I feel like I have mentioned this before but feel the need to say it again: Miguel Gonzalez is a very underrated pitcher.
Gonzalez has pitched well for Baltimore this year, sporting an 8-5 record with a 3.84 ERA, an ERA that is better than big name pitchers such as Jon Lester from Boston, R.A. Dickey from Toronto, and CC Sabathia from New York. Not bad for a guy who was released by the Boston Red Sox in December of 2011.
Gonzalez got off to a bit of a rocky start this year, going 2-2 with a 4.58 ERA by early May, but he has pitched great since then. Even though his record stands at 8-5 right now, there were four games where he pitched at least five innings and allowed two or fewer runs. He should be at least 11-5 right now.
Gonzalez was also huge down the stretch for Baltimore in 2012. He did not allow more than two runs in any of his final five starts of 2012, including a brilliant seven-inning performance against the New York Yankees where he allowed only one run on five hits while striking out eight. Unfortunately for him and the Orioles, they lost the game 3-2.
Currently Baltimore is 67-56 and sits in third place in the AL East behind the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. The O’s are 4.5 games out of first place and three games out of the final Wild-Card spot. With their bullpen (more specifically their closer role) turning into a constant state of disarray, the O’s will need to lean heavily on their starters to go deeper into the games. If 2012 is any indication of what he is made of, Gonzalez will do just that to help the Orioles make it back to the postseason.
by Andy Mindzak