Jeremy Guthrie and Kevin Millwood are coming up big for the Orioles this year.
They are providing veteran leadership for the younger pitchers, but just as important, they are eating up innings and carrying the bulk of the load to lessen that load for Matusz, Bergesen and Hernandez.
In his last three starts, Millwood has pitched 8, 7 and 6 2/3 innings. Over his last three, Guthrie has thrown 7, 6 2/3 and 8 innings.
They are giving the team quality outings as well and have kept their team in the game despite mostly lousy run support.
Innings per start, 2010 season:
6.7 - Millwood
6.5 - Guthrie
5.8 - Matusz
5.3 - Hernandez
4.9 - Bergesen
The "big two" are taking some pressure off the "young three."
Guthrie set a great tone for the weekend with his sterling eight-inning performance Friday night. The bullpen is now rested and ready for the remainder of this series.
Take away the 6 ER Guthrie allowed April 28 vs. New York and his ERA is 3.40. He leads the team with six quality starts and has thrown 116, 110 and 113 pitches over those last three starts.
It would be hard to set a better example for the young guns then the two vets are doing right now.
O's quality starts, 2010:
Guthrie: 6 of 8
Matusz: 4 of 7
Millwood: 4 of 8
Bergesen: 2 of 6
Hernandez: 2 of 7
That's ten quality starts for the vets compared to eight for the other three starters combined.
Millwood has pitched seven innings or more in four of eight starts and seven times has topped 100 pitches.
He told me earlier this year that if he expects the young pitchers to get deep into games, he has to do it to lead the way. Also, he never complains about the lack of run support he is getting and could not be more professional how he handles questions about that.
That provides an example for the youngsters too.
Right now, Millwood and Guthrie are showing them the way to do it both on and off the field.