By Adam Roberts – 4/15/2021
While at home recovering from my second COVID shot yesterday, I hopped on Twitter for a little bit to follow along with the Brewers-Cubs series finale for a bit, mostly because I, like many of us, can not get the Brewers on my tv thanks to the lovely television situation keeping the team off many of our screens. But I wanted to follow this game in particular, since I have joined the chorus of Brewer fans and analysts hoping for a Cy Young-season out of pitcher Corbin Burnes. So far, he has absolutely delivered.
Yesterday, Burnes was once again dominant, striking out 10 while yielding just two hits over six innings of work, during which he also drove in a couple of runs in the sixth in the team’s 7-0 win. So far in 2021, Burnes is arguably the hottest pitcher in baseball (18 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 30 K). With regard to those final two numbers, Burnes is now just the fourth pitcher in league history to start a season with at least 30 strikeouts and no walks (#1 is Kenley Jansen, who back in 2017 struck out 51 pitchers before his first walk).
Other than the debate over replay, Burnes and his rise is the talk of baseball in our neck of the woods. ESPN did a great write up on Burnes you can read here, and in it they discuss Burnes’ transition from a four-seam fastball to the cutter. Many people associate that pitch with former Yankees’ closer Mariano Rivera, and it could easily become the dominant pitch in Burnes’ arsenal to compliment his five other offerings.
Milwaukee is off today before beginning a three-gamer against Pittsburgh tomorrow at American Family Field. In injury news, outfielder Lorenzo Cain is on the 10-day IL with a left quad strain and Christian Yelich remains out with a sore back.