Pitching always seems to be the Orioles' Achilles heel. It starts at the top with their Opening Day starter.
Kevin Gausman's performances this season has been up and down. After having his best start of the season against the Washington Nationals during the Battle of the Beltways, Gausman went against a struggling Kansas City lineup and couldn't finish the fourth inning.
His ERA sits at 7.19 with an overall record of 2-3.
Gausman has yet to build on the momentum he generated in the second half of last season. This was clearly visible after he was ejected for throwing an errant curveball at Xander Bogaerts in the second inning of a game against the Red Sox earlier this month (whether you think the ejected was warranted or not).
Frustrated. Unsure of himself. Lacking confidence. Three qualities you don't want to see from any of the pitchers at the top of your rotation.
In talking with anchor Jamie Costello about what we're seeing from him, Jamie noticed his delivery isn't consistent. Sometimes he adds an extra motion with his glove over his head. Or he's doing too much.
Another observation: all of the fastballs.
Far too often, Gausman is giving hitters too many juicy pitchers to hit. Where is the change-up scouts ranted and raved about? The slider? The curve or splitter?
There's no "out pitch" for Gausman right now.
He gets a chance to rebound against a tough Toronto Blue Jays lineup tomorrow. On Opening Day, he limited them to just two runs over 5 1/3 innings.
With uncertainty at the back end of the bullpen since Zach Britton's injury, Gausman needs to tally more quality starts to preserve other arms until he returns.