After a two-week break, we’re back, but not much has seemed to change.
The Good: Dallas Keuchel (Astros) and Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)
A short stint on the disabled list hasn’t slowed down Keuchel, whose 1.67 ERA is second in the league to James Paxton – who has started four less games. His 0.872 WHIP is the best mark in the American League. While he may not be punching out batters at an alarming rate like Chris Sale, the rest of his numbers are superior, including a spotless 9-0 record.
Kershaw’s ERA surprisingly isn’t even the best on his own team among starters, Alex Wood’s ERA is 1.90 when he starts, but he still sits at a respectable 2.28, owns a 0.904 WHIP and has struck out 92 batters, 9.98 batters per nine innings pitched.
Honorable mentions include Paxton (Mariners), Sale (Red Sox), Wood (Dodgers) and Max Scherzer (Nationals).
The Bad: Ervin Santana (Twins) and Rich Hill (Dodgers)
Through Santana’s first six starts of the year, he owned a microscopic ERA of 0.77, but then Boston came to town. He surrendered four home runs to the Red Sox in a 17-6 beat down on May 7 and hasn’t been the same since, with the exception of a complete game shutout, his second of the year. Since May 2, he has pitched 40 innings with an ERA of 4.28 and has been the model of inconsistency. Minnesota had a hot start to the year, but if Santana doesn’t return to his April form, they will look like pretenders.
Hill has yet again been unable to shake off his finger blister issues, and he has been unable to be relied upon this year. Despite making six starts, he has only pitched 26 innings with a 4.15 ERA and high walk rate (6.23 per nine innings). It is starting to look more and more like Hill is a one-year wonder.
The Ugly: Masahiro Tanaka (Yankees) and Joe Ross (Nationals)
Tanaka has been one of the most inconsistent pitchers in baseball this year and is back in a slump. New York has lost the last four games he has started (and he has lost all four as well), where he has pitched three innings or less in two of those starts. He has pitched 17 2/3 innings in those four starts with a 11.21 ERA and has allowed eight home runs. He was a hard-luck loser in one of the starts, however, allowing one run in 7 1/3 frames, but he allowed at least six earned runs in the three other starts.
Ross was beaten like a drum in two starts last week, where he lasted a combined seven innings and gave up 11 runs to Oakland and San Diego, two of the most offensively-challenged teams in the league. His ERA sits at an ugly 7.34.