Thursday, May 21, 2009

Guthrie's struggles continue

Jeremy Guthrie hasn't looked right this season, and that trend didn't change last night in an 11-4 loss to the Yankees. Guthrie gave up five runs (and three home runs in back-to-back-to-back fashion) in seven innings, so he wasn't terrible. But he walked more batters than he struck out (three to two), and his record on the season fell to 3-4.

Guthrie's 5.37 ERA looks pretty bad considering his last two seasons with the O's when his ERA totals were 3.70 and 3.63, respectively. It doesn't look particularly horrible when comparing it to the rest of the pitching staff, though Koji Uehara (4.34 ERA) is pitching better than Guthrie, Brad Bergesen (5.35 ERA) has been OK, and Rich Hill looked pretty good in his Orioles debut.

But back to Guthrie: His strikeouts are down (5.20 K/9 down from 6.31 and 5.66), his walks are up (3.19 BB/9 up from 2.41 and 2.74), his home runs allowed are up (1.84 HR/9 up from 1.18 and 1.13), and opponents are hitting for a better average against him than before (.277 BAA up from .250 and .247). (Random question: Is it possible that pitching in the World Baseball Classic before the season has affected Guthrie a bit?)

Also, Guthrie only has one start this year in which he's allowed fewer than three runs: April 11 against Tampa Bay -- 6 IP, 0 ER.

Now, all, or most, Orioles fans know that pitching help seems to be available in the minors, and many of the young guys will be up in the next year or two. But for right now, Guthrie's struggles are certainly concerning, especially when he's supposed to be the ace of the staff.

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