To paraphrase the third Godfather movie, just when you thought Jeremy Guthrie was out, he pulls you back in.
Prior to last night’s excellent performance against the Texas Rangers, Guthrie had been struggling. In his last four starts, he had posted a 4.91 ERA and a 1.364 WHiP, numbers that were seemingly decent. However, those numbers were skewed by his impressive start on August 23, against the same Rangers, when he allowed only one run on five hits in eight innings. Take that start out of the equation, and Guthrie had allowed 15 runs, 13 earned, in his last 17.2 innings.
Then, when it seems as though it may be time to write Jeremy Guthrie off, he comes through with a performance like the one he had last night. The beneficiary of three double plays turned behind him, Guthrie held the Rangers to a single run on eight hits, striking out one without issuing a walk. It may not have been the most dominant outing, yet it was good enough to keep the Royals in the game, giving them a chance to pull out the victory in the bottom of the eighth.
That is essentially what the Royals have asked of Guthrie this year. As the Royals fifth starter, all they need is for him to give the team a chance to pull out a victory by keeping the Royals in the game. Almost to a fault, Guthrie seems to have a knack towards pitching to the score, typically keeping the Royals within a run or two of the opposition. The results may not always look pretty, but Guthrie is, in his own way, effective.
Heading down the stretch, the Royals will need more more outings similar to the two recent performances that Jeremy Guthrie had against the Rangers. The rollercoaster that Guthrie has been over the past month is no longer good enough. With every game being of the utmost importance, the Royals need the Good Guthrie they saw last night.
Jeremy Guthrie may not be the ideal starter for the Royals down the stretch, but he is making the case that he should not be counted out at this point. Hopefully, he has a few more games like last night left this season.