Aces rocked on Wednesday
August, 29, 2013
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
Jeff Curry/USA TODAY SportsAdam Wainwright was one of three aces to struggle on Wednesday.Adam Wainwright, Felix Hernandez and Hiroki Kuroda ranked fourth, sixth and eighth in ERA before taking the mound on Wednesday. Each ace struggled mightily and none would rank inside the top eight in ERA at night's end.
Wainwright's early exit
The ace of St. Louis Cardinals allowed a career-high nine earned runs over just two innings. Wainwright allowed all nine runs before he recorded four outs. The shortest start in Wainwright’s career also produced a rare instance in Cardinals history.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Wainwright is just the fourth Cardinals starter in the past 100 seasons to allow nine earned runs before recording four outs. Jason Marquis (2006), Jason Simontacchi (2002) and Bob Gibson (1967) are the others.
Wainwright struggled to put hitters away on Wednesday, as opponents batted .500 against him with two strikes. That’s the highest average he has allowed with two strikes in a single start all season and it’s tied for the second-highest average he has allowed with two strikes in any start over the past five seasons.
Rangers dominate King Felix
Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez also allowed a career high in earned runs, giving up eight over three innings Wednesday afternoon. Hernandez became just the eighth starter in Mariners history to allow eight earned runs in three or fewer innings pitched at home, and the first in five years.
The Texas Rangers have given Hernandez fits all season, as he is 0-4 with a 7.57 ERA against them compared to going 12-4 with a 2.19 ERA against all other opponents. The Rangers are batting more than .140 points higher against Hernandez than all others this season.
King Felix has allowed 10 or more hits in a start four times this season. Three of those instances have come against Texas.
Kuroda trending downward
Hiroki Kuroda, the de-facto ace of the New York Yankees this season, allowed seven runs for the second consecutive start. Prior to his past two starts, Kuroda had allowed seven runs just five times in his entire career.
Kuroda appears to have hit a wall after having a stellar month of July. After leading the MLB with a 0.55 ERA in July, his ERA ballooned to 5.12 in August. He lost four games in August, his most in a single month as a Yankee, a far cry from going undefeated in five July starts.
The fastball did not fool the Blue Jays on Wednesday, as they batted .538 when putting Kuroda’s fastball in play, the second-highest average he has allowed in a single game this season. Opponents hit .333 off Kuroda’s fastball in August, much higher than the .280 they batted off his fastball for the season entering this month.