The Baltimore Orioles’ starting pitching has had a recent string of success, often overlooked by a lack of offense. Overall, there has been an improvement in recent games compared to the beginning of the season, backed by the consistent bullpen.
The major issue is whether the pitching can last for the rest of the season. The games after the All-Star break are going to be very important, and the Orioles are going to need their pitching to hold on — not only the regular season, but also a possible postseason run.
However, a strong second half has not been a reoccurring theme for the Orioles pitching staff. The 2013 starting staff showed this problem.
In limited games, Wei-Yin Chen posted a 2.82 ERA in the first half of the season, with a 4-3 record.
In the second half, Chen pitched to a 4.90 ERA with a 3-4 record. He had a 1.38 difference in ERA, which is a major difference for a pitcher.
Chen allowed only three home runs in the first half, but allowed 14 in the second half. He did not have as many innings as the other pitchers, but failure to create consistency remained.
Miguel Gonzalez posted a 7-3 record with a 3.48 ERA in the first half of the season. However, he suffered in the second half; with two relief appearances among his starts, he pitched to a 4-5 record with a 4.22 ERA.
Chris Tillman had an 11-3 record in the first half of the season with a 3.95 ERA. In the second half, he still had a winning record at 5-4 with an improved 3.42 ERA. Though there was an ERA improvement, the failure to pitch as well as he did in the first half was present.
The Orioles’ starting staff has had problems with remaining consistent after the All-Star break. If the Orioles want to maintain their lead in the AL East, the pitching is going to have to change their historic performance.
While the offense has great potential, not everyone can seem to get on the same page at the same time to compensate for a poor pitching performance from the entire staff.
With a stretch of 20 games without a break from August to September, and 22 straight games against AL East opponents, the Orioles’ starting rotation, including those from 2013 and this season, are going to have to prove they are a championship caliber outfit.
The offense cannot afford to have the starters fail to give the same type of numbers they have in the games before the All-Star Break this season.
With Kevin Gausman becoming a more permanent part of the rotation, the starting pitchers could gain a boost, but I cannot help but wonder if the rotation can last the entire season.
When the Orioles begin play again after the All-Star Break, the pitching staff needs to prove its worth to reach the playoffs.