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In last 10, Guthrie on Cy Young-caliber pace

Jeremy Guthrie pitches tonight against the Indians in Cleveland and that sigh of relief you hear is from the Orioles bullpen, not to mention manager Dave Trembley and O's Nation, in general.

Guthrie (right) has become a 24-carat solid gold stopper keeping the team from free falling with a predictably strong outing every fifth game. In fact, over his last 10 starts, Guthrie has been on what would be a Cy Young-caliber pace if a pitcher could do it all season. Since June 18, the right-hander is 6-1 with a 2.64 ERA over 68 innings with 42 strikeouts and just 15 walks.  Even before that, Guthrie was having a solid season but suffered from a lack of offensive support.

Overall, Guthrie is 9-8 with a 3.26 ERA, 104 strikeouts and 42 walks.  Certainly good but as a body of work, hardly Cy Young territory.  But it will be interesting to see if he can keep it up with a team that is losing ground incrementally.

For a point of comparison, former Oriole Erik Bedard, now with the Mariners, had a similarly hot run just about the same time last season that did have folks talking about him as a potential Cy Young candidate until a muscle strain near his rib cage ended his year. Bedard's nine-game stretch from early July through mid-August went thusly: 7-0 with a 1.71 ERA and 84 strikeouts (he finished with 221).

Of course, Bedard has broken down in successive seasons. Along with the oblique muscle issue in 2007, he's been on the mend from shoulder tightness since early July in Seattle.

Photo: Karl Merton Ferron/Sun

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