Mike Minor is not right. I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but last night was his second straight start of giving up six runs and the fourth time he’s given up at least that many in 15 starts. His ERA is zooming past 5.00. We thought he would be our ace, and he’s been our biggest liability. As someone pointed out, it’s spookily similar to his first half in 2012:
|Apr 8 to Jun 30, 2012||15||85.7||7.6||4.0||1.9||6.20||0.843||0.290||61%||19%||8%||18%|
|May 2 to Jul 22, 2014||15||86.3||8.3||2.7||1.5||5.32||0.862||0.364||65%||18%||8%||33%|
A couple of things stand out. He’s giving up a ridiculous number of line drives, and as a result his BABIP is ridiculously high. (Astonishingly, his homer rate was even higher in 2012 — that’s why his ERA was a run higher — but it’s still plenty high in 2014.) Now… BABIPs tend to come to earth. But even though we like to think of BABIP as being luck-driven, there’s more to it than that. Of all of the batted ball types, line drives are the ones that are likeliest to turn into hits. It isn’t bad luck that is allowing all of his opponents to square up the ball. He’s grooving a lot of pitches.
And it’s a shame, because the team showed a bit of life last night. After he gave up a first-inning run, the offense came back and made it 1-1. After he gave up three in the third, they got one to make it 4-2. After he gave up two in the fourth, the offense went into Hibernation Mode for four innings, but they finally struck back for three in the 8th, making it 6-5. It was inspiring to watch the offense show a little fight, a game after the bats all laid down meekly like lambs.
But it wasn’t enough, and it’s awfully hard to rely on your offense to bail out a starter who coughs up six runs in four innings.