Jeremy Guthrie was the latest Orioles starter to put together a solid outing in a stretch where the club is getting some real solid starting pitching. In this series versus Boston, Guthrie and Zach Britton have combined to allow just one run over 12 innings.
Over the last eight games, Orioles starters have posted seven quality starts and pitched to an ERA of 3.26. That has lowered the ERA for the starters on the year from 4.68 to 4.11. Four different pitchers have contributed to the run and only Brad Bergesen's start (six runs in six innings) against New York last Saturday did not qualify as a quality outing.
Guthrie is on a real roll all by himself. If you go back to last season's All-Star break, Guthrie has made 19 starts since that point. He is 9-7 with an ERA of 2.70 in that time.
You have to give him credit for not only pitching well, but for not calling out any of his teammates when he doesn't get a win for his personal record as they fail to give him a lot of runs to work with - or, in the case of last night, blow his 4-0 lead.
Yes, the guy is one hard-luck pitcher. In his second start this season, he gave up one run versus Texas and lost. In his last start before Boston, he gave up two runs over seven innings against Minnesota and took a loss. Then, last night, he leaves with a 4-0 lead and and did not get a win.
Zach Britton is 4-1 with an ERA of 2.84. Guthrie's ERA can top even Britton's, but he is 1-3. Koji Uehara gives up the game-tying homer and he gets the win.
That does not seem fair, but it's the rules of the game.
After pitching to an ERA of 4.59 against the American League East last season, Guthrie has not given up a run over two starts and 14 innings this year against Tampa and Boston. He has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his five starts.
Meanwhile, some Orioles' hitters have finally gotten going a bit.
Over his last seven games, Vlad Guerrero is batting .379 with two homers and six RBIs. Adam Jones is hitting .308 over his past eight games with three homers and nine RBIs. Luke Scott is 5-for-12 his last three games and has three homers over his last nine games. Matt Wieters is batting .345 over nine games with two homers and eight RBIs.
Derrek Lee is 5-for-9 in this series with four runs scored and has raised his average from .211 to .247 over the past two nights. Wieters, by the way, is now batting .358 with a homer, eight doubles and 13 RBIs in 30 career games versus Boston.
Also, one final note. The O's offense has produced back-to-back games with double-digit hits for the first time all year, getting 12 and 10 the past two games and the team average is .338 in this series.