Looking to rebound from his two previous poor outings, Baltimore Orioles starter Kevin Gausman had a decent outing last night.
The Baltimore Orioles were looking to get off to a hot start as they made their first trip to New York this season. For starter Kevin Gausman, he was able to go six innings. However, he did match his earned run total from the previous outing against the Boston Red Sox.
Gausman, who started the final game at Yankee Stadium last year and the first this year, pitched six innings last night, allowing five earned runs on eight hits. Two of those hits were home runs.
Aaron Judge hit home runs in back-to-back innings. The first was in the fifth, a leadoff solo shot, and his second in the sixth. Judge’s second home run of the night was on a 97-mph fastball Gausman left in the heart of the plate.
Judge’s second long ball also brought the Yankees within five, and was the hardest hit ball of the Statcast era, at 119.4 mph. That broke the previous record of 119.2 mph hit by Giancarlo Stanton, of the Miami Marlins.
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Gausman’s fastball-heavy outing.
Last night, Gausman threw 106 pitches, 67 of them for strikes. However, his pitch repertoire was 79.2% fastball and 20.8% offspeed.
There were five separate occasions when he threw back-to-back offspeed pitches. The first instance of this happened in the first inning when he threw two Split-Finger fastballs in a row. Not again, however, until the sixth inning when he threw 19 pitches, nine of which were offspeed.
Gausman’s velocity was ranging between 93-97 for the majority of the night, but there were two pitches at 98 mph. Gausman touched 99 just once; a single to second baseman Starlin Castro in the fourth inning.
At one point, Gausman threw 17 straight fastballs between the end of the fourth, and beginning of the fifth innings.
His final line read six innings, eight hits, five earned runs, two walks, and three strikeouts.
Brad Brach came on in the ninth inning to close the game but, allowed the Yankees to score three times to tie it, 11-11. At that point, Kevin Gausman took a no-decision.
From that point, Kevin Gausman took a no-decision.
Where does Gausman go from here?
Scheduled to start again on Wednesday night in Boston, Gausman will have some time to figure out what’s going wrong.
In the Spring, Kevin worked on a slider to compliment his fastball, however, according to FanGraphs, he’s only thrown it 14.5% of the time this season.
FanGraphs also lists Gausman’s average fastball speed at 95.1 mph this season. So, the velocity is up so far from last season’s 94.7.
When Gausman takes the hill in Boston, he’ll enter Fenway Park for his fifth career start (ninth overall pitching appearance). His ERA at Fenway is 4.50, and Gausman has a WHIP of 1.179 since making his debut there on June 13, 2013.
The odds will continue to work against Gausman though. In 42 road starts with the Baltimore Orioles, he holds a 9-23 record, with a 5.03 ERA. Compare that to a 15-10 record and 3.26 ERA when pitching at Camden Yards.
The Baltimore Orioles were hoping Gausman could carry the rotation as they wait for starter Chris Tillman to return. It has yet to happen, as Gausman sits with a 7.50 ERA in six starts, the worst in the majors.
It’s too early to count him out, but he’s going to need right this ship soon. Gausman has one option remaining, and I’d find it far-fetched for them to exercise it.
A trip to the bullpen to further develop his pitches could be beneficial while he tries to figure out what’s going wrong.