First Pitch

First Pitch: If That’s All For A.J. Burnett…

First Pitch: If That’s All For A.J. Burnett…

Tonight might have been the final start for A.J. Burnett with the Pirates. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Tonight may have been the final start for A.J. Burnett in a Pirates uniform.

There's the chance that he could pitch in the playoffs, but that can only happen if the Pirates win the Wild Card game against the Reds on Tuesday.

There's a chance he could return next year, but that's not a guarantee.

If this was the final start for Burnett, then he went out with a bang. He absolutely dominated the Reds, putting the Pirates up 1-0 in a huge series that will have big implications on the Wild Card game next week. That's pretty much what you want an ace to do. Francisco Liriano might be the ace of the staff this year, but ever since he was acquired, Burnett has been the leader of the pitching staff, and one of the leaders of the team. Tonight was the stuff of a leader.

Prior to Burnett, the Pirates had a ridiculous run where they saw a starting pitcher post strong numbers one ye...

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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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