Jeremy Guthrie turned in another poor outing tonight, causing me to officially lose my faith. This entire season I've honestly believed that Guthrie would turn it around. Every start of his I think to myself, "This is the one where he'll turn it around." But he hasn't. Sadly, I now think that he won't.
Jeremy Guthrie isn't an awful starter. If you take out the game where he went only 2/3 of an inning, he's averaging over 6 innings a game. He doesn't walk a lot of batters, he rarely gets blown out. There is a place on many major league teams for a pitcher like Guthrie in the rotation. The problem is that he hasn't been to the Orioles what he was the last two years, and he isn't the pitcher that the Orioles need him to be.
Guthrie came into tonight's game in 2nd place in the majors in home runs allowed. Not happy in 2nd place, he gave up two home runs to Bobby Abreu to regain the lead. Of the 5 runs the Angels scored, Abreu knocked in 4 of them. Guthrie settled down after the 4-run 5th and pitched two more scoreless, so at least he saved the bullpen for tomorrow and the rest of the series. Chris Ray pitched a scoreless 8th inning thanks to good defense behind him. He gave up two singles to start the inning, but Aubrey Huff made a nice pick to start a double play and Nolan Reimold made a great diving catch in left to strand a runner at third.
Though Guthrie was ineffective again, it's not as though the offense did their job either. The 2009 version of John Lackey hasn't been as good as in years past, but you wouldn't know it the way the Orioles batted against him tonight. They managed just two runs. The first came off the bat of Matt Wieters, who knocked in Nolan Reimold. Reimold had reached on a single and stolen second base to get into scoring position. The second run scored on Luke Scott's 16th home run on the year. Luke was discouraged about becoming the team's DH this year, but he is flourishing in the role so far. All told the O's managed only 4 hits off of Lackey, who pitched 8 innings.
David Hernandez makes his fourth career start tomorrow vs. Ervin Santana. In his three starts so far, Hernandez has had one good start, one bad start, and one so-so start. The rotation spot is his for the next few months with Koji on the disabled list. Game time is 10:05 eastern time.