AJ Burnett took the mound for his debut as a Pittsburgh Pirate last night, and showed the fans that he is ready willing and able to be a solid starter for the Bucs. After a really shaky start in which he walked the first batter, allowed a base hit, and then walked the third batter Burnett remained focused. He didn't let the jam he pitched himself into rattle him at all. As a matter of fact it seemed to fuel him, because from that point out he threw lights out baseball for seven shutout innings to collect the 2-0 win over the defending World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals.
Burnett received some help from someone I think of as an unlikely source of hits and runs..... Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez collected both RBI's for Pittsburgh by hitting in Andrew McCutchen in the 4th inning and again in the 6th inning. Alvarez ended his day going 2-4, which is a huge improvement for Pedro. I will give credit when credit is due, his two hits came at the perfect times with McCutchen in scoring position. It would be great to see Alvarez continue to build off of what he did in this game but until he becomes more consistent I will continue to doubt him.
Jake Westbrook (2-1) collected the loss for the Cardinals, Burnett (1-0) claimed the win, and Joel Hanrahan notched his second save of the season.
Erik Bedard faces Kyle Lohse today at PNC Park when these two teams face off again to see who will claim game three of the three game series.