Major league pitchers have enough starts under their belts to pick out which arms are streaking and slumping to start the season. Each day we’ll look at the hottest and coldest pitchers taking the mound.
Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle Mariners (2-0, 2.18 ERA)
Seattle’s second-year hurler has excelled early on and has risen to the challenge, out-dueling big names like Yu Darvish and Chris Sale so far. He shares the mound with another star, Detroit ace Justin Verlander. Iwakuma has 16 strikeouts and just one walk in 20 2/3 innings and is stellar inside Safeco Field, boasting a 7-3 record and 2.40 ERA in 18 home games – 11 of those were starts.
Alexi Ogando, Texas Rangers (2-0, 1.08 ERA)
The Rangers have won all three times Ogando has taken the bump this season, getting 16 2/3 innings out of the righty in those starts. Ogando has limited opposing bats to just .194 and has been especially stingy with runners in scoring position (.125). He’s fanned 17 batters while walking just five.
Phil Hughes, New York Yankees (0-2, 10.29 ERA)
Hughes hasn’t lasted more than four innings in his three starts and was chased after only three in his most recent appearance versus Baltimore. He gave up five runs on five hits – three of which were home runs. Hughes heard it from the Bronx crowd and could be headed to the bullpen if this slump continues.
Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies (0-2, 7.56 ERA)
Hamels looked much better in his last outing, giving up one run on six hits in a no-decision to the Marlins. But that’s not enough to erase his horrific efforts in his first two starts of 2013. The Phillies’ high-priced southpaw was battered for 13 runs on 13 hits, including four home runs, in just under 11 innings of work. He’s been hit-and-miss versus St. Louis going 2-3 with a 3.27 career ERA.