In the midst of a 2+ week stretch where the Orioles have not had their starter make it into the seventh inning of even one game, with far too many entirely disastrous starts, they will face the starting pitcher with the second-lowest ERA in the major leagues: Jair Jurrjens of the Braves, whose 2.07 ERA as the All-Star Break approaches is rather astounding. This is not the first taste of success for Jurrjens, who had a 2.60 ERA back in 2009 in throwing 215 innings on the year.
With a BB/9 of about 2, Jurrjens walks even fewer batters than tonight's O's starter, Jeremy Guthrie. But Jurrjens gets ground balls 43% of the time, and one may argue he's gotten lucky with his HR/FB rate (resulting in a 0.47 HR/9 - compared to Guthrie's 1.14) and especially with his LOB% (83.7 when the league average is 72.9). So he's basically perfectly calibrated to destroy the Orioles, but then, who isn't these days?
It's hard to find any silver lining right now. The complete collapse of Brian Matusz is a total bummer. This was supposed to be one of the guys we were waiting for who was sure to show up and kick some ass and he seems to have completely lost anything that might make him a good pitcher. There is no second wave of cavalry waiting for us this time.
Rubbing salt in any wounds we may have now is that we'll be watching Braves catcher Brian McCann in this weekend series, who's pretty much everything that the Orioles hoped Matt Wieters would be. In his age 22 season, which was in 2006, McCann batted .333/.388/.572 over the full season. He's never slugged below .452 in a full season. This year he's hitting .314/.388/.527. That's a better OPS than anyone on the Orioles who's getting regular playing time.
It's not a better OPS than Nolan Reimold (.923), though Reimold's only made 60 plate appearances. He had two hits last night, including a three-run home run, so naturally he is back on the bench tonight. Of course he is. We can't dare to let him outperform Luke Scott against a righty starter!
Please shampoo... ... ... ... responsibly.
|Orioles (J. Guthrie - R) @ Braves (J. Jurrjens - R)|