A.J. Burnett pitched another gem on Monday night for the Phillies in their 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals. Burnett struck out 12 batters in seven innings of one-run ball to win his seventh game of the season. With this 12-strikeout performance, Burnett set a major league record. He became the first player to record a 12 strikeout game for five different teams.
This is the tenth time in his career that he has struck out at least 12 batters in a game. His career high is 14, which is also the Marlins’ team record.
Burnett first struck out 12 batters on July 27, 2002 while with the Marlins against the Montreal Expos. On August 29, 2004, Burnett set his career high in strikeouts with 14 against the Colorado Rockies. He struck out 13 Reds on April 22, 2005. Later that season on July 6th against the Brewers, Burnett turned in his final 12K game as a Marlin with 14.
He recorded the only back-to-back 12K games in his career on June 1st and 7th of 2007 while with the Blue Jays. He struck out 12 White Sox on the first, and 13 Rays on the 7th. His other 12K game as a Blue Jay came on August 19, 2008 against the New York Yankees.
His next 12K game came as a Yankee on August 27, 2009 against the Texas Rangers.
Burnett’s 12K game as a Pirate came last year on September 21st against the Reds.
Last year with the Pirates, Burnett tied a career best with a 3.30 ERA, and set a career best with 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings. The Phillies signed him for $15 million this year with an option for next year. That high price likely kept anyone from trading for him.
That and Burnett leads the National League with 14 losses, and his ERA is a full run higher than last year at 4.30. His K/9 ratio has also dipped to 7.9, the lowest in his career since 2009 with the Yankees.
Burnett is 154-146 in his 16 major league season with a 4.01 career ERA. He has also struck out 2,337 batters, and has eclipsed the 200 strikeout plateau three times. Last year with the Pirates, he became the first right handed pitcher in franchise history to record more than 200 strikeouts in a season.