|Scott Diamond delivers a first-inning|
pitch Thursday afternoon against Oakland.
He was 4-0, 2.41 in August/September for Rochester and won his one playoff start as well for the Red Wings, so there was some optimism that he had rediscovered his magic.
And then Thursday against the A's: 4.2 innings, six hits, five runs, four earned, two walks and one strikeout.
The ERA went up some more, the strikeout rate went down some more.
Oh, one can argue that the Twins defense could have been better. Trevor Plouffe had a throwing error that led to the unearned run, and center fielder Alex Presley got turned the wrong way on a hard-hit ball that resulted in a two-run triple. Maybe Presley should have caught that ball.
I still come back to this: Diamond not only didn't make it out of the fifth inning, but he struck out just one of his 22 batters.
Diamond, as quoted in the Pioneer Press gamer, put it this way: "I just wasn't able to put anybody away."
Mike Bernadino, the writer whose story is linked to above, concludes the piece by noting that Diamond may have just two starts left "to prove he is still staff-fronting material."
I like Diamond — as I wrote earlier this year, he's MFT, My Favorite Twin — but this is the hard reality: Until he finds a way to boost his strikeout rate, he's not only not "staff-fronting material," he's not mid-rotation material.