At what point do O's consider long-term deal for Guthrie?

O's pitcher Jeremy Guthrie is throwing so well now, that even on a night when he doesn't have his best command, he didn't give up a run. "I didn't have a great feel for any of my pitches and had to battle," Guthrie told reporters after pitching six innings of two-hit, shutout ball in Friday's win over Tampa. You wonder what he might have done if he felt good about how he was throwing? Guthrie continued his great second-half pitching in the win over the Rays and is 4-1, 1.51 over his last six starts. He did this despite throwing fewer strikes than I am sure he wanted. He threw 55 strikes and 47 balls among his 102 pitches. After walking just three over his previous 35 2/3, he walked four Tampa hitters Friday. Guess we can overlook that. Guthrie seemed to undergo an outlook change during the All-Star break. He has talked about a "fresh start" in the second half and also at times has pitched with more velocity in these recent starts. His ERA is down to 3.88 and that is a lot like it was for him in 2007 (3.70) and 2008 (3.63). His current WHIP of 1.209 matches that of 2007 and that is the best of his career. All these good stats and only Kevin Millwood, with 12, has more losses than Guthrie in the AL right now. Goes to show how wins is the thing a starting pitcher just about has the least control over. Having this good season, you have to wonder if and when the O's might consider a long-term contract for Guthrie? He is arbitration eligible after the next two seasons and cannot be a free agent until after the 2012 season - just another reason to like him as he is "under team control" as they say for two more years after this one. The O's are not noted for long-term contracts for pitchers. Do they consider a multi-year deal for Guthrie this winter or wait at least one more year? When you consider that Guthrie was acquired on a waiver claim, he's had quite a run here with the Orioles.

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