A few days after his April 11 start against the Marlins in which he couldn’t get through the fifth inning, Phillies starter A.J. Burnett was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. He said he would pitch through the rest of the season with it rather than undergo surgery.
So far, so good. Burnett picked up his first win of the season with eight shutout innings against the Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon, giving him three consecutive quality outings since his diagnosis:
- April 17 vs. Braves: 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K (no-decision win)
- April 22 at Dodgers: 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 5 K (no-decision win)
- April 27 at Diamondbacks: 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 8 K (win)
- Total: 21 2/3 IP, 2 ER (0.83 ERA), 14 H, 3 BB, 18 K
Thus begins the trend of pitchers intentionally giving themselves inguinal hernias in order to pitch better.