Hiram Kyle Davies makes his 69th career start tonight, and his 24th as a Royal. Proudly sporting a league average --right on the dot actually, his ERA of 4.41 is exactly league average -- for the first time in his career, Davies is enjoying a brief resurgence after a serious rough patch that itself was a correction after a fluky start.
Davies in 2008:
-First four starts: 1.46 ERA
-Starts five through eight: 9.35 ERA
-Starts nine through twelve: 3.80 ERA
The thing is, if you look at his peripherals, he doesn't look much different than last season, when he posted a satanic 6.66 ERA with the Royals. In some areas, they're actually worse:
Despite being something that true aficionados of the game are supposed to scoff at as rally-killers and inelegant displays of national innocence destroying brutishness, home runs have this really annoying linkage to runs. If you watch the game long enough you'll begin to notice something strange: every time a guy hits a homer, a run scores. It's like, uncanny or something. Sure, they may not terrify the pitcher quite like having a fast guy on the basepaths -- distractions! -- but they are pretty dern bad.
In his 2007 stint as a Royal, Davies gave up 10 homers in just fifty innings pitched. He's been a tick better this year at avoiding HRs, and along with his strange Bannifification, he's seen his ERA go down.
Oh, the Twins counter with Kevin Slowey.