Jair Jurrjens, who started for the Braves last night, now sports an ERA of 1.89. Tonight's Braves starter is Tim Hudson, whose ERA is almost double that of Jurrjens. This number is a still plenty respectable 3.51. He has not allowed an earned run in his last two starts, spanning fourteen innings.
Then you have the Orioles, who could hit water if they fell out of a boat, but only if there was no one in scoring position. Actually, on the season the O's still have good numbers with RISP, but it feels like they've fallen off the table lately. Of course, that coincides with the collapse of the rotation to go along with a continually crappy bullpen and equally spotty defense. All of this goes a long way to explain why the team is now nine games below .500. Granted, this is light years better than last year, but sometimes it's not much comfort to think, "At least we don't suck as much as we did last year." We still suck, and I don't want the team to suck any more.
The hopes for a win tonight lie chiefly in the hands of Jake Arrieta, who is starting. Unlike Guthrie, the O's hitters do not hate Jake, as they score for him all of the time. Why Jake and not Guts? Who knows? His 9-4 record with a 4.50 ERA shows that win/loss records are worthless for pitchers. I like Jake, though, and it's hard not to root for him. Maybe one of these days he'll even learn how to take an 0-2 count and get a guy out instead of going into a 10-pitch PA that ends in a walk. Oh yeah, and this is his first start since June 20. I hope that elbow inflammation has calmed down.
Ongoing this year is the narrative across MLB that this is the Year of the Pitcher 2.0. I kind of wish we could have a couple of those pitchers. What we have instead is the fourth-worst staff ERA in MLB at 4.42. Two years ago, when the O's had the worst league ERA at 5.16, that would have been middle of the pack, but as we all know, offense is down and pitching is up - everywhere except here, where it's just that the offense is down.
Hudson, by the way, is a right-handed pitcher, so you know who's not starting tonight. I bet you also know who's batting fifth. Hint: he has a .659 OPS and is making $7.25 million. Last night, I noticed a tweet from Dempsey's Army where he commented that if Dave Trembley was running out these lineups he'd be riding the rails out of town. I am getting to the point where I don't think I can disagree with that statement.
Please tear out your hair ... ... ... ... responsibly.
|Orioles (J. Arrieta - R) @ Braves (T. Hudson - R)|