2011
Whether it's because of mental lapses like forgetting to step on first base to finish a double play or hanging a sinker that Nolan Reimold(notes) smacked out for a two-run homer, Burnett frequently seems to beat himself and cost the New York Yankees in the process.
Perhaps there's no better example of this than Burnett's penchant for throwing wild pitches.
It was also the eighth time Burnett threw three wild pitches in a game. And that put him in an exclusive club of one.
According to Baseball-Reference, only four pitchers had seven games in their careers during which they'd thrown at least three wild pitches. With Wednesday's performance, Burnett broke free from the foursome. He can now say he was better than Nolan Ryan in at least one aspect of the game.
This record should be safe for Burnett for quite a while. No current pitcher is among the 15 who had four games with three wild pitches. Burnett also tends to bunch these types of games together in one season. He had four such games in 2009, and now has two in 2011.
Will Burnett get another chance this season to pad his wild-pitch total? Yankees manager Joe Girardi recently backtracked from his intention to trim the team's starting rotation from six pitchers to five. But how many more chances is he willing to give a pitcher with one win in his last 12 starts and who's tinkering with new mechanics in September?