Christopher Crawford explains whether Miami Marlins SP Pablo Lopez's blazing start is sustainable and if he can remain a top-15 starter for the rest of the season.
CHRISTOPHER CRAWFORD: Pablo Lopez is not often brought up as one of the best pitchers in baseball. And by not often, we mean he's not brought up as one of the best pitchers in baseball. It's time to acknowledge that's a mistake. We regret the error. Lopez dazzled again on Saturday against the Padres, hurling eight scoreless frames while scattering five hits. That lowers his ERA over six starts with the Marlins to an even one, with a 35-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 36 innings in 2020.
These numbers are even more impressive if you take away his poor outing last week against the Diamondbacks, as he's allowed no more than a run in five of his six starts, and four of those have seen the opposing team blanked while he's in the game. There has to be a little bit of good luck to have an ERA this low, but Lopez is among the top hurlers in baseball in avoiding hard contact, getting hitters to swing at pitches outside the zone, and avoiding self-inflicted damage.
Lopez has been solid in his career thus far, but it's possible he's having a breakout season at the age of 26. We just might be looking at one of the top 15 or so starters for the rest of the 2022 season.