« Lugo to be further examined | Main | Britton, Mahoney will receive top honor »

September 15, 2010

Which Orioles starter has impressed you the most under Showalter?

Brad Bergesen pitched exceptionally well Wednesday – throwing his second complete game of the year.

He allowed just one run on seven hits in nine innings to complete the sweep against the Toronto Blue Jays, you know, the squad that had taken 12 straight from the Orioles before a certain new manager took over.

The Orioles are now 26-15 under Buck Showalter. More impressive, their rotation is an incredible 19-11 with a 2.93 ERA in those 41 starts.

Look at these numbers under Showalter:

Jake Arrieta, 3-3, 3.78 ERA in eight starts. .263 opponents’ average
Brad Bergesen, 4-1, 2.37 ERA in eight starts, .231 opponents’ average
Jeremy Guthrie, 6-2, 2.64 ERA in eight starts, .217 opponents’ average
Brian Matusz, 5-1, 2.66 ERA in eight starts, .244 opponents’ average
Kevin Millwood, 1-4, 3.28 ERA in seven starts, .260 opponents’ average
Chris Tillman, 0-0, 3.00 ERA in two starts, .175 opponents’ average

Now here’s my question. And it’s a simple one. Which one of the above starters has impressed you the most during this stretch under Showalter?

Guthrie probably has the best overall numbers, but he has been doing it for much of the year. Maybe you came to expect it from him. Maybe you’ve been more impressed with Bergesen or Arrieta or Matusz. Or maybe Millwood, who has gotten ripped by fans for much of the season, has impressed you with how he has rebounded from such a terrible middle of the year.

Yes, they have all been good under Buck. But go a step further.

Daily Think Special: Which Orioles starter has impressed you the most since Showalter has taken over? Why?

Posted by Dan Connolly at 9:59 PM | | Comments (44)
Categories: Connolly's Corner Sports Bar


If I have to pick just one, I'll go with Bergeson. But aren't we all feeling better about a rotation for 2011 of Guthrie, Bergeson, Matusz, Arrieta and someone else, probably Tillman (unless the Os sign a veteran)? And if any of them go down, as some one probably will (that's sports) you've got Britton, Berken, or Hernandez. in reserve. A bullpen of Albers, Gonzo, Johnson, Simon, Berken, Hernandez and someone else (Koji, Cam, Sarfate, Patton or a free agent) doesn't look so bad either.

Funny how a hopeless team a month or so ago suddenly has some hope. Is it Buck or just the breaks evening out? Who cares? Enjoy it!

I'm going to say Matusz. Guthrie has probably been the best, and Bergesen has been great too, but Matusz is flashing that ace's stuff we have been waiting for all year. Actually, he's flashed it at times throughout the year, but this sustained excellence has been great to see. He still doesn't quite have the durability of the other guys, however.

Dan - Tough question. I like it.

The three who haveconsistently been the best under Showalter are clearly Bergesen, Guthrie and Matusz.

It's "take their names, throw them in a hat and pick one" close as to who's been best. No answer is wrong between those three.

If I had to pick just one of them, though, Bergy's start tonight gives him a slight edge. I really like the way he goes about his business, getting the ball and pitching quickly so the other team's hitters can never get in a comfort zone.

When you couple that with what's becoming Koji-like pinpoint control and stuff that's deceptively better than people think, Bergy really impresses.

Tonight the Orioles' radio announcers were using the term "Maddux-like" to describe the way he was dictating the tempo of the game, and I think it's true that anytime you're a pitcher who's being compared to future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, that's a pretty good thing.

A toast to Bergy's complete game, then; may it be one of many he has in an O's uniform!

They have all been great. Tonight's game by Bergesen and last night's by Arrieta were fantastic. But overall, I think it is hard to go against Guthrie. He was showing no signs of life in the first half. Since the All-Star break and subsequently under Buck he has been stellar.

Can't go wrong with most of these choices, but I'll say Bergesen. The guy just looked lost at times this year, and was looking like he was headed back to Norfolk for the indefinite future. Now he's hurling complete games against good teams. As you say, Guthrie probably has the best numbers, but he wasn't a disaster like BB was.

I like Arrieta! Simply because he's a Yankee killer. Who would have thought that this kid would have been able to win against C.C Sabathia who's not only one of the best in the game, but also the highest paid.
Second I would say Guthrie and them Bergesen. Its really a tough call when these guys are all doing so well!!

Matusz. He's beginning to look like the pitcher touted as a ROY candidate this past spring, like the college kid who dominated, and like the stud #1 ace that any contending team needs.

I'm gonna have to go with Guthrie. That .217 avg just jumps out. Bergesen is a close second. I never knew Guthrie was able to hit 97 with his heater. I would gladly give him another opportunity as our opening day starter.

arrieta, but only because we're both horned frog alums. they've all been superb. question:how has kranitz changed, & why did he seem so ineffectual under dt?

DAN great question!!! Guthrie and Matusz have the best numbers but like you said he has been pretty good all year, Matusz is next but I really expected him to do this at some point this year..Arrieta is still getting his feet settled and needs to trim his pitch count but has shown what he might be, he still reminds me of mussina, Tillman the jury still out on whether he is ready. MY coice is BERGENSEN like Guthrie an innings eater who reminds me of Scott McGregor and his low pitch count games, but he would never been allowed those complete games earlier under the other two.. I wish you would do a story on scotty and some of the low pitch count games in orioles history...

I am going to go with Millwood. Why pick the only one with a losing record? His line is: Kevin Millwood, 1-4, 3.28 ERA in seven starts, .260 opponents’ average; and no bitching. He has gotten his end of the game right but has not been picked up by the offense. I would try to keep him for next season myself.

I can't really choose. I think Guthrie has been the most dependable pitcher, but we already knew he could be good. In terms of excitement for the future, Matusz's development has been very encouraging, with Arrieta and Bergesen close behind.

26-15, eh? That's incredible, and we're talking enough games to make up a quarter of the season. Let's hope they can do this again starting next April.

Does Baltimore make a push for a top of the order pitcher? Is this pitching staff for real or is it like the first half of the year or somewhere in between? If the brass thinks this group is good enough, then drop a big buck or so and land 1-2 middle of the order hitters with pop.

Between Bergeson and Guthrie... I'll say Bergeson. Guthrie's been solid all year, but Bergeson's really bounced back and pitched some absolutely stellar games - last night for example.

Wow, that;s a real brain teaser. I'll have a double Scotch on the rocks (helps me think better). I'll go with Bergy, probably because last night's performance is still fresh in my mind. And you gotta love the way he works quickly and throws strikes when he's on his game.

Tilman looks the most improved to me. wHere does Britton fit in and do the 0's trade one of these guys for a bat?

He is definitely someone they will look at in spring training, tho I'd expect him to start 2011 at Triple-A. And I can't imagine Andy MacPhail trading a young, high-ceiling pitcher right now. Not his style.

There is no question...


You missed an important stat to consider with the rest of those impressive numbers, Dan, and that is innings pitched. I'm going to assume that GUTHRIE's got everyone beat there, and for that reason I'm picking him.

It would be Guthrie, but I think the better question is who will be the Ace of the future for this club? Keep in mind they pitch mostly in Camdan Yards.

Guthrie pitches up in the zone too much and if his stuff is off a little is prone to the home run.

Bergy has a great sinker and if he can stay consitant is ideally suited to Camdan but is not an Ace type pitcher.

Matusz I think has the pitches to be the next Jamie Moyer, which ain't all bad. If he really puts it together he could be a Maddux clone which would qualify but I don't see him as the Ace type yet.

Tillman still needs some work but is young and will get better but is not ready to be considered yet.

That leaves Arrieta who has what all the others have combined with Ace type power. When he matures which I see signs of, he will be a dominate pitcher in this league for a long time barring injury.

We also have some young guys in the minors who will be part of the conversation soon as well.

This is why I would not be looking for a veteran starter in the offseason. I don't see anybody out there that is better than what we have here that wouldn't require trading away too much talent.

You gotta love the future for this rotation and it's only going to get better if they don't mess it up.

Go O's!!

It's a tie, and I am looking forward to next April.

Wow, tough choice, they're all doing so well right now. I really don't care which single one has been the best, I'm just thrilled that the whole staff seems to have been transformed overnight.
At the beginning of the year I had a lot of faith in the rotation, it was the offense that had me worried. That's still the case, but even more so. Our starters match up with any team in the league right now, if we can get a big bat or two or three, this team could be a lot of fun to follow next year.

Obviously all of the starters have done well in the major categories, but one young man stands out for me. BRIAN MATUSZ has shown in the last month or so that he knows what it takes to pitch on a high level. With all of these young prodigies with thier unique styles i think in three years the O's will have a record near or above .500.

Matusz may have better stuff, over all, and Guthrie can be damned good when he's on, but I like the smarts Bergesen seems to have. I like the fact that he works quickly and doesn't waste pitches. I like that Arietta is able to bounce back from a difficult inning (and that Showalter gives pitchers a chance to do that). Then there's the flashes we saw (vs. Texas and Detroit) when Tillman was sharp. Now that I think of it, VandenHurk looked pretty good the other night too. Do I have to choose? I just pray their arms hold out and that they can sustain what they have learned into future years.


I know that he has flashed this stuff before. But at this point you have to think that he is No. 2 on the rotation for a long, long time to come. It that's the case, and they sign a No. 1, things will get really interesting....

Its gotta be Guthrie. Hes been one of the best pitchers in the league since the all-star break.

It's wonderful that we have a choice! I'd have to say Guthrie because I consider him a veteran and an important part of our future.

Anyone but Simon. He is a terrible pitcher and should not be in consideration for the team next year.

Guthrie. But that is does not mean he is the "ace" next year... he folded under than pressure once already. Lets not do it again.

Why do we have to choose ^one^ out of five or so?

As another example, why do we have to choose ^one^ MVP?

Occasionally, there is ^one^ who really does stand out, although there will always be others who'll disagree -- just not nearly as many others when there's a definite standout.

When it was Ted Williams versus Joe Diaggio for A.L. MVP, why did it have to be ^one^ MVP?

Getting back to the original question, with Matusz, Bergy, and Guthrie impressing, why does there have to be ^one^ "most impressive"??

I have to go with Bergesen...although Matusz has been very impressive the last month. Bergy's pitching, especially last nights game, reminds me of Scott Erickson back when he was really on his game. I love how he works fast and keeps the fielders on their toes.

Get me a Dos Equis and one for my friend, Rich M. To answer the question as it was asked.....MATUSZ. He was a lost puppy until Buck came to town for some obedience lessons.

This is a good arguement to have and one we didn't think we'd broach until......?? On second thought, wouldn't we be having a who's the biggest young pitching disappointment of 2011?

2011 is looking good (on paper).

Key question. How many innings have they been averaging per game?

From the little I get to see or read in the internet....I'd say I'm more impressed by Jake....although Bergy's been lights out lately.I'm looking to Jake to be our future ace....IMO.But who am I?

Such a difficult decision! They all have excelled since Buck took over. I have posted a few times on here how much potential Arrieta has. But my opinion is that Matusz has improved the most. Whether it was is command, machanics, confidence or maybe it all has come together now. I can say this: they all have grown & have excellent potential for the future. Can't wait to see what 2011 brings! Now go & get Gonzales to play 1st base & be the solid force we need in the middle of the lineup!

I think Guthrie is turning out to be as real #1 starter. Matusz and Bergesen are much improved. But a 1/2 month still remains and things could change.

guthrie lights out , because hes not a rookie and has made changes after two horrible years , but does thecridit go to buck or kranitz , i think buck they just seem to be playing with much more confidence. also add in there koji

Wow, that's tough. I'm gonna cheat and say Joe Jordan. His winning percentage seems pretty impressive.

I'll take Jake as the most impressive, only because he's behind the others in Innings Pitched, but right with the others in statistics.

But Britton has impressed the heck outta me too. That AO/GO ratio is amazing...I'm stunned he's not been called up. If I were he and put down that type of season at AAA and didn't get my cup of coffee, I'd be confused and upset. I hope that's not the case with him. Hopefully it makes him that much more hungry and determined...but it could go the other way too.

Arrieta, only because he came the furthest from down the chain the fastest. But the other 3 youngsters and Guthrie are good also. Credit the combination of Showalter's knowledge of pitching and managing in general, Kranitz having a real field boss and being able to finally really coach the pitching staff, Weiters maturing at calling a game, and the maturation of the entire staff. It's amazing what a leader can do for a team. This is no accident. We finally have a manager. Now go out and get us 2 premier hitters for 3rd and 1st until our farm system can bring those along, also. And , above all, keep Angelos in the law office and off the baseball side.

I'd go with Brad just a bit ahead of Guthrie. If the bullpen had held on a couple of times he'd be 6-1 in that stretch. If not mistaken he's left tied or ahead in 7 straight.

What's amazing though is even Millwood has a 3.12 ERA, but is 1-4.

Millwood. It is more difficult for a far more experienced player to adjust then for a rookie. Millwood has had no luck in most of his outings, but he never gave up.

I'd put pix of Guthrie,Arrieta, Matusz up on my wall if I had room, but since I don't, I put up Koji. It's been years since we've had a closer that closed when we were ahead or tied. We've lost tons of games in the 9th or beyond because we didn't have a decent closer, and if we did, they either left, or we didn't keep him. Very frustrating. I hope Koji keeps it up. I'm glad we have him and I hope we can keep him.


For me it's Bergesen, primarily because Guthrie has been pretty consistent since the All-Star break. Bergy really has come on since Buck arrived. It's nice to see him getting back to what he was last year. It's almost like he has relaxed after getting past the one year anniversary of his injury last year and getting past pitching against KC and Butler.

Nice to be able to have this discussion, isn't it?

Bergesen, because he and Matusz are proving how much more ready the defense stays when the pitcher works quickly.

Bergesen, because he and Matusz are proving how much more ready the defense stays when the pitcher works quickly.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):


About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

Baltimore Sun coverage
Most Recent Comments
Photo galleries

Buy Sports Tickets from the Baltimore Sun Store

Search our new database for every home run hit hit by the O's and the opposition — home and away — since 1992.

Minor league resources
Web links to official sites, stats, schedules and more for O's affiliates and other area teams

International League (AAA)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

Eastern League (AA)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

Carolina League (A)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

South Atlantic League (A)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

New York-Penn League (A)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

Appalachian League (R)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics
Sign up for FREE Orioles alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for Orioles text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Blog updates
Recent updates to sports blogs  Subscribe to this feed
Stay connected