Eveland has been pitching well, allowing just one earned run on five hits over his past four games, covering 8 2/3 innings. He has walked just one and fanned five in that time, lowering his ERA to 3.00 on the year.
Is he excited to get the start today?
“Yeah, I guess,” Eveland said. “I love being here and love being a part of this team on either end. If they want me to start, I’m glad to start. If they want me in the bullpen, I’m happy down there with those guys. Either way, I’m happy.
“I love the bullpen, I really do, and I’ve had a lot fun down there. But obviously I love starting. It’s nice to be in a routine and get your work in between starts. It just makes life a little easier. So, if I hopefully throw well enough and stay in the rotation, I’d be very happy to do so.”
Eveland was called up to start on May 11 against Tampa Bay and gave up three runs in six innings then. But, he walked six and fanned two, throwing 95 pitches. After throwing well in recent games, he gets this start today not knowing if he is pitching for a rotation spot and whether he will get another start or not.
“That’s fine, if that’s the way it’s gotta be,” Eveland said. “I like the matchup here against Cleveland, that kind of makes sense to me. I understand why they would go with me in that situation. But next time around, I might wind up back in the bullpen.”
The Indians bat just .216 against left-handed pitching and hit .264 against right-handers, which is one reason that Eveland is getting the ball today.
He’ll be pitching in the midst of late-afternoon heat today at Camden Yards, but he said that is not a concern or issue for him.
“I started an 11 o’clock day game last year in New Orleans in the middle of the summer. And I spent an entire season in Tucson, so I’ve been in some really, really bad heat before. It’s not my first time,” he said.
Since he hasn’t pitched more than four innings in any game since that start versus Tampa, he figures to be on a pitch limit of around 85 or so this afternoon.
“If I can make it through six, I’d be really happy. Six would be my goal. Seven (innings) on 85 pitches is not easy to do. It’s doable, though, I’ve done it. I’ll feel it out throughout the game. Maybe I can go more or not as much, depending how smooth the innings go,” Eveland said.
The Earl of Baltimore: It’s going to be a special day at Camden Yards with the unveiling of the Earl Weaver status this afternoon. Check out this video featuring Earl and Jim Palmer.
In this video, Earl has some “encounters” with umpires.