October 31, 2010
He also put himself in a strong position to challenge a dubious World Series record set just last year.
Three games into this year's Fall Classic, Pat Burrell is now 0-for-9 with eight strikeouts and two walks. Those eight strikeouts are already just five shy of the record 13 set by his former Philadelphia Phillies teammate Ryan Howard(notes) last year. Willie Wilson of the Kansas City Royals held the record previous to that with twelve in 1980. Both men reached those totals in six games apiece.
Setting that record might be the furthest thing from Burrell's mind right now, but the Giants left fielder knows that he's not in a good place offensively right now.
He also knew that his struggles would attract attention from the public. "Looking for me?" Burrell asked when he entered the Giants' clubhouse to find a horde of media surrounding his locker.
To his credit, Burrell stood up and was accountable for his performance so far.
"My night wasn't good," he said. "(Four strikeouts) is not exactly how you draw it up when you've got your pregame routine going. I picked a bad time to struggle, there's no way around it.
"I'm getting pitches to hit, I'm just not doing anything with them."
Everyone goes through stretches like this. In fact, Burrell went through one slump exactly like this one in the 2008 World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. He began that series 0-for-13 with five strikeouts before doubling in his final at-bat.
I'm not sure manager Bruce Bochy would be mindful of those past struggles against American League pitching, but just based on what he's seeing before his eyes right now, one might wonder if he would consider giving Burrell a day to clear his mind.
Bochy was non-committal on that topic after the game — we'll have to wait until Sunday afternoon to see his next lineup — but he did offer his own assessment of Burrell's situation at the plate:
"His timing is off, probably a little bit, which happens," Bochy said. "(But) you know, he's a big reason why we're here, with the huge hits he's gotten. You hope he comes out of it."
When informed about Bochy thinking his timing was off, Burrell laugh and then replied, "Yeah, I'd say so."
It's something we can all apparently agree on.
'Duk contributed to this post on location from Arlington.