Tuesday's streaking and slumping starting pitchers
A.J. Burnett, Pittsburgh Pirates (9-2, 3.31 ERA)
Burnett picked up his eighth straight victory last week by throwing 6 2/3 innings of three-run ball in a 5-4 win over Philadelphia. He struck out seven and also allowed only his third homer in the last seven games. The Pirates are averaging six runs in his last three trips to the hill.
Jon Niese, New York Mets (6-3, 3.55 ERA)
Niese is on a roll, having allowed only seven runs in his last five starts. He threw seven innings of one-run ball last week against the Cubs and went 3-1 with a 1.89 ERA in June. The lefty has struck out at least five batters in each of his last eight starts.
James Shields, Tampa Bay Rays (7-5, 4.04 ERA)
Shields allowed a career-high 14 hits in his last outing, a 5-2 loss to Detroit. He managed to go 7 2/3 innings and ended up throwing 123 pitches, but clearly didn’t have his best stuff. Shields has just one win in his last eight starts, allowing at least four runs in five of those.
Dan Haren, Los Angeles Angels (6-7, 4.53 ERA)
Haren may have won three of his last four, but he’s getting a lot of help from his bats. He has allowed 20 earned runs and six homers during that stretch. The righty gave up six earned runs in six innings last week at Toronto, but L.A. came away with a 9-7 victory.