Kansas City Royals v Baltimore Orioles

To his eternal credit, Jeremy Guthrie is having a very unusual season. Unusual for Jeremy Guthrie in that he’s pitched very well and Jeremy Guthrie is the human embodiment of serviceable. He has a very low ERA and a sparkling 5-1 won/loss record. Before last night, it was a 5-0 record.

Last night, Jeremy Guthrie posted one of the weirdest pitching lines you’ll ever see. It was the anti-FIP start for the ages. And that was just the tip of Guthrie’s weirdness iceberg.

First things first: the line. 7 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 0 K, 4 HR allowed. How is that even possible? How did he last seven innings, allowing fourteen base runners and four home runs? HOW?! It makes so little sense. Four solo home runs (hit by Howie Kendrick, Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and Mike Trout) and a sac fly (by Trout) and that’s it. My mind, it aches. For fun, his single-start FIP settles in nicely at 11.73. I can’t decide if that is too high or too low.

There is something to be said for Guthrie “managing the game” if backhand compliments are your bag. Or this could be compelling evidence of Jeremy Guthrie’s looming regression. One or the other.

Results-wise, it was a weird night for Guthrie. Weirdness-wise, it was a REALLY weird night for Guthrie. Because pitches must always be reminded of their tenuous grasp on workplace safety, Mark Trumbo got sawed off in the first inning and nearly impaled Guthrie with the barrel of his bat.

That’s not really weird, more just unfortunate and hazardous. But Guthrie survived to laugh it off in the dugout moments later.

The at bat previous to Trumbo’s near-impaling of the nicely-kicked pitcher was where stuff got strange/hilarious. After walking Mike Trout, Guthrie dug in to deal with Albert Pujols. Mike Trout hasn’t run as much as last year with King Albert behind him, but there was a sense Trout wanted to go. He bluffed several times before finally taking off on a 3-2 pitch. (Trout wanted to run on Salvador Perez, which is akin to a base running death wish)

Pujols swung at the pitch, sending a tiny looping pop towards second base. Miguel Tejada, savvy vet that he is, slightly bluffed Trout before stepping in to catch Pujols’ can of corn. Trout, now some 75 feet from first base, is dead to rights.

Below is a screencap of the situation moments after Tejada squeezed Pujols’ infield pop for the second out.

trout-doa

What results is the world’s dumbest footrace. Despite an ample head-start and a man even closer to the bag ready to receive the throw, this ends as RoyaLOLs as possible.

Tejada takes a bit of a wide turn, looks up, and sees Jeremy Guthrie headed to cover the bag. Jeremy Guthrie saw Tejada with a twenty foot headstart and though “Miggy’s got this.” So he just sort of ran over the bag, ready to jog back the dugout with the third out well in hand. WHICH IS AMAZING.

As great Western philosopher David Cooper once pondered: “why didn’t he just tag him?” Or stand on the base and turn around to figure out how the play was developing behind him. Weird. WEIRD.

Because he’s Jeremy Guthrie, Jeremy Guthrie escaped this inning unscathed. Mike Trout stole second (running an Salvy Perez aka living dangerously) but the inning ended with Trumbo’s murderbat.

Just another night in the life of Jeremy Guthrie. The weirdest night for any pitcher this year, I reckon.