The Brewers figured 2021 was going to be a good year for Corbin Burnes. But did anyone think it would start off this good?
Through two starts, Corbin Burnes has positively dazzled on the mound, allowing just two hits, one run, and zero walks through 12.1 IP with 20 strikeouts. He carried a no-hit bid through 6.1 IP in his first start, and then had 6 IP of no hits allowed after a leadoff triple against the Cardinals. If Christian Yelich had made that diving catch, it would’ve been another no-hit bid.
It turns out that the run Burnes is on to start the year is not just great, it’s historically great, and puts him on a very short list.
Pitchers to have CONSECUTIVE outings of 6+ IP, 0 BB and no more than 1 H allowed
Corbin Burnes (2021)*
Hal Brown (1963)
Cy Young (1904)
*First two outings of the season.
— Jason Catania (@JayCat11) April 8, 2021
In the entire history of baseball, the list of pitchers to have consecutive outings of at least six innings, one hit or less, and no walks has just three people on it, including Burnes. One of the others, is Cy Young. The Cy Young. The one the award was named after.
Burnes is the only one to have done that in his first two outings of the season and the only one to do so as a starter. He’s in a class all his own.
An unfortunate stat to go along with this is that Burnes did not get the win in either of these games, taking a loss in his first start and a no-decision in his second one.
Corbin Burnes’ 2 starts for the @Brewers in 2021:
6.1 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 11 K (L)
6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 9 K (ND)
No other pitcher in the modern era has had 2 starts in his entire career in which he had 9+ K, 0 BB & 1 or fewer hits allowed & yet didn’t get the W (let alone 2 in a row).
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) April 8, 2021
No one else has two starts in their entire career with that stat line and didn’t end up with the win. Burnes has done that two games in a row.
Since rejoining the Brewers rotation last year, Corbin Burnes has arguably been the best starting pitcher in all of baseball.
Corbin Burnes started 2020 in the rotation. His first start was a little short, and then he was the second half of a piggyback with Brett Anderson for a few turns. Then when a spot opened up in the rotation, Burnes seized it and has not loosened his grip since.
Just take a look at these numbers.
Where Corbin Burnes ranks in all of baseball since last August when he rejoined the Brewers’ rotation:
ERA: 1st (1.45)
FIP: 1st (1.52)
fWAR: 1st (2.7)
WHIP: 1st (0.79)
HR/FB: 1st (5.6 percent)
K-BB%: 2nd (33 percent)
— Will Sammon (@WillSammon) April 9, 2021
Burnes has been untouchable in his starts since last August. He began a push for the Cy Young award last year but fell a little short. This year, he’s off to a fantastic start.
It’d be nice if the Brewers weren’t 0-2 in the games he’s started this year, but the offense is another issue. Focusing back on Burnes, the stretch he has been on should put him squarely into the heart of Brewers lore.
Back in 2008, CC Sabathia was untouchable and had an incredible stretch, and Burnes is being even more dominant than that. Burnes has a streak of striking out at least five while allowing three or fewer runs of 14 consecutive outings, which is the longest streak in Brewers franchise history.
Corbin Burnes is on an absolutely incredible run right now, and he seems to be getting better each time out. It’s early in the season, but Burnes is placing himself as a frontrunner for the NL Cy Young this year.
Since rejoining the rotation last August, the Brewers are 4-6 in Burnes’ starts. In those losses, the Brewers have given Burnes run support totals of: three, four, two, two, zero, and one.
Every time Burnes is out there, the Brewers have a very good chance at victory for themselves. But the offense does need to do something to help him out.