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The Baltimore Sun

O's: What a beating

Help me out here. Is there anything left to say about Jeremy Guthrie's lost season that hasn't already been said. He struggled again on Monday night against the Oakland A's, who don't exactly summon up images of Reggie Jackson or the Bash Brothers these days. Guthrie was on a 200-pitch pace when he left in the fifth inning and he doesn't look like he's got an ounce of confidence left. Gotta feel for him, but the only thing left to do this year is stay healthy so he can start over next season.

It's not hopeless. Lots of pitchers have tailspin years and then come back to be very effective, and Guthrie has above-average velocity and a decent repertoire. He just can't seem to miss a bat when he makes a mistake pitch. Lots of people have pointed to his participation in the World Baseball Classic as the beginning of the end of his chance to establish himself as the true ace of the Orioles staff, but there has to be more to it than that.

For his sake, you have to hope he thinks that was the reason and comes back next spring confident that an uninterrupted training camp will help him get back on track.

In the meantime, however, the Orioles must go into the offseason prepared to compete for one of the best free agent starters on the market. The bright young pitchers who are auditioning right now for next year's rotation need someone to look up to at the front of the rotation, and Guthrie does not have the mound cred to be that guy.

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