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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bailey's continued struggles

Less than two weeks ago, I wrote a piece that noted how strange Homer Bailey's numbers had been to date.  He had just come off of three ugly starts, but all of the best indicators of how well he was actually throwing looked great.

After a good start against the Cubs, Homer Bailey had another rough start against the Braves last night.  He gave up 5 runs on 9 hits in 6 innings.  But his fielding-independent stats?  4 strikeouts, 0 walks, 52% ground ball rate.  His xFIP actually went DOWN (slightly) in his Braves start (3.08 in that start alone, 3.12 on the season, 3.19 SIERA on the season).

Asked to explain his bad starts, here's what Homer said:
"Bad pitches -- that typically does it," Bailey said when asked if there was a common thread to the rough starts. "It's one of those deals where I have to sharpen up a little bit, one pitch here, one pitch there. I'd be a little more worried if I were walking a bunch of guys or getting behind in a lot of counts. Then I'd be a little more evident of what we're doing wrong. It's simple pitch execution, it's what I'm not doing in big situations. As tonight's game went on, we got a little bit better and a little bit sharper, we just have to take that in the beginning of the game."
Maybe it's not overt saber-talk, and maybe it's just intuitive.  But Homer's thinking about this the right way.  Past history has shown us that when pitchers are getting beat in the way he's getting beat, they will be able to make the adjustments he's talking about.  Or, their luck will just even out.

It's no fun to see Homer getting torched so often in the early goings here, but I continue to see nothing in his line that leads me to think that the rest of his season won't be just fine.