Gausman didn't just throw well - he pitched -

Dan Connolly

Gausman didn’t just throw well — he pitched

Maybe this was the Real Kevin Gausman. Maybe it wasn’t.

Gausman’s mind-numbing, head-shaking season continued Wednesday with an excellent effort against the Texas Rangers in a 10-2 Orioles’ victory.

The enigmatic 26-year-old allowed just one run – on a solo homer by Joey Gallo – in six impressive innings. He allowed four hits, walked two and struck out eight for his sixth win of the season.

It comes on the heels of his first start of the second half, in which Gausman was tagged for eight runs in three innings Friday against the Chicago Cubs. That was the start after Gausman allowed five runs in four innings at Minnesota. And that one followed two starts in which Gausman threw 12 1/3 scoreless innings versus the division rival Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays.

You get the picture. It’s been a rollercoaster year for the Orioles’ Opening Day starter, whose ERA dropped from 6.39 to 6.11 with Wednesday’s outing.

A 6.11 ERA through 21 starts is obviously unacceptable. But outings like Wednesday’s provide a glimmer of hope – at least when you think about what he did against the Rangers.

Gausman pitched.

“I’m trying to throw my sinker and my four-seam (fastball), mix them up a little bit more. I can’t throw everything straight like my four-seam,” he said. “So, I’m trying to keep the hitters guessing a little bit more and, overall, tonight I just pitched more. You know. Used my off-speed pitches and had good fastball command for the most part.”

What’s so frustrating about Gausman is that the guy has incredible talent. But his pitch location, and occasionally, pitch selection, can be mind-boggling. Hitters have been eliminating parts of the plate and his breaking pitches, and have been sitting on his 97-mph fastball and straight changeup.


So Gausman, with catcher Caleb Joseph, changed it up Wednesday. Gausman got his split-fingered fastball over for strikes. He hit his target with his fastball and slider. And he took some velocity off his fastball on occasion, providing more for the hitter to think about.

He pitched.

“Well, if he was (adjusting his fastball) I’m not going to broadcast that for the next team that he’s going to face,” Oriole manager Buck Showalter said. “But that would be a good take out of the game if I was watching it.”

In a vacuum, Wednesday’s outing by Gausman was highly encouraging. But no one – including Gausman himself – will get too excited until he does this consistently.

Until he pitches a lot more often than he throws.



  1. Osfan73

    July 20, 2017 at 12:18 am

    What Gausman needs to do from here is build some consistency win or lose. I think he does that by doing what he did tonight….pitching not just throwing. He has good stuff but you have to know what to use and when. Hopefully this is a sign he’s learning how. Also a good job by Caleb helping him with adjustments/gameplan.
    Feels good to see a winning streak, can’t remember the last one we had. Hoping for the sweep tomorrow but with Miley up next …..well i’m keeping my fingers crossed and leave it at that.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 20, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      As we’ve seen — and know — all about the starting P. Or at least most of it.

  2. Osfan73

    July 20, 2017 at 12:22 am

    On a lighter note….things must indeed come in threes. 3 wins in a row, 3 good starts by the rotation in a row and we have a good young player in the lineup named TREY!!! Thank you I’m here all night lol.
    Ok that was weak. GO Os!!!!!

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    July 20, 2017 at 6:57 am

    Not to put a damper on anybody’s excitement, and I’m certainly no expert in dissecting the way a game is pitched, but I thought there were a lot of middle of the plate pitches that he got away with. Me thinks it’s good to be playing the Rangers right now.

    • ATCguy

      July 20, 2017 at 9:46 am

      Agreed Boog… I saw & noticed the same. They swung thru a lot of middle-in pitches. I’m not sure how much late movement they all may have had, but they ended up pretty fat.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 20, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      I obviously can’t see the pitches coming in. Have to look at the monitors for that. But he had them guessing. Something we haven’t seen much of.

  4. jennings312913

    July 20, 2017 at 8:24 am

    I really like Gausman and have followed him since the minors. With the season he has had this is definitely a positive sign.

    I just worry about what happens when he faces some of the hotter teams in the league as we move forward. He will miss Houston but I know we have some big matchups going forward that he might have to show just how much he has learned from this type of outing.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 20, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      Fair question. We’ll see. But that Rangers offense isn’t a joke.

  5. Bancells Moustache

    July 20, 2017 at 9:12 am

    He had a great second half last year as well. Maybe Kevbaldo Gausmanez just requires 4 months to get warmed up?

    • Dan Connolly

      July 20, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      I imagine some readers just choked on that mash up.

  6. Raymo

    July 20, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    That mash up is one of the reasons I love this site… great baseball minds who are also clever.

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