As it turns out, Kevin Slowey‘s too-good-to-be-true start in 2013 was just that.
Now, that’s not to say that the Miami Marlins hurler can’t be good, of course. After all, he did get his 2013 season off to a fantastic start, allowing more than one run in just two out his first seven outings, good enough to carry 1.81/0.94 ERA/WHIP through his first 44.2 innings.
For all that, he got just one win and a pair of losses for his trouble … but that’s the life of a Marlins pitcher, eh?
Besides, it’s a moot point now, because since that incredible start, Slowey simply hasn’t been very good. His record since his seven-inning, two-hit, no-run gem on May 7 is 1-4 through seven starts, but unlike the seven prior, the counting numbers actually reflect his performance this time around.
Which, as you probably guessed, tells us that the righty hasn’t been very good.
Including his struggle against the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday that saw him give up six runs (five earned) on nine hits over just five innings, Slowey has allowed four or more runs in five of his last seven outings, and has only made it past the sixth inning once.
That sparkling ERA/WHIP is long a relic of history now, replaced by a mediocre 4.10/1.30 thanks to the 27 runs, 55 hits and six walks that he’s allowed in his last 34.1 innings (that gives him a 7.13/1.79 ERA/WHIP … as long as we’re at it).
And if you were looking for the root of his new-found troubles, you need to look no further than the long ball.
See, while the 29-year-old allowed just three homers over this first seven starts, that number has spiked rather dramatically to nine over his last seven. That includes a pair of three-homer outings that drives the number up, but the fact that he’s allowed at least one homer in five of those starts says that he’s not only being hit more often, but being hit really, really hard.
Still, it’s not all doom and gloom with the righty, even if it might seem like it. Despite being taken out of the ballpark left and right, Slowey has maintained his otherwise excellent control, allowing walks at a rate of 1.59 on the season. That his command has been consistent even amidst his struggles has allowed him to put together the occasional gem, such as his seven-inning, eight-hit, no-run shutdown of the New York Mets on June 8.
Clearly there’s an effective pitcher in there somewhere. Whether Slowey can stop the slide and find it within him, however … well, that’s easier said than done in his situation.