Published on August 6th, 2012 | by James Conley0
A.J. Burnett Named NL Player of the Week
Pirates RHP A.J. Burnett has been named National League Player of the Week after collecting a pair of wins over the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds in straight starts.
Burnett pitched a complete game one-hitter in Chicago last week and followed up by coming within an out of his second straight CG Sunday in Cincinnati, helping the Pirates avoid a sweep at the hands of the NL Central-leading Reds and keeping them within 4.5 games of the division lead.
Burnett’s line over those two starts: 17.2 IP, 15 Ks, 1.02 ERA and 3 hits.
Burnett was a perfect 2-0 during the week, notching his 13th and 14th wins of the season. The veteran right-hander led the Majors with 17.2 innings pitched and tied for the Major League lead in wins. Burnett’s 15 strikeouts were the second-most by an N.L. hurler, while his 1.02 ERA ranked eighth among qualifying N.L. starters. On Tuesday, July 31st the Little Rock, Arkansas native posted a one-hit, complete-game shutout in a 5-0 win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
He followed his complete-game effort with an 8.2-inning gem on Sunday, allowing just two runs on three hits in his 20th start of the season, to give the Bucs a 6-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.
Burnett’s record now stands at 14-3 on the season, tied with four players for the MLB-lead. The Pirates have won 16 of the last 17 games Burnett has started, who himself has won his last four starts and is 7-2 following a team loss.
Burnett’s .824 win percentage ranks third in MLB and is the highest such mark of his 15-year MLB career.
Traded for this offseason, Burnett came to the Pirates at the cost of two low-level prospects and about half of his owed salary.
In turn, Burnett has rewarded Pittsburgh with one of his finest seasons as a professional.