Jeremy Guthrie began his recent roll of solid pitching July 17 vs. Toronto when he gave up just one run over 6 1/3.
Now his ERA is 1.78 over his last five starts and today he matched his longest outing of the year and got the win as the Orioles beat Chicago, 4-3.
“I’m just trying to be more aggressive. That’s about the only thing I can put a finger on. Throw more strikes and my goal is to walk zero guys each game and make them hit the ball.”
Guthrie gave up just one run and six hits over eight innings, throwing 116 pitches, 76 for strikes. He retired the side in order in the eighth and was hoping to be on the mound to start the ninth.
“I asked him if I could. I felt like I had more in the tank. I said I’d like to start that last inning.
“I’ve always said that pitch count doesn’t matter to me. Some days you feel gassed at 90 pitches and there are other times when I’ve had 115 and said ‘leave me in.’ I had some quick innings late and when you have quick innings later in the outing, you feel like you can keep going.”
One key for Guthrie today was getting out of some early jams. The White Sox went 0 for 6 against him with runners in scoring position over the first three innings.
“They’ve been swinging really well so you had to keep battling. We played some good defense today. Lot of hard-hit balls today. Belly had a great game over at third, Izzy made the tremendous play in the eighth inning and Felix made a play that changed the way the game started in the first inning with that long run.”
Over his last five starts, he has allowed 31 hits over 35 1/3 innings with just three walks and 21 strike outs.
Meanwhile, Guthrie and his teammates were delighted to see Cesar Izturis get his 1,000th hit on a second-inning single.
“He’s very steady and very positive with us. I love to see him everyday in the clubhouse. He smiles and really enjoys the game. To see him get his 1,000th hit and be so happy, rightfully so, was a nice moment and all the guys in the dugout were cheering for him.”
So the Orioles go to 5-1 since Buck Showalter took over and Guthrie was asked about the solid play by the team since Tuesday.
“I think it’s what people anticipated or hoped for back in April or March. It’s taken longer to see what kind of potential we have, but it’s there. We have a number of great players.
“We have parts and it’s a matter of finding the 25 nuggets, the 25 players, that play together, care for each other and root for each other. To see it happen in the last week is a great sign. The key is can we do it more consistently.”