After some strong starting pitching from the young guys (last night notwithstanding, although Hudson has always had problems pitching in Texas), the bullpen has finally found some kind of stability. Also, with the addition of Mike Gonzalez, the guys in the bullpen should be able to return to their regular roles. That is, if Gonzalez has returned to closer form, which we may not see until he adjusts to the hitters at this level for the first time in a year.
How are the other guys doing? Well, we’ll start with everyone’s favorite goat, Manny Acosta.
Acosta gave up four runs in his season debut against Pittsburgh, but was extremely stingy after that. In April, Acosta pitched 13 innings in 11 appearances with a 1-1 record, 1.38 ERA, 2 saves, 8 Ks and 10 BBs. Not a good K to walk ratio, but he got the job done. In May, arguably the best month of his career, he went 15 innings in 15 appearances with a 3-1 mark, 1.80 ERA, 1 save, 12 Ks and 1 (yes, just 1) BB. He was even nominated for the Pepsi Rookie of the Month trophy on MLB.com. Of course, with so many appearances, we almost knew and expected a young pitcher like him to start showing some wear…and he did. So far in June, Acosta has allowed 8 ER in 12 innings, good for a 12.0 ERA. The surprising part? Just one strikeout to five walks for the month. Acosta has not been pitching as often as he was in May and that’s a good thing. He has great stuff and is a very valuable late innings guy when he gets the rest he needs.
Blaine Boyer has shown similar trends as well. After a May that saw the young pitcher go 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 15.0 innings with 11 strikeouts and four walks, Boyer has hardly pitched that well in June. While not pitching as low a level as Acosta has, Boyer has allowed four earned in 7.2 innings (seven runs total allowed for the month.
The only guy that has been dependable and consistent all year? Will Ohman, the godsend from the Cubs in the offseason. How the front office was able to pull off the trade for a solid lefty reliever in his prime AND a utility guy that can play solid defense and swing the bat pretty well for a double-AA starter? I’ll never know, so far, I love the trade and can easily say it was as good as the Renteria trade from our standpoint. Ohman is one of two pitchers that aren’t shuttling back and forth between the bigs and triple A to have not allowed an earned run all month (Ohman did allow a run, just not earned against the Angels). Ohman is 3-0 with one save in 29.2 innings pitched. He has 27 strikeouts to just 13 walks in his innings.
The other regular that has yet to allow a run all month is Royce Ring, who after a horrible start, has slowly gotten his ERA back to a solid 3.77 for the season. Ring is 1-1 with 12 strikeouts and just two walks in his 14.1 IP. He’s also gotten a hold of his control better. After allowing seven hits in 5.2 innings in May and four hits in four innings in April, Ring has allowed only two hits in 4.2 appearances that span eight games for June.
So, after last week’s starting pitching miracle, we’ll see if the team can continue it. We are still 11th in the NL in starter’s innings pitched and a good 38.1 innings behind the league leading Phils in that category.
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