With a strikeout of Harrison Bader in the second inning, Brewers starter Corbin Burnes set a major league record for the most strikeouts without a walk to begin the season. The previous record of 51 was held by Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen in 2017.
Congratulations to Burnes on this remarkable achievement and bravo to David Stearns for not listening to armchair GMs and sticking with Burnes after a disaster of a 2019 season.
Why in the world would any General Manager give up on a home-grown 24-year-old with a 96-mile per hour cuter making less than $500,000 per year? That’s what many fans were calling for in 2019.
Could you imagine if Burnes entrance into the history books happened for another team?
In one year, Burnes went from an 8.82 ERA (2019) to receiving Cy Young Award votes (2020). He hired a mental performance coach and his 96-miler per hour cuter is part of a 5-pitch mix that leaves hitters helpless at the plate.
Major League Baseball players are cream of the baseball crop. Still, young players continue to develop long after a major league jersey is worn for the first time.
Burnes – now 26 and making just over $600,000 – is a classic example.
I know, it’s not an easy thing to remember, but patience is a virtue.