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Gameday Thread: Royals (38-46) @ O's (42-40)

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7:05 :: MASN :: 85° W-12 MPH (S) :: Rain: 10%

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Today's Starting Pitchers GS IP ERA WHIP BAA HR BB K W-L
Gil Meche - RH - #55 17 102.1 4.66 1.32 .255 12 35 82 6-8
Daniel Cabrera - RH - #40 17 109.1 4.53 1.41 .261 14 47 64 5-4

Yesterday started the real second half of the 2008 season. Seems like it's been kinda short, doesn't it?

Meche, career v. BAL: 96.2 IP, 3.26/1.31, 4-5
Cabrera, career v. KC: 44 IP, 2.25/1.23, 4-0

Guys that have had success against the opponent.

Cabrera has, well, hit a wall. After his May 20th start, his ERA stood at 3.48. He was oupitching even optimistic predictions, really, and going seven routinely.

Since then, his ERA has risen to 4.53. Why? The walks are back in some part. Over his last 42 innings, he's walked 23. Not as awful as he used to be, but pretty bad. But the walks aren't killing him. May 20 and prior, he had just twice given up more hits than innings he'd pitched. Since then, he's done it five times, and the other two starts had him giving up six in six innings and six in seven innings.

The lack of strikeouts -- a problem that started last season -- are hurting him. When he doesn't have his best stuff, he's going to get rocked. Plus, the fact is he's throwing almost all fastballs. That's a great theory, and it worked well for a little bit. But his fastball is not so good that he can work six-seven innings off of that pitch exclusively on a consistent basis. He doesn't blow it by anyone anymore. His K/9 is a really pedestrian 5.28, which gives him a pretty crappy K-to-BB ratio, too.

I'm really not trying to harsh any buzzes, but Cabrera's as good as he's going to get unless he suddenly figures out how to strike batters out again. He's a fourth/fifth starter that can eat up innings. Someday, I really think he'll put it together and have one outstanding season, maybe two. Lots of guys have them, and there's no reason Cabrera can't find a zone for one entire season sometime. He was more effective -- if ever so slightly -- in '05 and '06 than he has been this season. He's better than he was last year, sure, but it wasn't going to take much to top that dismal campaign.

But I've rambled about Danny C enough for right now. Go get 'em, champ. Throw a few good starts together and look attractive at the deadline.