We are only two games into the post-Yovani Gallardo portion of the season because of his season ending torn ACL. But already are pitching staff is failing to pick up the slack and make quality starts. Our two young pitchers in our rotation Carlos Villanueva and Manny Parra are talented young pitchers with good "stuff". "Stuff" for a pitcher is having potential, ability and the ability to throw quality pitches and get guys out. Right now there "stuff" only seems to work for the first 4 innings of a baseball game (if that even). Then sometime during the 5th inning (or Parra's case 4th) of a game Villanueva and Parra seem to lose their "stuff" and walk batters and throw pitches up in the zone that just get hit all over the ballpark. Friday night Villanueva cruised through the first 4 innings and then in the 5th the wheels came off. He ended up giving up 6 runs all earned and 9 hits, 4 of which were HR's. Villanueva is now 1-3 in 6 starts pitching 34 innings with an ERA of 5.56 and 20 K's to 11 BB's.
Now onto Manny Parra, against Houston Saturday night he cruised through 3 innings and then ran into trouble in the 4th inning! Couldn't even make it into the 5th inning. He gave up 6 runs 5 earned on 9 hits 2 of which were HR's (one was to pitcher Brandon Backe who was batting .200) he walked 4 and only struck out 3. Parra is now 1-2 in 6 starts pitching 27.2 innings with an ERA of 5.86 and 22 K's to 17 BB's. That is not a good strikeout to walks ratio at all, it's awful in fact.
Basically unless Villanueva and Parra step up their performances this team is in serious trouble. Outside of Ben Sheets are pitching staff scares the hell out of me now that Yo is on the DL. Suppan we know what we have in him, a veteran who eats innings and can keep you in a game but he is coming off one of the worse outings of his career. Bush has looked awful this season and was in AAA Nashville and was recalled only because of Gallardo's injury. Ben Sheets will be fine, he is the ace as long as he stays healthy he gives us a chance to win every 5th game the question is who is going to win the games in between Ben Sheets starts? If Villanueva and Parra figure things out they have TONS of talent and can be good major league pitchers, but until they can go into the 6th and 7th inning of a game and cut down the walks their current trends will just continue and we may have to look to journeyman pitcher Jeff Weaver who is in AAA Nashville right now or maybe even Seth McClung startng, (GULP)? And I doubt many of us want to see it come to that.