The Detroit Tigers have scored 15 runs and hit seven homers this weekend in Baltimore. Kevin Gausman has pitched to an ERA of 11.00 over his first two big league starts.
If it is going to get better for the Orioles’ 2012 first-round draft pick starting today, the kid will have to go through one of the best lineups in the American League this afternoon at Camden Yards.
Gausman remains upbeat and confident in what he can do on a big league mound, even if he’s had two rocky outings to start his major league career.
Gausman felt he had a strong bullpen session at Camden Yards on Thursday and now he looks forward to taking some of that to the mound this afternoon.
After giving up just three homers over eight starts and 46 1/3 innings at Double-A Bowie, Gausman has allowed four in two starts. He is 0-2 with that ERA of 11.00 after giving up four runs in five innings against Toronto and then seven runs in four innings against Washington on Tuesday night.
“Being the competitor I am, this is kind of frustrating,” Gausman told me Friday afternoon. “I tried to work on some mechanical stuff in my ‘pen (Thursday). Trying to get back to what I am known for doing, which is throwing strikes in the bottom half of the zone, being able to consistently throw my changeup for a strike. Now I have that slider, also.”
Over nine innings, he has allowed 15 hits and 11 runs with three walks and five strikeouts. He says he’s actually felt pretty comfortable on a big league mound, even if the results don’t show it yet.
“When I was in Toronto, for the first inning, it felt a lot bigger than anything I had done. But after that I kind of realized how many innings I have pitched just like this in my life. I need to focus more on that,” he said.
“In the second and third inning in D.C., I kind of got into a rhythm, was working down in the zone and felt like myself again. Those were times I was just locked in and didn’t lose my focus. I wasn’t focusing on anything else. That is something I need to do more of.”
In his last five starts with Bowie, he pitched to an ERA of 1.78 with a batting average against of .218. He hopes to get back to being locked in as he was there, pounding the bottom of the zone with his fastball and showing excellent command of his changeup and slider.
Now comes the challenge of facing the defending American League champs and one of the AL’s best hitting teams today at 1:35 p.m.