Ladies and gentlemen, your Philadelphia Phillies are now 0-1 this season without Cody Asche on the roster. This can only be considered a travesty.
But while Asche heads to work in left field in AAA, the big club trudges on without him. On this night, former Phil A.J. Burnett dominated like it was an early-aughts Phils-Marlins contest at Pro Player Stadium, en route to a 7-2 Pittsburgh win.
That's right. That guy who acted like he didn't even really want to play baseball anymore has coyly and quietly gone about his business thus far to the tune of a 1.60 ERA in 2015. Burnett allowed just one earned run over seven innings, walking one and striking out five to earn his second win of the year.
Sean O'Sullivan made his first start for the Phils since April 17, lasting five innings. He left the game trailing 3-0 following a Josh Harrison three-run homer.
In what seems to be a bit of a trend over the last few games for the Phils, they got close before letting things slip away. After the Phillies got within one, Luis Garcia entered from the bullpen to pitch a seventh inning that was, in a word, disastrous.
Garcia was tagged for four runs, including a two-run bomb to center field off the bat of Andrew McCutchen. Much of the pain was self-inflicted, as Garcia also walked two batters in the inning. Ryne Sandberg may need to rethink how he uses this whole bullpen thing.
As the Pirates telecast noted, Grady Sizemore had a .353 career BA against Burnett, so it was a tad curious that Jeff Francoeur got the start in right field. Francoeur did not have a hit in the game.
In the "Is Chase Utley alive?" update, most signs point to yes for another night. Chase did have a hit, reached on an error on a relatively hard hit ball, and picked up an RBI on a groundout to second. Positive thoughts, folks. Chase now has a four-game hitting streak.
All roads led back to Burnett on this night though. Son of a gun really considered retirement? He isn't showing any signs of being a guy close to retiring. His off-speed stuff looked great, his fastball seemed vibrant, and now we can all go back to hating him just like we did for so many years. It feels good.