In the major leagues, it can take more than quality pitches for a starting pitcher to succeed.
He may need poise, confidence, solid mound presence and a short memory to forget a bad outing as he navigates his way through a long season, hoping to make 32 or 33 starts and pitch over 200 innings.
Jake Arrieta looks like a pitcher that might score well in some of those qualities a pitcher can take to the mound in addition to having a good fastball.
“He has that potential,” O’s manager Buck Showalter said of Arrieta and those intangibles. “It’s kind of like what comes first, do you feel real confident or do you have really good stuff? The challenge is, Jamie Moyer used to go out there and look confident, but he couldn’t black your eye with a fastball.
“It’s presentation, but it’s also the stuff. I looked on the plane coming back and Jake hasn’t pitched like a guy carrying around that ERA. So, you know, he’s anxious to get out there. I think he’s going to have a good year,” Showalter said.
Arrieta has had two good outings wrapped around a poor one and is 1-1 with an ERA of 7.04.
He gave up just one run to Detroit in the home opener, but then allowed eight runs vs. Texas. He bounced back from that to give up three runs and five hits over six innings at Yankee Stadium.
In his only previous start against the Twins, they got to him for five earned runs over four innings last July 25 here at the Yard. Jason Kubel hit a three-run homer then off the right-hander.
Arrieta, though, is 2-2 with an ERA of 3.89 over his last six home starts.
In addition to improved offense the Orioles would like their rotation to start cranking out more quality starts. The Orioles got five quality starts during a 6-1 start, but have had just three during the eight-game losing skid.