Seattle Mariners starter Ariel Miranda has been the team’s most consistent starter the first two and a half months of the season. On Thursday though, he was roughed up for six runs on 10 hits and a walk with just two strikeouts over four innings in a series-splitting 6-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins.
Up until Thursday, Miranda was sporting a 3.67 ERA and 1.167 WHIP with a K/9 ratio of 7.7, though his BB/9 at 3.5 is a little high. Not surprisingly, his ERA jumped to 4.17 after the beating.
Looking deeper at his season numbers though, that ERA is more in line with his peripherals – stats that level the playing field by reducing the effects of defense and ballparks, etc.
Entering play on Thursday, Miranda’s FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching, at stat which measures effectiveness preventing homers, walks, hit by pitch and causing strikeouts; read on a scale like ERA) was 4.58, decidedly mediocre.
Going game-by-game, Miranda has done well to limit runs against him while throwing up periodic clunkers. He allowed eight earned runs on May 9, then no more than two in six straight starts before the six to the Twins. In fact, in 10 of his 14 starts this year he has limited the opponent to two earned runs or fewer.
But he also now has four games giving up four or more runs.
Miranda has, more often than not, been able to keep the Mariners in games. With the decimating injuries to the pitching staff (and Yovani Gallardo’s complete ineffectiveness), he’s been the anchor of the staff until now.
As Felix Hernandez first, then Hisashi Iwakuma and eventually Drew Smyly return fro the D.L., Miranda will get slotted into a spot more suited to his skill level. But he’s probably the only thing that had kept the M’s first half from being worse than it is.