Not much good happens after a starting pitcher gives up three runs and takes 36 pitches in the first inning. The Orioles on Wednesday afternoon continued their exploration of the many different ways to lose a baseball game, unearthing a third, wholly distinct method for losing a game to the Minnesota Twins. Another one run loss, 4-3, sealed an Orioles sweep at the hands of those same Twins.
Let’s take a quick look at starting pitchers whose performance to date is very different from our preseason expectations. We’ll give each pitcher a “believability rating” to reflect the likelihood that his performance is real. Keep in mind, these samples are still small. The Outperformers Ervin Santana of the Minnesota Twins has been one of the top-earning pitchers in the American League. Underneath, he isn’t doing anything that much different from 2016, when he had a 3.38 ERA — or 2015, when he had a 4.00 ERA. The reason for his current 2.05 ERA? His .146 batting average on balls in play (BABIP). This is a ridiculously low number that will correct itself soon, and his ERA should rise. Believability:
Anthony Rizzo officially found his groove as reigning MLB World Series champions the Chicago Cubs edged the San Francisco Giants 5-4. Rizzo went three for three while clobbering two solo home runs, and last year's National League Cy Young contender Kyle