Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Rough Time Of It

Last night was a step back for HongZhi Guo in his quest to secure the 5th starter spot. It was not a typical Guo-like performance. Normally, Guo litters the box score with Ks and BBs, while being stingy in the Hits/HR categories. Last night, was quite the opposite. Guo only struck out one batter and didn't walk any batters. Guo instead pitched to contact. Whether that was on purpose or not, I have no idea. It could've been a strategy to keep his walk rate down and help him pitch deeper in to the game. Cincinnati is not exactly the stadium you want to pitch to contact at, as it's a hitters park. Guo found that out when he gave up a homerun to Reds slugger Adam Dunn, Guo's first of the season. Guo recorded nine outs on batted balls in play (BABIP), as one of them came on a double play. Meanwhile, Guo gave up seven hits on BABIP, which most people will tell you is very unlucky. How unlucky Guo was is up for debate as some balls that went for hits were hit hard and more than a few were not. In previous starts, Guo's high walk rates got him to his pitch count quickly and last night it was the high hit rate. One of these days Guo will put it all together. Let's just hope it comes sooner rather than later. Guo's next start should come Sunday April 27th at home against the Rockies.

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