Feist Facts by Jim Feist | Here’s a look at some starters who haven’t pitched well of late, even if their records may suggest otherwise:
Livan Hernandez: The 33-year old (allegedly) righty had a good start for his new team, but he’s an offspeed pitcher in a hitter’s park. He’s also struggled of late, with the Twins going 3-4 in his last seven starts. Despite a winning record, opponents are hitting over .340 off him!
Shawn Hill: The Nationals’ righty is allowing batters to hit over .300 off him. He’s been decent at home, but has a 6.75 ERA in 29 road innings. And, Washington is 1-6 in his last seven starts. Bettors take note: the last three years Hill has pitched his best before the All-Star break, but tailed off badly starting in June.
Jeff Francis: Everything has gone wrong for the defending NL Champs. Francis is one of the most perplexing, a guy who went 17-9 last year. His walks are up, strikeouts down, and ERA up. Coors Field is a tough place to try and pitch, but Francis has been almost as bad on the road as at home. The Rockies went 4-10 in his first 14 starts.
Mark Hendrickson: The worst team defensively in the NL is the Marlins. One guy with marginal stuff who appears to be suffering from that poor defense is the 6-foot-9 Hendrickson. After a strong start, the 33-year old journeyman lefty has cooled off, with the Marlins losing three of his last four starts.
Daniel Cabrera: Will the real Cabrera please stand up? This is a guy worth watching closely. He had a strong start, appearing to finally harness his great fastball. However, he’s reverted back to his old form of walking too many batters, as Baltimore lost four of five starts. Those five starts covered 29 innings and he walked 17 batters. Remember, this happened last year too.
Barry Zito: The likable lefty just hasn’t been the same since leaving Oakland, where he won his only Cy Young Award. Opponents are hitting over .300 off him, but just as big a problem is control. Zito walks too many batters, allowing 44 free passes in his first 72 innings pitched. Giving up hits and home runs will happen to every pitcher, but walking batters is a no-no that a hurler must have control over.