Let’s go back to May 14 against the Royals, a frustrating game for Oriole fans. The Orioles were up 5-0 through the top of the fourth inning. Gausman had a big lead. He had not had any clean innings but was working his way out of each inning.
Then the bottom of the fourth came. Gausman walked the first hitter, a struggling Brandon Moss. Then, a first-pitch single to Whit Merrifield. After a ground out to first by Alex Gordon, there were two on with one out. Drew Butera singled, followed by Alcides Escobar. Not exactly the best hitters.
This is just three games where it appears Gausman loses focus. In two of the games, just cruising along not just statistically, but he passed the eye test too.
Against Kansas City, he was working his way through each inning. Then it just snowballs.
Gausman is a pitcher who has always had the ability, the pitches to be a top of the rotation pitcher. To finish out 2016, he pitched like it as well.
So far in 2017, it seems like the Gausman who loses focus is back. Maybe it is the change in pitching coaches; I’m not sure.
Gausman’s stuff is still splendid. But his pitch placement just isn’t, and one has to wonder if that is a physical problem or a mental one.
The Baltimore Orioles need Gausman to be a top of the rotation pitcher in 2017 for them to be a World Series contender.
Hopefully, he can work through his issues and become that.