15 game losing streak? The Brew Crew come into town riding a 15 game winning streak against the Buccos punctuated by a sweep up at Miller Park just a week ago. The Brewers are only in town for 2 games – good news for the Pirates who lost 2 of 3 to the Reds.
The Buccos, who were flirting with first place in the division less than a week ago, now sit in 4th place, only 1.5 games ahead of Houston – the dregs of baseball.
All of this and Nate McLouth is completely healthy.
Anyone that saw McLouth leg out a single in Friday’s game, then go 3-5 with a stolen base in Saturday’s game, knows that he looks ready to go. With Jack Wilson taking batting practice, the Bucs can look forward to having some pop back in the line-up. Wilson is available to come off of the DL on Sunday and according to all reports that looks to be on target.
So why the sudden losing streak?
Well Jeff Karstens isn’t helping matters.
In a rotation that seems to pride itself on effective controlled pitching (Snell, Duke, Maholm) Karsten’s has been anything but. He has walked more batter than he has struck out (K/BB ratio? Paltry 9/13). He has managed to allow 5 homeruns in 20 innings of work this season and with a 5.89 ERA has almost doubled the average ERA of the rest of the rotation.
What does Jeff say about this? As reported to the Pittsburgh Gazette:
“Honestly, I just feel out of sync. At times, I feel fine, where there are good stretches. I haven't really had a horrible, horrible game. It seems more like one bad inning.”
Might this have something to do with Karsten’s new delivery that he unveiled to the chagrin of most at the beginning of the season?
“I just have to take a look at myself and evaluate everything. It's one of those things where I'm kind of lost right now. But I'm definitely going to find myself. Hopefully, it comes back soon.”
This is the same Karstens that told us at the beginning of the season that his new delivery that it felt, “not bad”. Yes, we here had a field day with that quote believing that a 5th pitcher should say everything and anything positive if for nothing us the sake of the fans.
But not old Karstens.
He is in the middle though of appealing his suspension for plunking Ryan Braun last week in Milwaukee. But maybe this would give us a chance to bring up Tom Gorzelanny or Virgil Vasquez from AAA ball. Maybe give Karstens a seat and some alone time to think.
Tell me someone wants this spot in the rotation. Anyone? Your blogger will no longer use the letter K in –arstens.
He doesn’t deserve the letter. He is Jeff Carstens from now on.
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Written by David Fulco