BALTIMORE -- With some starts, you catalogue them and keep them handy to reference. And with others, you lock them in a dark corner of your mind and try to never contemplate them again. Southpaw Brian Burres endured an outing from the latter category in Tuesday's 10-9 win over the Yankees and discussed it in the hours before Wednesday's game.
"Us coming back and winning the game made it easier," he said of the debacle. "Honestly, I just pitched terribly and didn't really throw very many quality pitches. I paid for it, but the guys came back and did a great job picking me up."
Burres tied a career high by allowing eight earned runs and gave up four home runs for the first time, and he also did some things that were fairly uncharacteristic of his previous work. Burres hadn't allowed an extra-base hit to a lefty all season before Tuesday's start, but he allowed the Yankees to get six extra-base hits from the left side of the plate.
The former swingman's ERA rose by nearly a full run (from 3.16 to 4.15) in one start, feeding into a fairly difficult trend to interpret. Burres has allowed two earned runs or less four times, and he's 4-0 with a 1.05 ERA in those circumstances. He's racked up an 0-4 record and an 8.18 ERA in his other five starts, leaving room to wonder which is the real thing.
And if you ask manager Dave Trembley, he naturally gravitates toward the most positive possible opinion.
"He was bound to have a bad one," Trembley said. "I think it just goes to show you that Sandy Koufax in his heyday and all those great pitchers are still beatable. Everybody's beatable on any given night. Every team is beatable on any given night. ... Burres threw so darned well five days ago. He was lights out against the Yankees. Give them credit: They figured something out. They went up there swinging at a lot of first pitches. They knew he was going to be around the zone."
For his part, Burres said it was something more than that. He said that he felt like he had decent stuff when the game began, but he couldn't keep his pitches down as the evening progressed. The Yankees took advantage of his errant location, and Burres said that he just made too many mistakes against a lineup known for capitalizing on them.
"I can go back and look at some of my better starts and concentrate on what I was doing then," Burres said. "I looked at a couple things just to see if I have anything to fix, but as far as watching it just to torment myself, I'm not going to do that."
"You can give them all the credit in the world," added Trembley. "Or you can look at it from the other perspective and say Burres didn't have much. I really don't know what it was, other than the fact that what he threw, they hit."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.